When rumors started circulating about not coming back to school after spring break, we were a bit skeptical. And yet, here we are…fast forward to successful online learning despite the present circumstances! Our team of six medicine instructors are always striving to be good role models for our students; and our team’s adaptability, resilience, and drive has been more apparent than ever at this time.
Along with the personal challenges of switching to an online format, the team, as a whole, has stepped up to the challenges through a high degree of collaboration and engagement; and has sparked creative solutions. Because our usual content has so many hands-on elements and internships at local healthcare facilities, we needed to pivot and determine the most essential components of our curriculum. We designed our online curriculum around the following essential components: Professionalism, Self-Discovery, Career Choices, Medical Conditions, and Medical Treatments. Students choose three categories every week to engage in. Within each category, students have had opportunities to participate in live Zoom hospital tours, speaking to medical professionals via Zoom (who would have otherwise been classroom speakers), on-line scavenger hunts, videos, articles, bed-making challenges, etc. Students have the opportunity to branch out and choose topics that are important to them; perhaps even information they may not have had time to pursue in the traditional setting. In addition, we have continued offering online content for our Thursday option classes and college credit courses: Anatomy, Health Information Technology, Medical Terminology, and Public Health. The CNA (Certified Nurse’s Aide) course has continued with robust knowledge, skill and attribute resources – posted on Canvas for each remaining state mandated CNA unit. It can be difficult to continue learning the CNA content on your own/independently. But the students are making it happen! On site clinicals will resume as soon as possible. Likewise, our EHP (Exploring Health Professions) students understand that even though their shadowing was cut short this semester, there are many opportunities to do this independently when hospitals lift the restrictions.
Hat’s off to our students! We are so proud of them. They have stayed engaged and connected, maintaining a strong desire to continue learning, even in this time of ambiguity and loss. They have continued to show their interest and curiosity in the field of medicine and have attended Zoom meetings and guest speakers at a high turnout. Almost all students are choosing to complete online work at this time, though their grade is not dependent on this work. The students have demonstrated values that will propel them forward, such as curiosity, grit, and adaptability. They are most certainly, well on their way to becoming tremendously effective and empathetic healthcare providers.