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Medical Students’ Learning Experience on Roles of Frontliners in the COVID-19 Pandemic

28 Dec 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 to be a public health emergency in January 2020. The frontline healthcare workers (HCW) are at high risk of being exposed to the disease as they are usually the first one who attend to undetected index cases, especially those working in the Emergency Department. To date, Malaysia has recorded over 90,000 of confirmed cases and a total of 1,771 cases were recorded among HCW. Therefore, there is a need to educate future, potential healthcare providers on handling patient suspected of having this novel disease and measures needed to be taken to protect ourselves. In addition, the pandemic has halted most learning and teaching activities in all education levels. It is a new norm that most teaching and learning sessions are conducted online via different virtual meeting platforms in order to minimise the risk of transmission and ensure total adherence to the Standard of Practices (SOPs), #KITAJAGAKITA. Due to the major restraint in most learning activities, IMU Emergency Medicine Society (EMS) led by Dr Rosdara, took the initiative to invite Dr Surekha Kaneson, Emergency Physician in Hospital Port Dickson to conduct an online webinar on the roles of a frontliner in the COVID-19 pandemic on 19 December 2020. The platform chosen to conduct the event was Microsoft Teams. A total of 30 medical students which comprised of students from Semesters 6 to 9 had signed up for the event.

The objectives of the event were:
To understand the basic sciences of COVID-19
To understand the classification of suspected, probable and confirmed COVID-19 patients
To understand different level of PPE
To understand the regularization of healthcare workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic

Speakers for the Event
A brief introduction of the causative agent, transmission routes, and signs and symptoms of COVID-19 EMS Vice president, Tan Hui Dong
The preventive strategies of COVID-19 EMS president, Adam Lim
A timely presentation which was delivered into four major parts:

  • Introduction to coronavirus disease and clinical management in hospitals
  • Infection prevention and control measures in managing suspected, probable or confirmed coronavirus disease
  • Personal protective equipment when managing suspected, probable or confirmed coronavirus disease
  • Management of healthcare worker during COVID-19 pandemic and crisis
Invited speaker, Dr Surekha

After a brief presentation on Donning and Doffing, participants then watched a video provided by Ministry of Health on these steps. Lastly, Dr Rosdara, the advisor of the EMS, presented the flowchart of attending to a patient with influenza like illness (ILI) in Emergency Departments. Subsequently an informative Q and A session was held. The webinar was fruitful for the participants. We now know how to classify suspected, probable, and confirmed COVID-19 patient. Classification is important as the plan of management differs between each category. Furthermore, we are more aware that there are three levels of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which are tailored to be used when attending to patients.

“Every MASTER was one a disaster – NEVER stop fighting – COVID 19.

Written by: Tan Hsin Yen and Adam Lim Chee Hao, Emergency Medicine Society, IMU Clinical Campus Seremban.

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