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COVID-19 Information for registrars, supervisors and training posts

COVID-19 Information for registrars, supervisors and training posts

This FAQ is information for registrars, supervisors and training posts regarding the impact of COVID-19 on education and training.

As we adjust to the “new normal” we will continue to regularly review and update these FAQs.

How do I manage the COVID-19 outbreak in the training post?

JCU GP Training advises registrars and PEP participants to follow safe infection control practices and to seek advice from their supervisors and practice managers or employer regarding the management of COVID-19 in their training post.

Supervisors and training post staff, as well as PEP participants without supervisors should refer to local up to date resources regarding COVID-19 which includes, but is not limited to Queensland Health information, your local Public Health Unit (PHU) or PHN (HealthPathways), ACRRM and RACGP updates, and your Medical Defence Organisation (MDO).

We have also collated several resources here

We strongly recommend that you have the annual influenza immunisation and suggest that you check that all your other immunisations are up to date.

How do I conduct telehealth consultations?

Telehealth consultations require consideration of several additional issues. Registrars undertaking these consultations should ensure that they meet Australian privacy legislation and medico-legal requirements. Your supervisor must be available to provide advice for you during teleconsultations. If you are doing telehealth consultations exclusively or from your home, please contact your local training office to discuss your situation and complete a Telehealth Supervision Plan.

There are several resources about managing telehealth consultations in the JCU GP Training Resources portal.

What happens if I am unwell?

There is a major shift in attitude to and expectations for working when unwell. Whereas previously many of us would “soldier on” if we had an URTI, we must now not attend work if we are unwell.

Please take leave if you develop URTI or flu like symptoms, and do not return to work until fully recovered.  Note that if you have an URTI or flu like symptoms you meet the current COVID-19 testing criteria and must seek advice from your local GP or public health unit on where to get tested.

We strongly recommend that you have the annual influenza immunisation and suggest that you check that all your other immunisations are up to date.

If you need to take time off:

Registrars: Once you have notified your training post that you need to be off work, please let your local JCU office as soon as feasible, and complete a leave form.

Supervisors:  If you are going to be off work, please ensure that your registrar’s have access to suitable supervision in your absence. If this is going to be difficult, please contact your local office as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

What happens if I am asked to go into quarantine following a confirmed COVID-19 contact?

Registrars:  Please follow the quarantine rules. If you can, use this time to study (if you are sitting exams in the future) or catch up on any reading/journal articles you have been meaning to or any alternate education available from JCU GP Training  (available in the MyJCUGP Resources Portal).

If you are quarantined, please notify your local JCU office. If you are able to work from home, including doing telehealth consults, this can be counted as training time. Please see “How do I conduct telehealth consultations?” above.

Supervisors: Please follow the quarantine rules. If you are supervising a registrar and are able to do so by phone, please continue to supervise, in conjunction with other doctors who are on-site in your practice. Please confirm the acceptability of arrangements for phone supervision with your registrar during this period. This is particularly important if there are periods of time when no other doctors are on site to provide support to the registrar.

If your quarantining will mean your registrar does not have the requisite on-site supervision, please let JCU know by completing the supervisor leave form. We will work with you to try to find suitable alternative arrangements for supervisory cover.

Will time spent doing telehealth consultations count towards my training?

Yes, it will, for a period of up to 4 weeks, provided you have a Telehealth Supervision Plan in place. There needs to be suitable supervisory arrangements in place for Registrars to safely deliver this form of care, and this includes provision for the patient to be examined if required, as well as for investigations and prescriptions provided. It must also meet ACRRM and RACGP telehealth standards.  Please contact your local JCU office if you have any queries.

Please note that doing telehealth only for an extended period of time does not meet training requirements, as it does not meet the standards required for provision of comprehensive primary care.  If you are in this position, please contact your local JCU office as soon as possible to discuss your situation.

What about JCU GP Training education sessions?

All face to face education sessions have been cancelled, postponed or changed to an online format.

Registrars: Half Day Release education sessions have been changed to an online format. Please contact your local node office for details on how these sessions are running in your area.

Your attendance will be counted towards your mandatory education hours.

There is a suite of online learning resources available in the MyJCUGP resources portal for you to use for self- directed learning. Keep a record of the ones that you do and these will count towards your education hours.

Supervisors: All supervisor workshops have been postponed.  The mandatory annual requirement for supervisor education will not apply this year. 

The Certificate in Clinical Supervision will not be delivered in a face-to-face format in 2020. The JCU GP Education Committee is currently working on an online version that we hope to make available in the second half of the year.

There will also be a series of webinars commencing 26th May 2020. Details about these sessions will be circulated shortly.

Are External Clinical Teaching Visits (ECTs) and in-practice Direct Observation (DO) still going to happen?

ECT visits will be recommencing shortly. Your local office will be in touch with you to make arrangements for this.

We are implementing Tele- ECT visits where appropriate, with a visitor ‘zooming in’ to observe your consultations.  Details about a tele- ECT visit will be discussed with you prior to one being scheduled.

What about College exams?

ACRRM: Please monitor the ACRRM webpage for any updates in relation to College exams

RACGP:  On 7th May 2020, RACGP announced that the format of the 2020.1 and 2020.2 OSCE would be changing to a COVID-19-friendly clinical exam in November 2020 and then a new face-to-face clinical exam in March 2021.  Both exams will count towards Fellowship requirements, in the same way the OSCE did  Further details on the content, format, dates, costs and other relevant information to be released by RACGP within the coming weeks. The wait for more information is no doubt causing concern for some registrars.  Please know that we are in regular contact with RACGP and as soon as we are notified of the format of these exams, our priority will be to develop a clinical assessment support plan for all our eligible to enrol registrars.   This framework for our assessment plan will include a combination of zoom webinars, online modules and local node sessions.

Please refer to the RACGP COVID-19 update page for more information:  https://www.racgp.org.au/coronavirus/gpit

I am running out of training time!

No AGPT registrar will be negatively impacted by this. If you will be running out of training time prior to the next set of exams, please contact your local JCU office to discuss further. You will be granted an extension of your training time if you have been impacted by the changes to exams due to COVID-19.

Who else can I speak to?

We understand that this may be a difficult time for health professionals on the front line. Please contact one of the following JCU GP Training staff members with any questions or concerns.

Registrars: Local Medical Educator or Team Leader, Registrar Liaison Officer

PEP ParticipantsPEP Coordinator

SupervisorsSenior Fellow, local Medical Educator or Team Leader

Practice Managers/Employers:  Local Team Leader, Practice Support Officer

COVID-19 Resource

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