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An online course helps grad students design their careers (opinion)

My desktop PC includes a bookmark to my university’s counseling center and several other placeholders. Virtual bookmarks get me through tough conversations with students about physical illness, depression and dissatisfaction with graduate education.

When a first-year Ph.D. student tells me she’s ready to drop out because she doesn’t know anyone in her department, I hit my bookmark linking her to Stony Brook University’s Counseling and Psychological Services, where options for help range from meditation drop-ins to virtual appointments. Or I might share a link to Paris Grey’s “Four Tips to Ward Off Imposter Syndrome” from Nature.

And when sixth-year Ph.D. students from the humanities appear in my Zoom platform appointments and tell me no one has ever focused on their specific career challenges, I share my screen and walk through the assessments and job-family resources from ImaginePhD.

But the tool that I’ve used most frequently over this past academic year has been a virtual curriculum that those of us in the Career Center at Stony Brook have developed. It is based on concepts from my now dog-eared book by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans, Designing Your Life, and exercises from the Designing Your Life Workbook.

Yes, this graduate student career coach still flips pages and takes notes in pen/pencil! But don’t misinterpret tactile learning with nostalgia. Career professionals are not stuck in 1984—or even 2018. We are innovators and future-of-work leaders with increasing relevance to graduate education.

The mix of virtual bookmarks and texts at my workstation are evidence of connections between career services and Stony Brook’s mission to:

  • Conduct research at the highest international standards that advance knowledge and have immediate or long-term practical significance;
  • lead the economic growth, technology and culture of the neighboring communities and region; and
  • celebrate diversity while positioning the university in the global community.

Career professionals’ pursuit of innovation aligns with the essential purposes of a university: student success and the larger goal of improving the condition of humankind. Even the most secular institutions seek to elevate and improve. After all, no university has a shield with a Latin motto of nullum profectum (no progress).

Career education is part of a bigger scaffold that supports progressive action through experimentation and research, a.k.a. graduate education. SBU’s Career Center has spent over a decade developing bridges between student development principles, experiential education practices, graduate education and students who aim to execute big ideas. Standing at the intersection of educational theory, students’ ambitions and workforce demands for graduates with refined critical thinking skills requires dexterity and a taste for agile management. Our efforts are relevant and constantly evolving.

Our Career Center’s pivot to a life-design curriculum is the most recent piece of a series of collaborations with faculty. Our standard practices of inviting faculty to meet employers—facilitating discussions between the makers of innovation (faculty) and the adopters of innovation (business)—and later preparing the SBU-trained talent (students) has made the center a credible partner in the university’s mission.

Data from various sources pointed to a demand for career services that more directly address graduate students’ needs. Our career management system, Handshake, showed increasing numbers of advanced-degree students were attending our events. Employer surveys also revealed some deficits in grad students’ communication skills. Finally, the students themselves identified their top needs in career development and planning through a campuswide survey.

And since Stony Brook’s Career Center sits within the division of student affairs, we are specifically charged to “research … the biggest challenges” students face. For the Ph.D. student, pursuing professional options outside the academy is a significant challenge; for the master’s degree candidate, the challenge is managing a three-semester shift from student to professional.

Our success at connecting graduate students to meaningful internships and employment has been well received by the faculty. In turn, the academics have started to rethink a traditional divide between the value of career services and SBU’s educational mission. Getting faculty support has marked a shift from a previously held career-agnostic approach where grad students floundered their way to career options without such support.

A new virtual course, Career and Life Design for Graduate Students, is a by-product of the Career Center’s place as a nexus between a faculty partner in the College of Engineering and Sciences, student demand, and employer need. It is also the foundational element of a larger initiative to support graduate women in STEM degree programs, funded by a National Science Foundation grant. The Career Center has made a specific effort to recruit women in STEM through a series of virtual meet-ups to promote career design.

The course has attracted 20 graduate students since we launched it in fall 2021. They include first-year master’s in social work students, second-year students in gender studies and an advanced physics Ph.D. in optics. Despite very different academic interests, students collectively responded well to tasks such as designing career alternatives, informational interviewing with professionals and rethinking assumptions about where to take their advanced skills.

