Since the outbreak began, polytechnics have responded – fast-tracking courses and expediting graduation for frontline healthcare workers, donating life-saving equipment to local hospitals and healthcare facilities, and supporting students’ mental and physical health. This page offers a snapshot of what Canada’s polytechnics are doing.
Education & Training
FAST-TRACK EDUCATION COURSE FOR FRONTLINE WORKERS
The British Columbia Institute of Technology has created an online, self-directed fast-track education course to help frontline registered nurses and healthcare providers provide critically-needed support to patients with COVID-19.
RESPIRATORY STUDENTS TO WORK WITH COVID-19 PATIENTS
Fanshawe’s Respiratory Therapy program and the College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario have worked together to allow the College’s 43 third-year students to begin putting their skills to work immediately during the COVID-19 pandemic.
STUDENTS JOIN PUBLIC HEALTH EFFORTS DURING COVID-19
At Red River College, 14 students in the Health Information Management program have responded to a call from Manitoba Health’s Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit and are now employed to assist with vital record-keeping and tracking related to the spread of the disease.
Financial Supports for Students
UNPRECEDENTED NEED FOR SUPPORT
The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology is reaching out to donors and alumni to secure financial supports for students in need as a result of the pandemic.
STUDENT EMERGENCY FUND
Saskatchewan Polytechnic is supporting students facing unforeseen financial obstacles, either because they lost part-time employment or are facing new costs because of the transition to online learning.
PARTNERING TO HELP STUDENTS
Between March 25 and April 3, Humber and its student association provided more than $636,000 in emergency financial relief to students from a fund of more than $1.1 million.
Equipment & Expertise
DONATION OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT TO LOCAL HOSPITALS
Seneca College’s School of Nursing and the Animal Health Centre boxed a couple of thousand pounds of personal protective equipment and disinfection supplies for a regional health centre where Seneca’s nursing students often do their placements. The donation also included two ventilators.
EQUIPMENT DONATION TO ALBERTA HEALTH SERVICES
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology anticipated the need from local health authorities and prepared equipment for clinical use before the request came in. NAIT has since donated 24 ventilators to Alberta Health Services.
EQUIPMENT DONATION WORTH $2 MILLION FOR LOCAL HOSPITALS
Conestoga has provided $2M worth of N95 masks, personal protective equipment, ventilators, hospital and long-term care beds, stretchers, mattresses and a variety of care equipment to local hospitals.
Health & Well-being
MANAGING STRESSORS DURING ISOLATION
George Brown counsellors have compiled a series of health and wellness tips for students and staff alike. Subjects include reducing stress, creating healthy routines and balancing childcare commitments.
At Sheridan, students are encouraged to incorporate self-care and wellness practices to cope with emotions during the COVID-19 outbreak. Physical and mental health resources have been gathered and shared.
HOLISTIC SUPPORTS FOR STUDENTS
Kwantlen Polytechnic University offers students a holistic understanding of health and wellness, including resources that address physical, financial, spiritual, mental, social and emotional well-being.
REDIRECTING PERISHABLE FOOD TO THOSE IN NEED THROUGH CALGARY’S LEFTOVERS FOUNDATION
The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology donated 10,000 pounds of perishable items–from most types of fresh produce to dairy, eggs, cheese and more to Calgary’s Leftovers Foundation to help feed vulnerable people in the city.
PRACTICAL RELIEF EFFORTS
Kwantlen Polytechnic University instructors wanted to help ease the pain and discomfort for doctors and nurses wearing masks for prolonged periods of time. They produced 1,000 “ear savers” for healthcare professionals at Vancouver General Hospital.
MOBILIZING 3D PRINTERS TO MANUFACTURE PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
Algonquin College has mobilized their 3D printers to manufacture personal protective equipment, including face shields, for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. They are helping Hacking Health Ottawa recruit others with 3D printing capabilities to do the same.