Even as new cases of COVID-19 trend low in New Zealand, the future remains uncertain, and many of the doctors we speak to are bracing themselves for a potential surge in infections and continuing to grapple with how to prepare, what is happening and what to do next.
The nature of this pandemic amplifies the challenges doctors already face when dealing with critically ill patients, and some will be confronted with tasks that they have never had to do before. While most doctors already possess many of the skills required to diagnose and manage this virus, there may be individuals who are less familiar with some of these skills, or who have had them in the past but may not have used them for some time.
To help you feel as prepared as you can be in the face of this health crisis, we have put together a list of online training, tools and resources that you can access from the comfort of your home. While they will not replace specialist qualifications, these resources will allow you to begin developing (or refreshing) the knowledge and expertise required to manage COVID-19.
While delivering serious news and discussing goals of care are common even under normal circumstances, many doctors are facing an extra measure of apprehension, uncertainty and fear when communicating with patients and their loved ones about COVID-19. VitalTalk offers a range of resources to help medical professionals improve their communication in the age of Coronavirus, including a compilation of scripts and tips in their Ready Communication Playbook, as well as a range of video examples, supplemental scripts and collaborative resources.
COVID-19 Critical Care: Understanding and Application
This education resource from FutureLearn will teach you how to effectively care for critically ill patients during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with how to facilitate your own emotional and physical self-care and wellbeing in this high-stress, high-risk environment.
Simulation Training for COVID-19 Readiness Webinar Series
This series consists of three webinars that use simulation scenarios designed to improve team preparedness for safely and confidently treating Coronavirus patients. They support the practice of core skills around the protection of healthcare personnel, assessment of suspected COVID-19, and intervention for severe infection to more advanced respiratory illness.
CovED is a ground-breaking education solution developed by University of Sydney startup DetectED-X. Available globally, this free tool provides a virtual clinical environment to enable clinicians to rapidly learn how to diagnose COVID-19 cases from CT scans. The service contains modules that will take between 1-2 hours to complete and can be done at your own pace.
While online learning is certainly no silver bullet when it comes to managing COVID-19, we hope it will help to give you the tools and confidence you need to rise to this unprecedented challenge.
For more advice on dealing with the pandemic, read our list of self-care tips for doctors, and reach out to us if you need support with finding a new job or locum role in Australia or New Zealand.