From virtual classrooms to the frontline of the fight against the coronavirus

06/04/2021 | Corona

Leaders and students of Semmelweis University looked back and summarised how the coronavirus pandemic affected education, what measures were implemented to ensure a safe learning environment and high quality at the same time and what challenges students of medicine and health sciences had to overcome during playing active role in infection control.

It has been over a year now that our everyday life was disrupted by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Semmelweis University, as the largest health care provider and most prominent higher education institution of biomedical sciences in Hungary has played an active role in infection control since the onset of the epidemic in Hungary. The university adapted to the new circumstances promptly and took up a leading role in the fight against the virus by introducing strict safety measures, adjusting the curriculum to distance education and maximizing the efficiency of health care services.

The most radical changes took place in the organization of healthcare services and the implementation of the curriculum. Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs, Vice-Rector for International Studies and the Leader of the Students’ Union talk about in this arcticle what measures were implemented at the university to provide safe and seamless education, what benefits the pandemic-induced changes have brought, how students were helped and how they perceive students in the extraordinary circumstances.

The coronavirus required the contribution of all health workers including those at the beginning of their career: students. In Semmelweis University hundreds of students volunteered either to help the National Ambulance Service or work together with nurses in inpatient clinics. Together with various departments the students assisted the realization of a well-coordinated infection control including the operation of pre-triage systems at entry points, doing PCR sampling and related administrative work, helping out at inpatient wards and being involved in the nationwide representative screening program. Being in the frontline was challenging for the students. The Students’ Union made a film about their experiences of studying, taking up on health care duties and being students during the coronavirus.

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