Introduction: The early approaches to prevent the spread of COVID-19 included lockdown and social distancing measures leading to university closures. These measures forced unparalleled changes to the delivery of healthcare education. Concerns included the preparedness of faculty and students to e-learning as well as the routine availability and funding of equipment and internet bundles. This needed addressing with fully trained healthcare professionals required given rising inappropriate use of antibiotics in India, growing prevalence of non-communicable diseases as well as patients with joint co-morbidities. Consequently, a need to ascertain the current impact of the pandemic on healthcare student education across India.
Materials and Methods: Pilot study among ten purposely selected healthcare educators in both private and public universities. The questionnaire built on published studies.
Results: Identified challenges included a lack of familiarity with online education, no bedside teaching, lack of equipment and affordability of internet bundles, poor internet connectivity and postponed examinations. Ways forward included faculty training on e-learning, providing students with loans and other financial support to purchase equipment and internet bundles, establishing COVID-19 prevention protocols and protective equipment, recording lectures and tutorials to make up for lost time, and simulated methods to teach clinical aspects.
Conclusion: Despite the challenges, there was a rapid move to online learning among surveyed universities. Alongside this, courses to address lack of familiarity with e-Learning approaches with hybrid teaching approaches here to stay. The next step will be to undertake a wider study and use the combined findings to provide future guidance.
Sharma, P., Chowdhury, K., Kumar, S., Bhatt, R., Hirani, T., Duseja, S., Haque, M., Lutfor, A., Etando, A., Škrbić, R., Shahwan, M., Jairoun, A. & Godman, B. 2022, 'A pilot study regarding the consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare education in India and the implications', Advances in Human Biology. https://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/79875/