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IN IT TOGETHER: Safety top priority for students at Niagara Health

Posted Sep 3rd, 2020

IN IT TOGETHER: Safety top priority for students at Niagara Health

This is part of a series of stories profiling members of the Niagara Health team and the work they are doing as part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Meet David Ward, a recent grad completing his placement with our Biomedical Engineering team.

The past school year took an unexpected turn for many students when clinical placements were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With a plan to support our learners’ safety in place, David Ward, a recent Biomedical Engineering Technology graduate, began his placement with Niagara Health’s Biomedical Engineering team in July.

“When students began receiving clearance to begin their placements, I was contacted promptly and given a comprehensive list of steps to follow before starting my placement,” said David. “After this process, I knew I was ready to safely be involved in work-study within the hospital, regardless of which area.”

David is completing one of the more than 250 placements that have been coordinated for students across Niagara Health sites during the past couple months.

Where are you completing your placement?

I’m completing my placement within the Biomedical Engineering Department at Niagara Health. I’m very grateful to work alongside members of the team, getting valuable hands-on experience.

As part of this experience, I assist in performing preventative maintenance, as well as maintaining electrical safety on many different types of medical equipment. This placement is greatly enhancing my learning experience, as I work towards becoming a Biomedical Engineering Technologist. 

How has your experience at NH been so far?

I learned very quickly that the top priority of the Biomedical Engineering team is to keep patients and team members safe, as well as providing excellent customer service. 

The attitude of everyone is amazing, I feel very welcomed by all those I’ve gotten to meet so far.

What was the onboarding process like?

Among other requirements, I completed several video training modules to ensure I was able to work safely while at the hospital. This included the four moments of hand hygiene, proper use of personal protective equipment and understanding NH’s masking policy.

No one will fault you for asking questions. Any time I have questions about the proper process or procedure, my team members or other clinical staff members are happy to help.

Can you share a few examples of measures in place to help keep everyone safe?

My proctors I work with every day are extremely meticulous about safety. Hand hygiene, masking, physical distancing and wiping down high-touch surfaces are constantly practised.

I feel safe during my placement experience at all times. I also feel strongly cared for and looked after, and that no questions I have are bad questions, thanks to the extremely gracious attitude of all of my educators.

Is there a learning from your placement so far that has stood out for you?

The attitude. The staff are all so friendly and kind. The good customer service attitude is commendable and I will carry that forward with me during my career.

Niagara Health System