BAGUIO CITY (UPDATED/CORRECTED) — Saint Louis University (SLU) has resumed clinical clerkship for its medical students so they could acquire the "minimum competencies" needed to become doctors, school officials said.
Government has allowed 24 colleges and universities, including SLU, to hold face-to-face instruction and activities for its medical and allied health programs to ensure that the country has enough health workers as it continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.
This website earlier reported that the school would hold face-to-face classes for its medical, nursing and allied health programs starting Monday.
But Lianne Pauline Carreon, Public Relations and Publications Assistant, Office of External Relations, Media & Communications, and Alumni Affairs of SLU, clarified that only medical students returned for their clinical clerkship, which started in March.
"After obtaining the certificate to start with the limited face-to-face from the Commission on Higher Education, the SLU Medicine program started their clinical clerkship in March 2021, but with stringent health protocols," Carreon said in an email to ABS-CBN News Digital.
The university has also asked the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) for permission to hold laboratory activities for its nursing students.
"We are anticipating about 80 percent of them (students) will be joining the limited face-to-face, of course. We cannot force them, so only those who are willing of course, with the consent of their parents," said SLU College of Nursing Dean Dr. Mary Grace Lacanaria.
"We all believe that students cannot learn the skills online, they have to perform it personally with mannequins, using the right equipment so that they can develop their skills, once they have the skills, then we will fill them to hospitals," she added.
The university's medical technology classes are also set to resume, said College of Natural Sciences Dean Ann Opina.
“We have our own clinical laboratory that is accredited, the students will go 6-months stay in university and 6-months stay in the hospitals,” Opina said.
School officials assured that students will not be allowed in COVID-19 areas of the hospitals where are doing their clerkship, nursing practice and lab work.