An academic institution's response to COVID-19: Robert Gordon University

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27 Apr 2020

With rapidly changing developments relating to Covid-19 the FRRH has reached out to our members in an effort to share experiences and best practices. We hope that this will support and guide healthcare professionals and academic educators during these difficult times.

We have been in contact with The Faculty of Remote and Rural Healthcare Organisational Member, the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Robert Gordon University. Ian Murray, Professor and Head of School of Nursing and Midwifery, shares the schools experience responding to the challenges created by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Professor Ian Murray

How has the COVID-19 outbreak affected the delivery the delivery of academic education at Robert Gordon University (RGU)?

"From an academic provider perspective we’ve had to shift all face to face learning and assessment to online formats. Course structures have changed to accommodate final year students and some second-year students taking up paid placements within the NHS. This has all been done in close collaboration with the professional regulators, NES and Scottish Government."

What measures are you and your organisation taking to increase standards in care and hygiene?

"The University is playing a key role in supporting the NHS to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Academic staff have been involved in up-skilling returners to the NHS and other healthcare professionals such as podiatrists and dental nurses to step into key supportive roles within the NHS. This has involved training in infection control and protection, the use of personal protective equipment as well as some fundamental caring skills such as washing, assisting with eating, mobilisation and the recording of vital signs.

Some academic staff will be stepping into roles with the NHS and others have been involved in supporting the care home sector. The university has doubled its support for students in practice. Since the 13th of April over 600 RGU student nurses, midwives, student AHPs and social work students have begun their preparation to undertake paid placements in the health, social care and care home sector."

How is the academic staff adapting during the COVID-19 pandemic and what are the main priorities established during these difficult times?

 "Academic staff at RGU are using a range of online tools to stay engaged with normal business as much as is achievable at this time. Student support is happening through a range of online tools and CampusMoodle, the university’s virtual learning environment. The main focus of the university is to ensure as many students as possible can either graduate or progress as per their academic programmes. Therefore, academic staff have developed creative assessment techniques to ensure all learning outcomes are assessed within the approved programmes. In addition, many schools and departments are working closely with health and social care providers in support of the effort to address the COVID-19 challenge."

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