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Placement During COVID-19 FAQs

Yes, nursing practice placements are taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Central Placement Office is working to secure practice placements for students. You will be expected to sign a COVID-19 waiver prior to starting your placement. The waiver ensures that you have a chance to discuss the risks that could be associated with attending a nursing practice placement during the pandemic. For questions related to the waiver please contact your clinical instructor, faculty advisor or course lead.

The Ontario Provincial government is responsible for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. The COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out in a three phase plan, external link, opens in new window that determines eligibility of individuals in priority groups and geographical locations. PDF fileThe Ministry of Health guidance on Health Care Worker Prioritization, external link, opens in new window identifies healthcare workers as a phase one priority group, which includes students and trainees. Note: The unexpected delays and supply shortage of the vaccine will impact the timeline and rollout to student groups and will vary by hospitals. You will receive more information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out and process at your placement.

If you receive the COVID-19 vaccine, please ensure that you upload proof of immunization to HSPNet, external link, opens in new window.

Students attending nursing placements are considered guests at the placement agency. Students are expected to adhere to all the policies and requirements that the placement agency has in place for students. Some placement agencies have implemented restrictions that prevent both staff and students from working in multiple locations, as a result of legislative mandates. These restrictions can be implemented in any healthcare facility.

We recommend that you do not accept employment when completing your nursing placement. The pandemic has created an environment in which health care policies and guidelines are changing rapidly. We recognize that this recommendation may cause financial hardships to students. Should you need to discuss financial aid options please contact Ryerson’s Student Financial Assistance Office for options.

Some placements may request that you self-isolate prior to starting your nursing placement for the following reasons:

  • Recently travelled outside of Canada
  • Have COVID-19 symptoms
  • Have been exposed to COVID-19
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Have been working/volunteering  in an outbreak or COVID-19 clinical setting 

The CPO will provide you with specific agency requirements prior to the start of your placement. You should also adhere to any requirements specific to self-isolation while completing your placement.

Please review the PDF fileOntario Public Health COVID-19 Factsheet - How to Self-Isolate, external link, opens in new window

As the pandemic evolves, COVID-19 positive patients are being admitted to hospitals in almost all clinical areas across hospitals and long-term care homes. As a result, all students will be expected to provide care to patients either under investigation and/or COVID positive.

This decision has been made based on the evolving knowledge of COVID-19 transmission, assessment, and treatment that has developed over the last several months. In addition, partner agencies have an adequate supply of PPE for student use along with a robust orientation program to ensure student safety.

You are encouraged to discuss any concerns or strategies with your clinical instructor or faculty advisor to ensure you are able to receive a nursing placement experience that will allow you to meet course outcomes.

This is a term used in hospitals to identify patients that are at risk for COVID-19. The prevalence of community spread of COVID-19 means that many patients in the placement setting will be termed as a patient/person under investigation, including those awaiting lab results.

This status refers to patients who have recovered from COVID-19, are no longer infectious and precautions have been discontinued by the Infection Prevention and Control team.

Should an outbreak occur while you are in placement, the placement agency and/or occupational health department will inform you of their policies and next steps. This may include testing for COVID-19 and/or temporarily pausing your placement for a period of time. If you are in a preceptored placement, please ensure that you notify your faculty advisor.

Please review the Public Health Ontario ‘About Coronavirus (COVID-19), external link, opens in new window’ webpage for more information on COVID-19 symptoms.

If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms, DO NOT attend placement. Please complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool, external link, opens in new window and follow the instructions. Should you need to be tested, please go to your nearest COVID-19 assessment centre, external link, opens in new window. You should not attend placement while symptomatic.

Please ensure you inform your clinical instructor or faculty advisor and preceptor of any absences.

If you live with someone who is symptomatic and/or has tested positive for COVID-19, you are considered to be a close contact. Please ensure you follow public health instructions. Please review the PDF fileSelf-Isolation Guide for caregivers, household members and close contacts, external link, opens in new window.

We understand that this may cause concern, therefore it is important that everyone complies with public health guidelines. Please review PDF filePublic Health Ontario: Reduce Your Risk from COVID-19 guide, external link, opens in new window.

Living with a vulnerable senior or immunocompromised family member does not prevent you from attending a nursing placement. Complying with public health guidelines is important to protect you and others. Please review PDF filePublic Health Ontario: Reduce Your Risk from COVID-19 guide, external link, opens in new window.

There are no restrictions to using public transit to get to your nursing placement. It is important to adhere to the transit system’s safety measures to minimize risk. Please visit the TTC COVID-19: Staying Safe on Public Transit, external link, opens in new window and/or the GO COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Safety, external link, opens in new window websites for details.

Yes. We are experiencing a global health event and during this time, it is not uncommon for people to experience: anxiety, worry, fear and sadness; tearfulness and/or loss of interest in enjoyable activities; hopelessness, stress, or overwhelm; and difficulty concentrating and/or sleeping. These are challenging times but there are healthy ways to cope and manage our wellbeing. Please visit Ryerson’s Student Wellbeing Services for a variety of support services available to students.