This virtual course guides students through a series of modules based on Burnett and Evans’s work, supplemented by specific tasks like developing a LinkedIn account, or, for humanities graduate students in the course, learning how to develop professional contacts outside their field of study but representative of their values.

Each synchronous session features open-ended questions from the instructor to generate conversation and gain different student perspectives. The practice of dividing the 75-minute class period between direct instruction and in-class activities has spurred students to complete module-related themes each week. With video cameras off, students have identified and later reported personal values. Dedicated time off camera has also given international graduate students freedom to write deliberate responses without being concerned about verbal presentation. More than half of the students in the course are F-1 visa holders.

For the fall semester, we measured the effectiveness of course modules and instructional practices in pre- and postevaluations. Students reported gains in several areas of career readiness, especially in developing professional networks, understanding relationships between individual skills and professional career options, and articulating their skills to potential employers.

Early data also implies that course lowers barriers for SBU’s population of diverse graduate students who might lack the social capital of informal professional connections. Close to half of the students in the course are first-generation students. But after a semester, those students leave my virtual desktop with professional contacts and an evolving sense of how to systematically pursue careers both directly related as well as unrelated to their academic programs.

As of this writing, students are just days away from evaluating the course for this spring’s semester. Will some minor tweaks I have made to the course have improved its effectiveness from the fall to spring term? I’ll see what the students say and make any further needed adjustments. Like other researchers, we career center professionals constantly adapt as assessment and evaluation results suggest.

https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2022/05/02/online-course-helps-grad-students-design-their-careers-opinion

Education Resources, Inc. Releases New Online Course

Expert Educator Holly Schifsky with an Exclusive Online Offering of the Medically Complex Infant with Cardiopulmonary Compromise

BOSTON, May 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Education Resources, Inc., a leading continuing education provider for physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists, is pleased to announce the online launch of “Baby Beats and Breaths: Therapeutic Interventions for the Premature Infant with Cardiopulmonary Compromise”, taught by internationally renowned instructor, Holly Schifsky, OTR/L, CNT, NTMTC, CBIS.

Participants can register for Baby Beats and Breaths: Therapeutic Interventions for the Premature Infant with Cardiopulmonary Compromise” on ERI’s website and review ERI’s complete list of online and live webinar offerings.

This online course was previously recorded from a live webinar in January 2022. While the content remains the same, by repurposing to an online format, ERI is now able to offer this highly popular course to an even wider community of therapists who were unable to attend the original webinar. Participants can now access this exclusive online learning opportunity from the convenience or their home for $319/person. The online format includes access to the entire course and all downloadable handout materials for one year, earning 15.5 contact hours (1.55 CEUs) upon completion.

An engaging speaker and a leading expert in the field of neonatal therapy, Schifsky will guide the therapist through the cardiopulmonary implications for the premature or medically-complex infant as related to physiological stability, evolving motor control, sensory stability, and transition to oral motor skills that support feeding. Therapists will be given extensive instruction in handling and facilitation techniques by use of video demonstrations, and problem solving through case analysis.

Attendees of the January 2022 webinar had glowing reviews for Schifsky’s “Baby Beats.” Jennifer Tripoli from Illinois said, “Holly is a WEALTH of information. She provides evidenced-based information and gives therapy techniques that you can apply immediately when you return to working with patients! Highly recommend this class for anyone working with medically complex children.” Whether your primary area of practice is working with neonatal infants, or your focus is with other patient populations but you wish to expand your knowledge of neonatal therapies, this online course will give clinicians the tools needed to maximize patient outcomes for the most complex premature and medically-fragile term infants.

About Education Resources, Inc.
Education Resources, Inc. (ERI) is an accredited provider of continuing education for PTs, OTs, and SLPs. Founded in 1985 by therapists Barbara Goldfarb and Carol Loria, ERI’s mission is to provide continuing education that makes a difference for therapists and patients. Visit www.educationresourcesinc.com.

Media Contact: Kristin Reitz, ERI Marketing Coordinator – [email protected]

SOURCE Education Resources, Inc.

