NHG Residency conducted a series of clinical lectures for the graduating class of Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine), whose Student Assistantship Programme was shortened due to the pandemic. The lectures focused on the management of core acute medical problems to better prepare the students for clinical practice when they graduate in April 2020. The lectures were also extended to the Post-Graduate Year 1 doctors who were unable to experience a full-scale orientation when they commenced their clinical training between February and March 2020.
Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) revamped its Professional Practice Placement (PPP) module for first-year students of the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT)’s Diagnostic Radiography and Radiation Therapy Programme to provide a more comprehensive overview of the diversity, intricacies, and inner workings of the healthcare system from a patient’s perspective. Launched in October 2020, the PPP module highlighted the role of radiographers in various clinical settings and was redesigned based on a patient’s journey upon admission to the Emergency Department (ED). Students were presented with case studies, re-enactments and real-life interviews with standardised patients. This helped them familiarise with the various stations in the ED, such as resuscitation bays, triage, nursing stations, and observation bays, as well as cultivate empathy for their patients.
The Distance Augmented Real-time Training (DART) programme was introduced during the Circuit Breaker to help medical students from NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and LKCMedicine, continue with their clinic-based modules remotely, during their ophthalmology rotations. Developed by Associate Professor Yip Chee Chew, Education Director (Education Development Office), Yishun Health, DART used a combination of teaching methods, underpinned by learning theory, to help medical students practise basic eye examination skills. The DART module comprised two parts: Self Directed e-Learning and Face-to-Face teaching. Self-Directed e-Learning sessions imparted knowledge through instructional videos and audio-guided mental rehearsals of the eye examination steps, and assessment of procedural knowledge. The second part required students to demonstrate the techniques on a ‘standardised patient’ such as a family member, during a face-to-face teaching session over Zoom. Timely corrective feedback was given by their peers and faculty to help improve the students’ performance.
Recognising that digital literacy is essential for designing and facilitating online learning, NHG College conducted eight ‘Tech Tool Series’ workshops that equipped 105 NHG educators and colleagues with the skills and tools to strengthen digital literacy. Additionally, ‘Tech Tool Series’ guides and micro learning courses were launched on NHG eLEARN in the first quarter of 2021 to encourage educators and staff to create engaging online learning materials. NHG College also organised a series of Health Professions Education (HPE) webinars that showcased the use of technology to enhance learning and teaching. The webinars saw some 630 attendees across four sessions. Two e-learning modules, Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning and Gamification in Healthcare, were made available to NHG staff.
In conjunction with Singapore’s approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine in December 2020, the HOMER (Health Outcomes and Medical Education Research) team worked closely with NHG Group Research and Group Corporate Communications to implement a study to examine vaccine hesitancy and vaccination concerns among healthcare workers.
An online questionnaire was disseminated to all NHG Staff, which focused on their willingness to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, perceptions on the risk of COVID-19 infections, awareness and concerns about COVID-19 vaccines, previous experience with vaccinations, and perceived professional and public health responsibilities. The subsequent roll-out of educational and publicity materials was based on the results of the study to address misinformation on and allay fears of COVID-19 vaccines. The findings were also used by the Temasek Foundation to develop public education materials on COVID-19 vaccination.
This study sought to understand the drivers of COVID-19 transmission by constructing an ecological network to examine the structure of relationships between migrant worker dormitory locations, employers, and the rise in infections. It aimed to help policymakers make informed decisions on the deployment of resources for testing and intervention, as well as to formulate housing policies that fortify the population against the spread of diseases. The ecological network enabled HOMER researchers to demonstrate a method to stratify the risks of migrant workers’ living locations, employers, and work locations. The study received a National Medical Research Council grant to undertake further work to bolster pandemic preparedness.
The HOMER team designed a multilingual survey to understand health-seeking behaviours of the migrant workers in the context of the transition to RMCs. The survey collected anonymous findings over one month from thousands of migrant workers residing in dormitories. The findings were presented to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and took into account the cultural sensitivities of migrant workers, especially in the provision of care to those who experienced acute respiratory infection symptoms.