As of March 11th 2020, WHO determined COVID-19 a pandemic. This determination forced countries, states and territories all over to take actions that have affected business owners in serious ways. As the stock market drops, we see businesses around us struggling to make sales, unless they sell toilet paper or handguns of course. During this chaos healthcare training schools all around are significantly affected too.
Those who teach CPR, ACLS, First Aide etc., may find their phones quiet and rooms empty.
The American Heart Association recognizes that it may not be best for instructors to teach live classes at this time. AHA released a statement on March 13th, 2020 stating the following:
For those who hold Instructor Cards:
“In cases where an AHA Instructor cannot conduct training due to COVID-19 (e.g., the Training Center is in an area with widespread COVID-19 cases), the AHA will allow an extension of the validity of the instructor card for 60 days. This allowance may be extended based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat.
For those in need to AHA Provider Cards:
The AHA recommends that employers and regulatory bodies consider extending recognition of an AHA Provider Card beyond its renewal date, for up to 60 days, but this recommendation could be extended based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat. It is recognized that each employer is ultimately the decision maker on this topic.”
As a CPR Instructor, I think this is the ideal time to heavily consider the online CPR options that AHA and many other providers offer. Although the online option alone does not completely certify individuals, it does help owners secure funds to manage their business during this downtime. Once the pandemic calms down, in person group sessions for hands on check offs can be easily conducted.
For those who are CNA school owners and rely heavily on nursing home clinicals for student course completion, The President declaring a National Emergency changed things significantly. This caused the CDC to developed infection prevention recommended guidelines that all Long Term Care Facilities should comply with.
The administration’s recommendation for nursing homes to do the following:
- Restrict all visitation except for end of life situations.
- Restrict all volunteers and non-essential healthcare personnel (HCP), including non-essential healthcare personnel (e.g., barbers)
- Cancel all group activities and communal dining
- Implement active screening of residents and HCP for fever and respiratory symptoms
Basically, this means no clinicals for CNA students, thus the inability for them to complete the course you offer. CNA school owners all over the US are patiently waiting to see how this situation will be handled and what alternatives options will surface.
Some states are allowing students currently enrolled to complete their hands-on clinical experience as simulation in the school’s lab while other states have suspended classes all together until further notice. What is the best practice in this situation?
I believe halting all nurse aide training program education is not the answer. In a time where healthcare providers are needed more than ever and coupled with the nations nurse aide shortage, this is not the time to stop those who are willing to answer the call of duty. Patients and residents are in need of care and are overloading the healthcare system as I type. CNA’s will be ultimately be the ones caring for them, but they have to finish their training to do so. But what are the other options?
As Vicky Castillo MSN, RN of Facets Healthcare Training stated in a webinar we hosted this week, “Boards of Nursing and Departments of Health may want to consider and approve alternative methods of instruction during this time.” These alternative options may include hospice facilities, private duty agencies, hospitals and more. Vicky also offers state specific online skills prep video that would be an awesome resource for any home bound CNA student at a time like this.
All programs should take this time to evaluate their curriculums to ensure that droplet precaution, N95, PAPR and national emergencies are incorporated if they are not already. Also re-evaluating your current policies for national emergencies or natural disasters verbiage is important too. Students want answers on how they will be effected and you want to be prepared if there is a next time.
Now is the time to visit the idea of distance learning or blended courses for your CNA program if you do not already offer them. Many states do allow a blended learning option and there are tools out there to help you implement such blended learning. We have partnered with Cinematic Health Education which offers online classroom course work specific to CNA students. Email us for more info on how to implement this offering so you may have an online teaching option in place for future situation. firstname.lastname@example.org
Please find comfort during this time and know that you are not alone. This situation is a temporary one. The Secret Cocktail™ is here to answer any questions and keep you up to date with changes as they develop. There are CNA and CPR training schools all over the country that are looking for ways to be creative during this time. They too are relying on their accrediting body for next steps. Do not be afraid to reach out to your local agency to provide them with ideas and options to consider during this COVID-19 time. You are the voice and advocate for your students and your business.
Please know you are not alone but there is a community that can help support you during this time.
Victoria Randle MSN, NP-C
Owner of The Secret Cocktail™