PHYSICAL therapy (PT) interns are set to return to campus for in-person classes starting June 21 to participate in “Connectivity,” a six-week-long pre-internship and bridging program, College of Rehabilitation Sciences (CRS) Dean Assoc. Prof. Anne Marie Aseron told the Varsitarian.

The University recently received the go-signal from the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) to reopen its campus for limited face-to-face classes and clinical internship with the UST Hospital (USTH) for PT, medical technology and nursing programs.

“All [fourth and fifth-year] students are required to attend the face-to-face engagements,” Aseron said, citing CHEd and the Department of Health’s Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 2021-001.

Annex G of the memorandum requires physical therapy interns to complete a minimum of 480 hours of face-to-face clinical rotations in a clinical affiliation center.

Connectivity was designed to enhance the interns’ skills and address the learning gaps caused by the lack of face-to-face interaction, said the college in a Facebook post.

During the training, interns will attend face-to-face classes for laboratory simulations such as PT examination, evaluation, treatment and management, and module assessments.

Aseron said 30 interns would use two facilities on the first and second floors of the St. Martin de Porres Building and another 30 interns would utilize three facilities on the ground floor of the Central Laboratory Building.

Online classes will still be held, but only for cases and documentation, supplementary online resources, and integration.

The Varsitarian was also told that those unable to participate in “Connectivity,” which will last until July, would have their bridging program scheduled on a later date.

Precautionary measures

Fifth-year physical therapy student Daniel James Lim said that the college had “always kept in contact” with its students for any concerns and questions regarding the resumption of in-campus activities.

“I think CRS is well prepared for the resumption of F2F classes as this has been in the planning since December. Proper precautions have been taken as well, with special consideration of the students’ mental and physical health,” Lim said.

Aseron said that a total of 100 interns had completed their vaccination with Sinovac doses in May.

“Apart from this, [the] majority of the academic staff in charge of ‘Connectivity’ also had their vaccination in USTH,” the dean said.

Aseron added that some PT students and academic staff residing outside Metro Manila had already been inoculated through the vaccination drives of their local government units.

CRS has formed a “Connectivity Crisis Committee” to monitor interns who would manifest flu-like symptoms. 

The committee is headed by Aseron and composed of PT Department Chair Donald Manlapaz, internship coordinator Fe Therese Chavez, CRS Assistant Dean Ma. Georgina Mojica, incident commander Christian Rimando and selected students. 

It will be on standby for the entire duration of “Connectivity.”

The college will also provide students with personal protective equipment, consisting of one box of disposable masks and gloves, two pieces of face shields, and a laboratory gown.

Gradual resumption of face-to-face classes

Earlier this month, clinical clerks from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery began limited face-to-face classes. 

Two more programs are scheduled to resume in-person classes in the next two months.

Medical technology students are set to start their internship program on July 5 while nursing students will return on campus for their related learning experience on Aug. 9.

CHEd inspected the retrofitted facilities for the PT, medical technology and nursing programs on June 8 and gave certificates of authority to hold limited face-to-face classes. 

“My commendations to the men and women of UST for a job well done! Let us continue upholding the flexible learning scheme for the benefits of our students,” CHEd Commissioner Aldrin Darilag, who led the inspection, said in a Facebook post. 

The certificates issued to the University are valid until the end of the second term of Academic Year 2021 to 2022.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.