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/education-resources-inc-releases-new-online-course—baby-beats-and-breaths-therapeutic-interventions-for-the-premature-infant-with-cardiopulmonary-compromise-with-international-expert-holly-schifsky-301537545.html

Online course on playing the piano strikes the right chord

Years ago, my mediocre piano teacher failed to show up for my lesson, even though we were meeting at her house. I heard she did it to others too. Phooey on her. I can get the best teachers in America online, and they’re cheaper.

According to a 2020 report from Thumbtack, the average in-person piano teacher charges between $40 to $100 an hour. I just got 36 lessons for $25 from TheGreatCourses.com during one of their major sales. By using the free Chrome extension from CapitalOneShopping.com, the price dropped to $18. The equivalent from a live teacher would have cost $1,440 to $3,600.

My online teacher, Pamela Pike, won the “Outstanding Teacher Award” from Louisiana State University, among other honors. She’s fantastic. I start each digital lesson by propping my phone or tablet where I’d normally put a sheet of music. That way I can see her playing and play along with her. I can pause or rewind when necessary.

The course, “How to Play the Piano,” starts at square one. You could handle it, even if you’ve never touched a piano before. In the first lesson, you’ll improvise on the black keys while Pike plays an accompaniment. Then you’ll play an easy version of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” It’s amazing how fun piano playing is with the right teacher. At the end of lesson one, she plays an excerpt of the song you’ll play at the end of the course. It’s thrillingly advanced. But she lures you in so slowly, using numbers instead of notes at first, that you’re halfway there before you know it. TheGreatCourses.com also has guitar, violin and ukulele, among hundreds of other subjects.

CALLER ID BLUES

A reader wrote to tell me about a caller ID problem his girlfriend was having. After retiring, she got to keep her business phone, but it still displays the medical group she worked for. If this happens to you, contact your carrier and tell them you want a new display name. That’s all there is to it.

AMAZON PLANTS A TREE

I said to Alexa, “Alexa, grow a tree,” and she did. After checking with me, and asking for my voice code, she took my $1 and contributed it to the One Tree Planted organization. Amazon is donating $1 million to plant 1 million trees where fires or mines have ravaged the land, or erosion has made life difficult for salmon.

FACEBOOK BLOCKING

To block or unblock someone on Facebook, type a name in the search bar at Facebook.com or in the app. When the person’s profile comes up, tap the three vertical dots to the right of their name. Choose “block,” if you want to stop getting any messages from them. If you change your mind, click the three dots again, then “unblock.”

CAST AWAY

If you’re listening to music or watching a video on your Android phone, you can cast it to the TV by tapping the icon that looks like a little rainbow surrounded by a box. Up pops a list of places to cast to, if you have a smart TV or smart speakers such as the Google Home or an Echo device with Alexa.

WINDOWS BOOT TRICK

If your machine won’t boot into Windows, here’s something to try. Turn the machine off three times in a row, with this simple action: Each time you turn it off, hold down the power button for 10 seconds. After the third time, you should get the “Automatic Repair” screen with advanced options to enter the “Windows Recovery Environment.” More info on this from Reviewed.com. See “How to Enable Safe Mode in Windows 10 -11.”

APP HAPPY

Most people never leave the iPhone universe for Android. But Android phones are “far superior” at organizing apps and adding useful widgets, according to CNN Money. Here’s how to switch.

Search on “the Switch to Android” app by Google or go to Android.com/switch. The app prompts you to install Google Drive on your iPhone if you haven’t already. Then tap “settings” and “backup.” That way everything on your iPhone will come over to your new Android phone. Also, you’ll need to turn off FaceTime and iMessage on the iPhone so that your messages will start landing in the message app on your Android.

MUSIC MUSINGS

If you’re tired of having a boatload of CDs you never play, consider digitizing them. That makes it easy to create long playlists.

To start, you could just pop in a CD in the drive and let Windows take over. But when I did that, I ended up with a lot of music files without song titles. I prefer the free “VLC Player” from videolan.org. Launch the program and click “Media.” Then choose “open disc,” and then “audio CD.” Now click next to the word “play” and select “convert” instead from the drop-down menu. Finally, choose your music folder as the destination.

