We’re all familiar with the many challenges that COVID-19 brought to organizations across this nation and around the world. Our clinical educators and clinical preceptors at MPowerHealth blind-sighted with the swift changes this pandemic initiated. Instead of slowing us down, this pandemic only provided the means to exhibit the camaraderie and grit of our leadership and education team to swiftly come together and strategize and adapt to virtual learning.
In March of 2020, our fellowship program orientation had just launched. During this time, the initial stages of the COVID-19 crisis shutdown were also initiated throughout this nation. We were in the second week of our orientation and were faced with the difficult decision to unexpectedly cancel their remaining clinical training. With a class of 13 students anticipating to begin their journey into Intraoperative Operative Neuromonitoring (IONM), this pandemic challenged the world of education and students as we know it.
Soon after the crisis initiative, the fast-acting collaboration of our educators and curriculum team allowed us to quickly adapt and seamlessly transform to virtual education without compromising the quality and student engagement of our IONM training. Despite the challenges of virtual learning, limited case coverage, and limited access to facilities, our student’s spirit and passion for IONM persevered which lead the way to successfully pass their board exams on their first attempt.
My goal as the Director of Education was to ensure our clinical staff performed optimal health and wellness measures for the safety of their patients, families, and themselves. At MPowerHealth, the well-being of our staff is paramount. Immediately after the nation shut down, our organization quickly initiated our emergency management protocols. Hospitals were limiting personal protective equipment (PPE) for ancillary clinical staff. Regardless of this opposition, our management team quickly secured and provided all required PPE, including N-95 masks, sanitizing kits, and goggles.
Additionally, our education team also collaborated to provide our clinical staff with COVID-19 safety initiatives by providing our clinical staff with continued advanced learning in exposure mitigation and quality assurance reviews for PPE utilization in surgical settings. Our organization also offered health and wellness opportunities for all staff to share how pandemic-related stresses and challenges were affecting their lives through online meeting platforms and survey reviews.
Amid this pandemic and its difficult journey, our leadership united in solidarity with our Neuromonitoring Clinicians and Hospital Partners. Staying positive and staying safe remains a core focus for our education team and MPowerHealth!
Author: Joshua Reyna, LVN, CNIM, Director of Education, National Neuromonitoring
This guest blog is written as part of ASET’s Neurodiagnostic Week story series that highlights the experience of Neurodiagnostic technologists during the COVID-19 pandemic.