As many of you know, we were exited to have secured a suitable space for our new lab. With support from the local community, professional bodies as well as our Faculty and associated lecturers, we were moving full steam ahead with planning permission and landlord contract discussions.
And then, as we all know, our plans were turned upside down in just a few weeks.
With the focus of the world shifting urgently from improving skills to saving lives, it was clear that our plans needed to come to an abrupt and immediate halt. Under no circumstances would we be able to build a lab now: the priorities of every single person working in it, as well as attending courses has shifted to one simple and single minded goal: Stop The Virus.
The implications on healthcare long term are enormous, and there is uncertainty around the future for everyone.
As most companies, staff was immediately working from home. We have a very light back office staff — all our teachers are lecturers who only come in for their specific course, so the only permanent staff is admin, customer service, finance and support functions. Everyone is now furloughed, to ensure that we can stay afloat during these difficult times. Everyone is safe, and are looking forward to getting back to work when the time is ready. Everyone is spending the time learning, studying and reading. (And eating a lot of baked goods, judging from the images frequently shared!).
Until we can get back to our practical hands on courses where we train with the help of generous body donors, we are trying to do our best to ensure that learning and knowledge exchange is happening anyway. We are putting our library of courses and the training materials used onto a new platform where it can be downloaded and used remotely. Clearly this is not a replacement for the immersive educational experience we normally provide, but it does give an enormous opportunity to learn from the best surgeons, nurses and anatomists around the world.
We are also looking at the way training has to happen on different medical devices. Medical Device industry has a challenge now: the responsibility of doing demonstration, product set up training and even certification of users can no longer take place in the hospitals: company representatives cannot travel, may be furloughed or are simply not allowed to enter. We are investigating if there is a way that we can use our educational platform to help bridge the gap: not only would it make the training possible despite the travel restrictions — it would also be good for hospital staff to have access to learning at any time it suits them. The new set up with video calls to get 1:1 training with product experts will be another valuable addition to the learning platform we can offer.
Some of these will be paid training, and some will be offered free of charge.
More info to follow shortly about these new training opportunities, but in the meantime; STAY SAFE and THANK YOU for everything you do to help the world fight the virus.