When you want to line up hours of music, go to “File Explorer” in Windows by typing it in the bottom left search bar and clicking it when it comes up. Find your music folder. Right click an album and choose “Add to VLC playlist.” Keep doing that with other albums till you have your playlist. VLC will play one album after another.

INTERNUT

Govtrack.us aims to make Congress accessible. Look up an issue and you’ll find all the bills related to it, as well as its sponsors and relative progress.

Joy Schwabach can be reached by email at [email protected].

https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2022/apr/23/online-course-on-playing-the-piano-strikes-the/

How to get into a top-ranked online master’s of public health program

BY Peter Olsen-PhillipsApril 25, 2022, 1:22 PM

A general view of The Johns Hopkins University, as seen in March 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Master’s degree programs in public health have seen a boom in interest in recent years. From 1992 to 2016, the number of applications to graduate public health programs grew more than fourfold. And that explosion of interest shows no signs of slowing down, thanks to a convergence of factors linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As news coverage has increasingly put public health officials in the limelight, many universities are simultaneously increasing their online course offerings and dropping previous standardized testing requirements. All of those factors have served to increase the size of the applicant pool. From March 2020 to March 2021, the number of applicants to graduate-level public health programs grew 40%, from 17,353 to 24,176.

The changing admissions landscape means that applicants to online master’s degree programs in public health (MPH) need to put forth a well-rounded resume and a visionary personal statement to stand out from the crowd.

“We look at applicants in a very holistic way, which means that not only are we looking at their academic background, but we are looking at their work experience,” says Moose Alperin, the director of the executive MPH program at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. “We’re looking for a personal statement and their ability to tell a compelling story of what has led them to this point in time where they want to pursue a public health degree, and what are they hoping to do with that public health degree?”

Online master’s degree programs in public health offer students the chance to learn from leading practitioners in their field, network with other students and take part in substantive research opportunities in a challenging academic environment. Here are three tips experts say will help you maximize your chance of acceptance to top programs.

1. Demonstrate applicable experience in your application

Many top MPH programs require some relevant academic or professional experience. These requirements vary by both institution and specific degree, so potential applicants should perform their due diligence ahead of time to ensure that their background fits the specific prerequisites of the program.

At Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, students in the part-time program—which can be completed online, in-person, or in a mixture of the two—must have at least two years of postbaccalaureate experience working in a health-related field, as well as coursework in biology, math and a health-related science (or a second biology course).

Don’t assume that this means only doctors and nurses need apply, however. Students accepted into the program come with a diverse range of backgrounds, says Marie Diener-West, chair of the MPH program “It could be somebody who’s [been] working in a lab for two years that’s health related. It could be a returned Peace Corps volunteer who was in a country working as a health educator, so that could include maternal education. It could include sex education for adolescents.”

Because relevant health experience is “broadly defined,” this requirement is less constricting than it may appear, Diener-West explains. “It’s just that they have had tangible experience that dovetails with health.”

As for the required coursework for Johns Hopkins’ program, accepted students are required to complete the prerequisite courses before matriculation, but that doesn’t mean students who didn’t take a biology or math course during their undergraduate years are out of luck.

“It could be that somebody actually gets through undergraduate without an intro biology course,” Diener-West tells Fortune. “And we just require if they apply and haven’t had it, that they take an intro bio course before they matriculate.”

Similarly, the executive MPH at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health requires students to have relevant work experience—at least three years in this case—though also with some leniency in definition. The school’s hybrid online and in-person program is designed for working professionals, and experience can take many forms.

So long as there’s overlap with the skills needed to be a successful public health student and a compelling story connecting these experiences to your future goals within the field, there are a variety of positions that would qualify, according to Zelda Ray, the associate director of academic programs at Emory’s executive MPH program. 

She shares a recent example: “We have a student right now who majored in business and he works for a major motor vehicle company,” says Ray. “He spoke to the track director and they talked about how that experience could be brought in and ultimately, he decided to apply.” 

