COVID-19 Guidelines

*BEFORE BOOKING A COURSE PLEASE COMPLETE OUR COVID-19 DECLARATION

 

Dec. 12,2020 Update: We are still running course and following all public health measures and guidance of Heart and Stroke in-person training guidelines.  We are limiting our class sizes to maximum 5 people.  We will run classes if there is at least 1 registrant.  We understand people still need valid certification so no classes will be cancelled. Some workplaces have been allowed to just complete the "online course" for the time being. We offer this by Blended learning or Virtual learning.  However, please be aware this is not a full certification and just temporary.  Once the skills evaluation is completed, as per program standards and OHS requirements, you will receive the full certification.    

Update:  Standard First Aid+ CPR/AED certifications that have an expiry between March 1 and December 31, 2020 are able to attend a recertification course past date of expiry - course must be taken by January 31, 2021. You are required to keep your expired certificates as proof. Any OH&S officers have the option to accept expired certificates.

 

K Squared is committed to the safety of you and our staff during our Courses.  We are following guidelines set by Federal, Provincial and Municipal Guidelines.  We are also making sure we are going through in-person training courses as expected by the organization’s program we are running. The following part is from the Heart and Stroke:

 

COVID-19 Protocols
Updated: July 13, 2020

Heart & Stroke has created Guidelines for In-Person Training to help support you in delivering safe, quality education. 

For the safety of yourself, your students and the community, training should follow provincial loosening of COVID-19 restrictions. We ask that instructors consult their Provincial Governments and public health authorities to make appropriate determinations about the phase their province is in and what programs can be taught safely. 

It is important to note that guidance is rapidly changing, and instructors may still need to cancel a course after it has been scheduled for safety if they are directed to do so by municipal, provincial, or federal governing bodies and authorities. 

The following principles drive Heart & Stroke's Guidelines for In-Person Training:

  • Safety of instructors and participants (and support staff where it might apply).

  • Safety of the public where trained public providers substantially improve 'willingness to act' in a cardiac arrest and improve survival.

  • Improved care for cardiac arrest victims cared for by healthcare providers through better CPR and advanced pre/intra and post-resuscitation care.

As of June 16, 2020, Heart & Stroke's guidance for training is:

  1. Where feasible, continue to take advantage of the grace periods provided to defer in-person training. Grace periods are in effect until October 31, 2020

  2. Where training is required, and you have internet access, please utilize Blended Learning options for BLS or Interim Training Courses for BLS, ACLS & PALS for the cognitive portion of courses as your first teaching option. This will help minimize the person to person exposure. 

  3. Lastly, where permissible by municipal, provincial, and federal legislation or regulation, deliver (a) Part 2 – Skills for Interim Training/Interim Self-Directed Learning or (b) in-classroom courses in alignment with Heart & Stroke Guidelines for In-Person Training and mandatory guidelines from public health and other governing authorities. If you cannot deliver in-person training that meets these guidelines, then for the safety of everyone, we recommend postponing training. Part 2 – Skills training will become available in the first half of July.


 

Heart & Stroke Guidelines for In-Person Training

Heart & Stroke understands that some of the guidance may differ between training taking place in a health care institution versus in the community. If training in a health care facility, please utilize resources and work collaboratively with infection control, and environmental services to understand specific site requirements as they may differ or be stricter than provincial, federal, or municipal requirements. If training publicly, we ask that you strive to accommodate participants and prioritize health, safety, and public health practices.


Skills

  • Instructors and participants must wear gloves and facemasks during all skill practices and assessment scenarios. Gloves should be changed frequently and may not be reused. When gloves are changed, a >60% alcohol or 70% isopropanol-based hand gel or handwashing must take place each time.

  • Throughout the pandemic, only ventilations with bag-masks should take place during training.

    • Participants will not be required to practice mouth to mouth breaths or breaths with a pocket mask. 

    • To ensure learning, participants should watch face shield and pocket mask training videos. 

    • For skills practice with a pocket mask, participants should simulate breathing into the pocket mask by saying "breath."

    • A demonstration from the instructor will help with learning. 

    • To practice, the skill of creating a seal between the mask and face instructor should emphasize bag-mask practice. 

  • Bag-masks should be used when practicing two-rescuer skills, during BLS, ACLS/ACLS Ep and PALS/PEARS courses, and participants should wear gloves and clean bag-masks between practices with a >60% alcohol or 70% isopropanol-based solution. 

  • If participants choose to ventilate using their pocket mask, they must use a new or sanitized pocket mask with a single-use one-way valve (one-way valves must be disposed after each participant and not cleaned).

    • Participants should keep their pocket mask with them throughout the course.

  • For Resuscitation and First Aid classes, skills should be practiced and/or demonstrated using mannequins or other inanimate training aids. Where 2 m is not possible for skill practices, facemasks and gloves should be worn. Considerations can be made for people who live in the same household.

  • At the discretion of an instructor, or training site, additional PPE may be utilized for both instructor and participants.

  • If possible, for 2 rescuer CPR, team dynamics and Megacodes have 1 participant per station with their own mannequin, equipment and AED. Have participants work as a team and pretend they are all working on the same mannequin. When the instructor says switch, the participants will stay at their station, but switch roles. This will practice skills and communication between participants while keeping a safe distance. 

  • Keep the same teams for group practices throughout the training (e.g. 2 rescuer CPR, Megacodes, team dynamics). Have participants try different roles.

  • Skills must be practiced with disposable gloves that can be changed after each practice and testing station (S M L XL).

Ratios

  • Class sizes (including instructors) must comply with public health guidance and legislation for public gatherings in the jurisdiction where the training takes place. This may mean that class ratios are less than the standard allowance, while physical distancing measures are in place. 

