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News Release - Health Sciences students return to Kingston for clinical placements and once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity

Thursday, May 28, 2020

News release  
(May 28, 2020) As of June 1, approximately 200 students from the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Rehabilitation Therapy at Queen’s will return to Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) and Providence Care hospitals to complete clinical placements and clerkships that are key to their future frontline work.

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus in March, leaders from Queen’s, in consultation with KHSC and Providence Caremade the difficult decision to temporarily suspend student placements as part of the ramping down of services and to preserve resources. Now, because of several factors, including a particularly low prevalence of the virus in the Kingston regionlocal teaching hospitals are now able to slowly reintroduce students from Queen’s into the clinical environment.  

The university and the regional hospitals worked closely with KFL&A Public Health to ensure that the students will be reintroduced to the system in a way that prioritizes safety. 

All students who are returning to complete their clinical placements and clerkships are required to self-quarantine in Kingston for two weeks prior to starting at the teaching hospitals. While they are on-site at KHSC and Providence Care, students will follow staff safety policies and procedures, including completing training on current COVID-19-related protocol, adhering to the staff screening process, and conserving personal protective equipment. 

Additionally, students will be required to self-monitor for symptoms throughout their programs. They must be symptom-free for two weeks in order to participate in any in-person activities. 

While it may not be business-as-usual, the clinical environment will offer a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for students, many of whom are close to graduating and in search of permanent employment. 

The students look forward to returning to their clinical settings and credit university and hospital administration for developing creative solutions to allow them to meet their educational goals, while keeping their safe return to clinical duties at the forefront of efforts. 


“We have been keen to have students in the Faculty of Health Sciences return to their clinical placementsNot only do they play an important role in the delivery of healthcare at our hospitals, but they will be re-entering in a very unique context that presents incredible learning opportunities.” 

- Richard Reznick, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences 

“We are working closely with our partners in education and have developed safety measures to make sure students are phased into the hospital setting in a way that will keep them, our patients, and our staff as safe as possible.” 

Michael Fitzpatrick, Chief of Staff at KHSC 

"Having the opportunity to complete my clinical placement means that I can work towards graduating on time, allowing me to use the nursing skills I've learned at Queen's to compassionately care for patients and familiesI am eager to join our heroic nurses and health care workers in supporting those affected by illness and injury, and in contributing to a safe and respectful practice environment. 

Bayley Morgan, School of Nursing, Class of 2020 

"The Class of Meds 2020 is eager to return to help serve the health care needs of Kingstonians and is confident that the reintegration into the clinical learning environment will go smoothlyWe see these coming months as a pivotal time in the re-shaping of health care systems as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are excited to be actively involved in that process. 

Josh Gnanasegaram and Rae Woodhouse, Class of 2021 Co-Presidents, School of Medicine 

Follow Queens University on Twitter: @Queensu; @QueensuMedia  

Media contacts  
Anne Craig
Media Relations Officer
Queen’s University
Email: anne.craig@queensu.ca  

Maclaine Clark
Strategic Communications Advisor
Kingston Health Sciences Centre
Cell: 613-583-7705