As part of the application process, the student was “able to explain to us why the MPH was a great fit for him”—and that ultimately landed him a spot in the program, Ray notes. “He’s one of our best students and he’s coming from finance.”

2. Stand out from the crowd

An ability to connect your past experiences to future goals within public health and your chosen specialization is among the key points that Marie Diener-West looks for in an application.

In addition to a compelling personal statement that demonstrates an understanding of the degree and connects your background to your career goals, stand-out applicants are able to demonstrate “they actually have a history of taking initiative and showing some leadership,” she says.

“Often our applicants are ones who have done something unusual in their careers. They’ve founded a non-governmental organization, or they’re working on a job, but on the side, they’ve created some sort of volunteer activity,” she explains. “Those who take initiative are ones that dwe really think will become public health leaders in the future.”

Further, top applicants include strong letters of recommendation from past professors or employers who know them well and can attest to their strengths and goals, Diener-West says. “We want to see those letters of recommendations that say, you know, this is one of the top 5%, top 1% I’ve ever seen and that they’re able to substantiate why they’re saying that.”

3. Decide whether or not to include GRE scores

In rounding out your application, it may be tempting to include as much information as possible, including scores on the GRE test. However, because many schools have waived requirements to submit these scores, you should generally only include them if they are exceptionally high—or if they demonstrate aptitude in a subject that’s important for your specialization and you do not have another way to demonstrate that skillset.

The danger of including scores is that they may hurt your chances if they’re not up to par.

“I would say there are probably some times we wish we didn’t see the GRE,” says Alperin. “Because it is somebody that has quantitative ability, but on that standardized test, they haven’t performed well.”

With questions  around standardized testing, determining whether your job experience will be considered relevant, crafting your personal statement and others, it’s important to remember that the admissions team at your prospective institution can be a helpful resource for putting together a well-rounded application.

“We’re here to help them from the beginning,” adds Ray. “And we also offer webinars, helping prospective [students] create a strong application. So, I would definitely recommend that if they’re interested in our program to never hesitate to reach out to us.”

See how the schools you’re considering landed in Fortune’s rankings of the best master’s in public health programs, business analytics programs, data science programs, and part-time, executive, full-time, and online MBA programs.

https://fortune.com/education/business/articles/2022/04/25/how-to-get-into-a-top-ranked-online-masters-of-public-health-program/

Best online business course | FOX31 Denver

Which online business course is best?

If you want to improve your business skills, an online business course gives you access to skilled professionals for a fraction of the price of typical business school courses. Online learning platforms let you gain industry expertise and advance your career while working remotely.

Your schedule, budget, skill level and expectations will help you determine the best online business course for your needs. However, if you plan to launch a business and want comprehensive advice, the Entrepreneurship Academy: Strategize & Start A Business is the best course.

What to know before you buy an online business course

Before choosing a course, evaluate your skills, industry knowledge, schedule and budget.

Skill level

Online business courses are available for beginners through experts and everywhere in between. Beginner-level courses often include actionable information for all students, while higher-level courses dive deeper into the subject matter, skipping past the foundational material.

If you’re considering an online business course as a beginner or intermediate professional, go for the general or lower-level courses to get all the information you need to be successful.

Time commitment

Most online business courses are self-guided and don’t have a hard deadline. Some have recommended times to complete each section of the course. These recommended deadlines can help you stay motivated and engaged, especially if peer-graded assignments require you to interact with others taking the course.

Consider what type of schedule works for your other commitments and what your end goal is after completing the course.

Specialization

Business courses can either cover general business topics or delve deeper into a specialization. Think about the gaps in your business knowledge and what you’re looking to learn. A broader course is a great choice if you’d like an overview of many business topics. If you need to learn more about a particular topic, a specialized course may fit your needs better.

Price

Generally, there are two ways to pay for an online course: per class or per month.

A per-class fee is due upfront before you can access the course. A monthly subscription fee lets you begin as soon as you pay for the first month, work on your schedule and then pay again only when the next monthly date triggers.

