Healthcare Workers Came Against COVID Laid Bare Gaps
COVID-19 has turned 2020 upside down for healthcare workers, especially those who are at the forefront of the pandemic response. Healthcare systems have overwhelm by the need to stop the spread of coronavirus. This is not surprising. Public attention has focused on the pivotal role of healthcare workers in our pandemic response. This experience has revealed knowledge gaps in curriculums and brought to the forefront questions about education and training for front-line healthcare workers.
The importance of including mental healthcare, infection control and ageing in all education programs for health professions has been highlight by the pandemic.
Controlling Infections Healthcare
Infection control principles and contents require to taught in all healthcare disciplines. This content was not intend to deal with a historic pandemic. Healthcare workers are not specifically train to use infection control in workplaces when there is a pandemic.
To prevent infection during the pandemic, all healthcare workers must wear personal protective equipment, adhere to strict hand hygiene, and follow contact-tracing procedures.
We need to make sure that students are able to apply the concepts in a specific clinical setting. Aged care homes, for example, face different infection control challenges than hospitals. This includes possible breaches of isolation and infection containment by COVID-positive residents visiting others, a dearth of dedicated isolation rooms and staff who have received limited training.
Infection prevention goes beyond the ability to use protective gear and isolation methods. To ensure that everyone in an organization follows the recommended infection control practices, it is important to have good management skills. Registered nurses who work in aged care, for example, must ensure that staff adhere to the facility’s infection control protocols. This includes students, cleaners, and cooks. They also need to have the necessary infection control training.
Aging And Aged Care
The risk of COVID-19-related serious illness and death is higher for older people. Visits by friends and family are often restrict, especially in residential aged care facilities, to protect them. It is not surprising that loneliness and social isolation are on the rise among older adults.
These psychosocial issues highlight the importance of ageing and aged-care in curriculums. Pre-pandemic evidence in Australia indicated that there was a dearth of education on ageing for health professionals. This was highlight in the recommendation of the Age Care Royal Commission to incorporate aged care and age-relate conditions into healthcare curriculums.
It is vital that healthcare students are prepare to provide the best care for the most vulnerable age groups in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
All populations have been affect by the mental health effects of COVID-19. The main goal is to prevent further mental health problems. Not all healthcare programs offer content that addresses psychological distress or a possible mental health crisis. COVID-19 exposed the gap in education for healthcare workers who had to care for patients’ mental health during the pandemic.
Training and education are crucial as complex problems can arise when workers who are not experts in mental health care manage them. It is important to include in healthcare education mental health education that covers the entire lifespan and life transitions, such as maternal mental health during pregnancy and childbirth during a Pandemic.
Planning For A Pandemic
COVID-19’s emergence has made it clear that healthcare curriculums must include preparedness for pandemics. Preparation includes the clinical competence of healthcare workers. A successful response to a pandemic requires resilience in a context of changing health systems. Students must be ready for any changes in the delivery of health-services, such as the use telehealth or digital platforms. Even in times of pandemic, access must not be compromised.
Respecting Human Rights Healthcare
COVID-19 raised moral and ethical questions about the right of everyone to their health. Inequalities have been exposed at all levels, such as the rationing of resources for seniors. It is vital that healthcare curriculums include content about upholding human rights in the event of a pandemic.
Understanding the social determinants and health of a pandemic can help to create contexts for infection control, care of vulnerable groups, and prevention of mental illness. Healthcare students must pay special attention to those who are most at risk, including the families of COVID-19 victims. They also need to understand universal health coverage.