  • Avoid multiple instructors or co-teaching. 


Before Training

  • Understand your municipal, provincial, and federal requirements as an employee delivering training as part of your employment, or requirements and responsibilities as a business owner or sole proprietor offering training as part of your business.

  • Develop and implement written policies and procedures to address COVID-19 using the guidance of your municipal, provincial, and federal government, employer, public health authority and Heart & Stroke. 

Masks

  • Heart & Stroke recommends instructors and participants should wear a mask or face covering when physical distancing cannot be adhered to during practice and testing. 

    • For additional details on the type or grade of masks required, instructors should review and follow the advice or policy set by federal, provincial, municipal or institutional/organizational bodies.

    • During lectures and other practice, while physical distancing is maintained, facemasks are recommended.

    • Institutional facemask policies might include medical facemasks. 

Registration

  • Instructors must have a cancellation policy and must communicate this policy clearly to their participants.

  • Inform your prospective course participants of the measures you are putting in place to protect their health and safety during the training, including your equipment setup, cleaning, and teardown protocols.

 

 

Prescreening

  • Use the Government of Canada self-assessment tool for screenings. 

  • Conduct a pre-screening of all participants the day before class.  

    • If participants answer "yes" to any of the questions, they must reschedule their training. 

  • Conduct a screening of all participants at the door. 

    • If participants answer "yes" to any of the questions, they may not enter the classroom and must reschedule their training. 

Room Setup

  • Training rooms should have a notice telling participants who are ill or showing signs of COVID-19 not to enter the class. Participants must contact the instructor over the phone or email to reschedule their training. 

  • Easy, visible access to sanitization or handwashing stations must be provided near the door of the classroom and by all training stations. 

  • Ensure the classroom has space for physical distancing for lectures. When able, physical distance as much as possible for hands-on practice; this might not be possible for BLS, ACLS or PALS.

  • Ensure the classroom and all classroom contents are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized as per public health/facility infection control guidelines.

  • Choose a training room that is well ventilated. 

Equipment setup and teardown 

  • Wear gloves and a facemask while setting up equipment. Instructors must wash hands with soap and water or use a >60% alcohol or 70% isopropanol-based hand gel between each equipment item set up.

  • Place each mannequin, or at minimum mannequin head/torso, and any other sanitized training equipment individually into a clean, clear, large plastic bag until ready for use by participants.

  • If mannequins have clothing, these could be removed before the course to aid in cleaning. For example, instead of the infant wearing cloth underwear, they could have disposable diapers.

  • Direct participants to return their used training equipment back into the clear plastic bags at the end of the course.

  • Instructors must wear gloves and a facemask before lung removal and mannequin decontamination at the end of each section or course.

  • Dispose of all used disposable materials into a sealed bag, including their PPE used in the teardown of course and equipment.

 

 

Classroom training equipment protocols

  • Ensure compliance of the Instructor Resource for Resuscitation Programs (IRRP), chapter about safety practices. 

  • Instructors must provide participants with disposable gloves that can be changed after each practice and testing station (S M L XL).

  • Instructors must decontaminate the mannequins and all non-disposable equipment using a >60% alcohol or 70% isopropanol-based solution after each course participant practices or tests on the equipment. 

    • Please review your mannequin manufacturer's website. They may have specific guidelines on cleaning and disinfecting during the pandemic.

  • Each course participant must be provided with a new or sanitized pocket mask and a new one-way valve when practicing one-rescuer skills. Pocket masks may not be shared during the course. Please review IRRP section 3.4.3 – 3.4.4 on pages 45 – 47 for helpful information about decontamination procedures. 

  • It is recommended that mannequin and equipment to participant ratio is 1:1 wherever possible, with additional mannequins and equipment for instructor demonstrations. Where this is not possible, all shared equipment must be sanitized as per the IRRP.

  • All teaching aids such as auto-injectors, monitor defibrillators, and AED trainers must be cleaned and disinfected after each user has handled the item and before storage.

  • Each candidate must have a source of soap and water to wash between each practice or use a >60% alcohol or 70% isopropanol-based hand gel. 

  • Use a disposable chest covering rather than a t-shirt or clothing over the mannequin for team exercises like team dynamics.

  • Transportation and storage of equipment

  • Mannequins should not be stored with used (dirty) lungs. Do not place contaminated training aids into your clean carrying bags – this will create contamination. Bring a separate bag to transport the contaminated training aids to your cleaning space. If this receptacle is reused, it must also be cleaned after each use. 

  • Wait until training aids are thoroughly dry following decontamination before storing in your carrying bags. 

  • Store training aids in a cool, dry location to prevent mildew. 

  • Storage bins, cabinets, and bags should be wiped down or washed often. Refer to IRRP section 3.4.3 – 3.4.4 on pages 45 – 47 for information on creating a decontamination kit for wipe down. 

 

 

 

Classroom set up 

  • Follow spacing required for physical distancing.

    • Mannequins should be spaced at least 2 meters apart during training with markings on the floor, depending on skill. This might not be possible for all BLS, ACLS and PALS skills practice or testing.  

  • Follow municipal and provincial requirements for group gatherings.

  • When participants are practicing 2 rescuer CPR, or during other group activities, instructors should ensure other participants are 2 m apart.

  • Instructors and participants must wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a >60% alcohol or 70% isopropanol-based hand gel before and after the course, and before and after snack or meal breaks or anytime they leave and return to the classroom.

Closing

Heart & Stroke requires all participants receiving a course completion card to meet all learning objectives, as outlined in each discipline's Instructor Manual. No other skill component can be removed from training or its delivery method because they are all part of the certification. Thank you in supporting the integrity of training and the ability of the provider to respond to cardiac arrests. 
 

Resources:

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