If you plan to complete the course ahead of schedule, paying per month is a great way to reduce costs. However, if you need extra time and don’t want to overpay for extra months, paying a flat fee might make more sense for you.

What to look for in a quality online business course

The best online business courses offer students value both during the course and after it’s complete. 

Interactive elements

Online courses differ from in-person classes because all the learning is done on a computer through digital interactive elements. Quality courses may include web-based exercises and online quizzes, class-wide discussions and peer-based evaluations. These digital elements should combine to create an engaging experience where you’ll absorb information and apply new skills and concepts to real-world situations.

Downloadable resources

Besides web-based modules, high-quality online courses offer downloadable guides, syllabi, workbooks or templates. These downloadable resources offer real-world examples to practice your newfound skills.

Professional certification

The best online business courses issue a certificate of completion after you pass the course. It’s not the same as a degree from an accredited university, but these certificates indicate your commitment to professional development. They are also great to showcase on your professional profiles, such as LinkedIn or your resume.

How much you can expect to spend on an online business course

Comprehensive online business courses cost $30-$500, depending on the length of the course, industry niche and the person or institution presenting it.

Tips to get the most out of an online business course

  • Commit to completing the course. It may sound obvious, but when it comes to online courses, you get out of it what you put into it. If you lose motivation, remind yourself why you signed up in the first place and re-commit to seeing it through.
  • Show up ready to learn. Any business course comes with a fair amount of reading material. Prepare to do a lot of reading and writing as you work through the video lessons. Before you sit down to learn, gather your course materials, such as reading glasses, a fresh cup of coffee or water, a notebook and a pen.
  • Eliminate distractions. Noise-canceling headphones are a great way to tune out extraneous noise. And whether you’re learning from your desk or the kitchen counter, or at a local establishment, tidying up your space can help you stay mentally focused. Even putting your phone on silent or airplane mode can help keep you on task.
  • Create a weekly schedule. Studying on the same schedule each week helps students stick with the course to the end. It sets boundaries and protects your learning time from other commitments.
  • Celebrate your progress. Every step of the course is one step closer to completion. Reward yourself with something special for every milestone along the way. You can treat yourself to anything, from a doughnut to a new office gadget to a night out.

Online business course FAQ

Do online business courses have homework?

A. Sometimes. Online courses present all the material you need to learn, but you must work outside the virtual classroom to bring those ideas to life. Some courses include tangible assignments, while others simply present the material and leave you to your own devices.

If you do receive homework, it may be presented as “exercises” or “workbooks.” These are extensions of the lessons to help you understand and absorb the material. Unlike school assignments, you can complete online course assignments on your own schedule.

Can I get help from classmates and peers?

A. Maybe, depending on the course. Some online courses offer a digital forum where students can interact. You may even complete peer-reviewed assignments where those other students grade your work. While they may be at different points in the material, these online forums help build a community around the course where everyone can share questions, takeaways and advice.

What’s the best online business course to buy?

Top online business course

Entrepreneurship Academy: Strategize & Start a Business

Entrepreneurship Academy: Strategize & Start a Business

What you need to know: This is an all-in-one course for anyone looking to start a business.

What you’ll love: It covers every aspect of entrepreneurship, including market research, legal entities, marketing, finances, creating a business plan and how to transition out of a full-time job. The course includes video lessons with accompanying articles and downloadable resources. Students receive lifetime access and a certificate of completion.

What you should consider: The material is geared toward people who want to start their own business, so it may not be best for professionals in a corporate setting.

Where to buy: Sold by Udemy

Top online business course for the money

Mini MBA: Foundations of Business Strategy Consulting

Mini MBA: Foundations of Business Strategy Consulting

What you need to know: This course offers a deep dive into business strategy for business professionals at any level of their career.

What you’ll love: Each video lesson comes with downloadable slide decks. The course covers every type of strategy and critical thinking exercise through examples, case studies, templates and quizzes. Students receive lifetime access and a certificate of completion.

What you should consider: Though comprehensive in its business strategy material, this course doesn’t cover other general business topics.

