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COVID-19 health and safety


​In compliance with the guidelines established by WorkSafe BC, BCCNM has put the following protocols in place for the safety of exam candidates and BCCNM employees. We will continue to refine and adjust accordingly as public health guidelines evolve.

Day of the exam: What to expect

The following points outline what candidates can expect on exam day. For more detailed information on specific health and safety protocols, see below.

  • When candidates arrive at Children's Hospital Ambulatory Care Building (ACB), they will be provided with a mask and hand sanitizer. All candidates must use the mask provided. Face shields are available upon request.
  • Signage will direct candidates to the registration table, where candidates will be asked to provide their signed COVID-19 Health and Safety Policy/Health Assessment​ and liability waiver. Paper copies will also be available onsite.
  • Following registration, the candidate will be escorted to their candidate orientation area.
  • Bottled water will be provided. Personal water bottles are not permitted.  
  • Hand sanitizer and replacement masks will be available by request. During the exam, candidates will be director to follow one-way traffic flow. 

  • High-touch areas will be sanitized between each candidate. 

 Health and safety protocols

Masks are mandatory

​To adequately protect the health and safety of all individuals, face masks are mandatory for candidates and all BCCNM employees.

  • Homemade masks can be worn to the site but candidates will be provided personal protective equipment (PPE) by exam staff and are expected to wear what is provided. 
  • Candidates will be provided with a disposable mask during orientation and a replacement during the break.
  • Additional masks will be available through support staff if a candidate’s mask becomes soiled during the round.
  • Candidates will have the option of wearing a face shield.
  • Gloves will be available for physical exam stations and are expected to be worn.
Physical distancing
  • ​To accommodate physical distancing requirements and limit unnecessary exposure to groups of staff, BCCNM requires separate areas for orientation and breaks for each group of candidates, examiners, support staff, and standardized patients.
  • To ensure a one-way flow of people-traffic, staff will direct candidates as they move through the exam site.
  • Candidates to be reminded to remain 2 meters away from one another when registering at the registration table and for the duration of the exam.
COVID-19 health and safety policy and liability waiver
  • ​Candidates are expected to review and s​ubmi​t signed copies of the COVID-19 health and safety policy/Health assessment form, and the liability waiver upon registration. 
  • Candidates are asked to review and sign the policy/health assessment on the day of the exam, prior to arriving at the exam location. Hardcopies will be available upon registration for those that do not have access to a printer. 
  • BCCNM reserves the right to deny entry to any candidate based on their form responses.
  • Candidates are encouraged to inform BCCNM if they are experiencing any symptoms associated with COVID-19. Do not come to the testing location if you are experiencing symptoms. ​
  • Candidates may withdraw and request a refund or defer to a later exam with no penalty if it is in relation to COVID-19. 
  • To request a refund or deferral please contact christy.kivari@bccnm.ca​
Scenario changes

​Candidate orientation will include messaging that none of the fall OSCE cases will involve a COVID diagnosis. Further changes will include:

  • Scenarios with a physical exam will require standardized patients (SPs) to wear a face shield as well as a mask.
  • For physical exams of Head, Ears, Eyes, Nose and Throat (HEENT), specific checklist items related to HEENT assessment have been removed from all checklist. Candidates may inform examiner if they believe one of these assessments would be required. The examiner will provide information or redirect you as required by the station. 
  • For scenarios with children, an adult is usually in the room. For this exam we have hired an older SP to portray a child, and eliminated the adult in the room. The SP has all the information from both original roles. Candidates will be informed at orientation that certain stations (i.e. elderly and child clients) the SP may not be representative of the age stated on the client information. The candidate should assume that the SP is the stated age in the client information.

Exam deferral or withdrawal due to illness
  • At any time prior to the exam, candidates may withdraw and request a refund or defer to a later with no penalty if it is in relation to COVID-19 or symptoms associated with COVID-19.
  • BCCNM will actively screen for health status in order to ensure a safe working environment for all exam staff and candidates.
  • Do not come to the testing location if you are experiencing symptoms. 
  •  The health assessment form that candidates must complete and submit on the day of the exam will confirm health status prior to entering. We reserve the right to deny entry to any candidate based on their form.​
  • To request a refund or a deferral, please contact Christy.Kivari@bccnm.ca.  ​
Travel requirements
​​ ​
  • Candidates may also be traveling from outside of the Lower Mainland. Candidates traveling internationally are required to follow the Public Health Office's guidelines and follow the mandated 14-day isolation period upon arrival to BC. 
  • All participants will be required to complete a health assessment form prior to entering the OSCE site to confirm that they have not been outside of Canada in the past 14 days.
Hygiene and cleaning

​BCCNM books the Ambulatory Care Building at BC Children’s and Women’s Hospital campus to administer the OSCE. In addition to this regular professional cleaning at the conclusion of the exam, BCCNM will operationalize the following changes:

  • All rooms would be set up and sanitized on prep day. After day 1 has completed all rooms would be sanitized again. At the conclusion of day 2 the site would be sanitized a final time. 
  • Disinfecting cleaning wipes will be placed in each exam room and throughout the facility.
  • All contractors and candidates will be trained in the safety precautions required by WorkSafeBC.
  • The time between candidates has been increased by one minute each to facilitate a wipe-down of all high-touch equipment. We have developed a customized list of these high touch areas for each scenario in order to direct cleaning attention to these spots and maximize efficiency between candidates. During dry runs on the morning of the exam, the standardized patient (SP), examiner and support staff will make a station-specific plan of who is responsible for sanitizing each high-touch surface between each candidate and after each round.
  • Bed linens (when required) in the assessment room will be changed when the SP has completed their portrayal for the day. Any station with rotating SPs, will have their own set of linens.
  • SP training and examiner orientation has been expanded to emphasize the importance of hand hygiene, including identifying all locations where hand sanitizer and hand washing stations are available. Hand sanitizer has always been and will continue to be included in the scenario set-up checklist.
  • During exam scenarios, examiners will be directed to intervene if an exam candidate does not sanitize their hands upon entering the exam room. This is for the safety of the SP. Hand sanitizing is not included in OSCE scoring; candidates will not be penalized if they need to be reminded to use hand sanitizer.

Catering

  • Breakfast catering for exam staff will be eliminated and staff will be provided a stipend to bring their own breakfast on site.
  • Coffee and tea service will also be eliminated.
  • Single use bottled water, pop and juice will continue to be offered to all exam staff and candidates.
  • Single prepacked snacks will be made available.
  • The catered lunch buffet will be replaced with individual boxed lunches.
  • Reusable mugs or water bottles will not be allowed on site.​
Managing a positive COVID-19 case
  • ​BCCNM will maintain administrative tracking of candidate-exam staff interactions and exam staff schedules to support contact tracing, if needed at any time. 
  • If we are alerted to, or made aware of, a positive COVID-19 test from a staff member or candidate, we will review the situation in detail as this will require appropriate notification of possible contact with all affected parties (and a possible quarantine period to follow for self-monitoring). ​