Connecting Discussion General discussion Effect of COVID-19 on Training Programs
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Hi all.

I am interested in knowing how your program has been affected by the pandemic.  I am especially interested in academic medical centers and psychology internships.  Especially interested in solutions.  We have a situation where one of our community clinics has halted trainee involvement for the time being.  Many clinical operations on our main campus have been curtailed.  We are making progress in using more telehealth connections in those instances where patients or trainees cannot come to the facility.  We are fortunate to have an administration which is sensitive to our concerns for patient care and training, as well as a very robust telehealth network at The University of Kansas Medical Center.

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University of Louisville Trager Institute’s BHWET COVID19 response to training and BH-PC practice integration

As of March 10, 2019, our university moved to fully online instruction for all students to prevent the spread of COVID19. Practicum sites were instructed by the various academic departments that students would not be able to participate in face to face activities and needed to plan for online activities. While the practicum offices were struggling to address a myriad of challenges with the majority of their practicum sites, our site, Trager Institute at UofL,  was able to easily respond to this fully online model requested of us for a variety of reasons. Our Institute has had a long history of setting Zoom meetings for all trainings and meetings to maximize student and faculty participation. At each of our 5-hour Wednesday training sessions pre-COVID19, we always had an online option for faculty, students and guests. We encourage our students, faculty and speakers to utilize the online option, when scheduling was problematic. Our facilitators of our trainings which include our program managers, guest presenters and our students have had a significant experience with using zoom for their trainings and the facilitators and supervisors are also extremely skilled in creating expectations and activities that utilize best practices for online instruction. Prior to COVID19, our students were not only involved in numerous online trainings but they also had to navigate team meetings with their fellow students who were both face to face and joining online. While the move to online instruction in all of their core classes required their BHWET supervisors and program managers to assuage their students’ anxieties, they felt comforted to know they were prepared to continue on with their BHWET trainings, as well as their competency acquisition and application. It is important to note that our clinic, one of the sites for integration infusion, is also experienced in providing teletherapy and virtual chronic care management services. The transition to providing virtual behavioral health services was smooth due to our pre-COVID19 telehealth services, swift planning and execution of moving to entirely online service offerings. As a result of COVID19, our students and their supervisors have increased their telehealth services through a variety of options including Bluejeans, Doxy.me, and Facetime. Additionally, the students are able to provide co-therapy in a seamless approach alongside their supervisors and other providers in the clinic. Supervision has also seemed to be more accessible given the completely online format. As result of our success, the social work practicum office has inquired as to our receptivity to allowing students struggling in other practicum sites to join our BHWET trainings. We have welcomed other students to our programming.

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