March 9, 2020

A message to nursing students on COVID-19

From Zahra Shajani, associate dean, undergraduate practice education
Handwashing Covid-19
Handwashing Covid-19

You can't turn on the radio or TV, or scroll through your favourite social media app without hearing about COVID-19. While the situation is rapidly evolving and changes daily, the one thing we all need to remember is that the risk of spread of COVID-19 within Canada remains low

As your educational provider, we commit to keeping you informed about any changes in the health environment that will affect you as a nursing student. We care about your health and safety as much as we care about the health and safety of your patients and so will continue to reinforce elements of your education that will help protect you.

UCalgary is closely monitoring the situation and updates their website as required. This site includes links to key sources of information concerning COVID-19 and influenza, as well as travel updates.  Please continue to visit this website for information.

UCalgary Nursing would like to continue to remind all nursing students: the best way to stop any spread of virus or infection is hand hygiene.  It is the single most important thing to do to prevent transmission of infection. Although health-care providers know its importance,  studies show we perform hand hygiene less than half the time we should. 

In addition, reviewing your personal protective equipment (PPE), ensuring your vaccinations are up to date and N95 Fit masks have not expired are important ways to maintain vigilance.

Other risk reduction strategies include:

  • Screening for infectious diseases, fever respiratory symptoms, rash, diarrhea, excretions and secretions
  • Using your PPE, cleaning of your environment, disinfection and sterilization of equipment or single use equipment

At the AHS, Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) practice include good routine practices and additional precautions.  Positive nCoV patients will currently be managed using Contact and Droplet precautions. This includes:

  • Placement in a room with hard walls and a door, dedicated bathroom or commode
  • The usual PPE for Contact and Droplet Precautions (gown, gloves, surgical mask and eye protection)   
  • N95 masks only for AGMPs (Aerosolized Generating Medical Procedures); if AGMP is required, patients should be moved to a negative pressure isolation room. Contact and Droplet precautions would remain in place.

The most current information and resources for managing COVID-19 are located on the IPC website under Emerging Diseases.

As well, this FAQ document is a useful resource. 

If you know individuals with specific concerns related to symptoms, please advise them to call Health Link at 811 for assessment and health advice.