Professional Course

Safe Surgical Care: Strategies During a Pandemic

edX, Online
5 weeks
Next course start
Start anytime See details
Self-paced Online
5 weeks
Next course start
Start anytime See details
Self-paced Online
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Course description

Safe Surgical Care: Strategies During a Pandemic

This fully online course is intended to prepare surgical care providers to deliver surgical care during a pandemic, while protecting their patients, their colleagues, themselves and their families from potential infection. The course will review aspects of a pandemic that are relevant to surgical providers, different timelines of a pandemic, how provision of surgical care needs to change during these timeframes, and how to protect themselves and others from infection during the pandemic.

Surgical services are an essential part of healthcare systems. In times of pandemics, healthcare systems can be disrupted and overwhelmed, while all resources are redirected to treatment of those infected by the pandemic organism. Consequently, there needs to be a plan in place to protect essential surgical services, so that patients who require urgent and life-saving surgical care do not suffer collaterally from the impact of the pandemic.

Additionally, operating rooms are high-risk environments for the transmission of infectious diseases to healthcare workers. With the progression of the pandemic, when resources become scarce, anxiety and stress levels are high; as prevalence of the disease increases exponentially, the stress on the surgical system will rise similarly and the safe maintenance of essential surgical services will be threatened.

This course aims to inform surgical teams of the risk during pandemics, prepare them to respond appropriately, give them tools to ensure their safety, build pathways to maintain specific surgical services and anticipate and mitigate long term impacts.

Upcoming start dates

1 start date available

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  • Self-paced Online
  • Online
  • English

Who should attend?



Training content

This course is delivered in an online format. It can be completed at the surgical provider's own pace. It is available on a consistent and permanent basis such that material can be reviewed if needed in the future. For convenience, the course has been organized into five modules. Each module will consist of didactic content, expert podcast interviews, a recorded lecture and a quiz. You will have the opportunity to participate in discussion postings, which will be moderated weekly by a course instructor.

Module 1: What a Surgical Provider Should Know about Pandemics

Module 2: Surgical Surge Response for Pandemics (Content available on May 5, 2020)

Module 3: Protection of Surgical Healthcare Workers (Content available on May 12, 2020)

Module 4: Defining and Maintaining Essential Services (Content available on May 19, 2020)

Module 5: Global Impact and Ethical Considerations (Content available on May 26, 2020)

Clinician interviews will be used that are particularly relevant to provision of different aspects of surgical care during a pandemic.

The instructors are available on an ad hoc basis through email, but may take some time to respond given responsibilities for provision of clinical care.

It is expected to take approximately 4 hours per week to review all the material, depending on time spent on additional readings.

Course delivery details

This course is offered through University of British Columbia, a partner institute of EdX.

3-4 hours per week

Certification / Credits

What you'll learn

Upon successful completion of this course the learner will be able to:

  • Apply principles of the epidemiology and pathophysiology of pandemics when deciding on provision of surgical care services
  • Recognize the implications of the relevant factors related to the infectious organism: mode of transmission, incubation period, infectiousness, symptomatology
  • Plan the approach to generation of a surge response to a pandemic, in both high and low resource settings
  • Create an appropriate protocol for protection of healthcare workers
  • Design pathways for maintenance of access to specific essential surgical services
  • Identify the relevant local, national and international key actors in the pandemic response
  • Demonstrate leadership in the surgical response to pandemics
  • Develop processes of care to mitigate consequences of pandemics on surgical systems

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