Where to buy: Sold by Udemy

Worth checking out

Career Success Specialization, University of California Irvine

Career Success Specialization, University of California Irvine

What you need to know: This overarching business certification covers all aspects of succeeding in your professional career.

What you’ll love: Six University of California Irvine instructors and an executive coach teach 10 courses on everything you need to grow in your career, including project management, time management, finances, communication, business writing, negotiation and problem-solving. Students progress through video lessons on a flexible schedule and receive a certificate of completion. The course is accessible through a monthly subscription.

What you should consider: The monthly subscription price adds up if you take the full estimated time of 11 months to complete it.

Where to buy: Sold by Coursera

 

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Katy Palmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

https://kdvr.com/reviews/br/education-br/best-online-business-course/

AllergyWise online course – The Hippocratic Post

Charity launches new online course to safeguard hospital patients with allergies: An anaphylaxis charity which offers training and support on food allergy safety has launched a brand-new online e-learning course for hospital ward staff.

The Anaphylaxis Campaign, which already provides several free and paid for allergy courses for individuals, schools and healthcare professionals, developed their new course after a patient safety alert issued by the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency in January 2020. The alert highlighted the lack of allergy awareness in hospital settings, putting patients with food allergies at risk.

Between 10 May 2017 and 10 May 2019, 55 hospital trusts reported 77 incidents relating to allergens in hospital, three of which involved the patient going into anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially life-threatening condition. Out of these incidents, 51 were due to an incorrect meal being given to the patient and 13 were due to inappropriate menu choice, either by the patient or staff member. Other causes were due to out-dated allergen information, patient allergies not communicated to kitchen staff, incorrect advice from kitchen staff, and conflicting information regarding a patient’s allergy.

Although it is mandatory for NHS organisations to report patient safety incidents which result in severe harm or death, food allergy incidents may not be seen as causing severe harm.

In November 2020 an Independent Review of NHS Hospital Food was published which also highlighted the need for greater awareness of food allergies.

The new Anaphylaxis Campaign AllergyWise for Hospital Ward Staff has been designed to help nurses, healthcare assistants, ward managers, dietitians and other ward staff improve their knowledge of food allergies and ensure the right meal gets to the right patient.

The course, which takes around two hours to complete, covers how to provide emergency treatment in case of an allergic reactions and understand how to safeguard vulnerable patients who are at risk of anaphylaxis. Staff will learn:

  • about the practical management of food allergies on a hospital ward
  • about common allergens and common causes of severe allergic reactions.
  • about allergen avoidance management and how to reduce cross-contamination risks.
  • how to recognise the signs and symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, know what to do in an emergency.

The course includes quick tests, interactive diagrams and videos for an easier, more engaging learning experience. The course does not need to be completed in one sitting as progress is saved. Students can also purchase a certificate once completed for £6.

Simon Williams, Chief Executive of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, says: “Being in hospital can been a very scary and isolating time without the added worry of a life-threatening allergic reaction and recent stats show that this is a big concern.

“Our AllergyWise courses address the growing need for training and understanding what to do in an emergency. This new course has been developed to help hospital staff with the knowledge and understanding to keep patients with serious allergies safer.”

Tanya Wright, specialist allergy dietitian at St Mary’s Hospital London, says:

“This is an excellent course and the format is very engaging. The quizzes and final quiz at the very end are really useful.”

To register for the AllergyWise for Hospital Ward Staff course, please visit www.allergywise.org.uk

Anaphylaxis Campaign was formed in 1994 by Honorary President David Reading after his 17-year-old daughter Sarah sadly passed away following an allergic reaction to peanuts. We are the only UK wide charity operating solely for the growing numbers of people at risk from severe allergic reactions and anaphylaxis.

Aimmune have supported the hospital food project through a grant – the grant does not constitute the Charity’s endorsement of Aimmune’s products or services and is fully compliant with the ABPI Code of Conduct.

Anaphylaxis is a severe and often sudden allergic reaction. It can occur when someone with allergies is exposed to something they are allergic to. Reactions usually take place within minutes and rapidly progress but can occur up to 2-3 hours later. It is potentially life-threatening and always requires an immediate emergency response.

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AllergyWise online course