Got you covered: The Health Sciences Faculty has launched a Student Safety Guide providing a wealth of information on safety, both within the communities in which students train and while they are at work. Each student in the faculty will receive a copy, and the booklet, while crammed with information, is small enough to fit into a white-coat pocket. Examining the guide are MBChB students (from left) Sipho Nyathie (2nd year), Joanna Skelton (6th year), Sophie McKenzie Main (6th year) and Patricia Mbatha (5th year).
THE FACULTY of Health Sciences held a function at the Health Sciences Campus recently to launch their new Student Safety Guide, a bright red booklet (red is the Faculty colour) full of vital information but small enough to be slipped into a white coat pocket and to be carried at all times.
The launch of the guide is a significant step for the Faculty. Not only are Health Sciences students exposed to the dangers of needle stick injuries in the course of their training, with the inherent risk of contracting HIV, but much of their training has been extended beyond the traditional teaching hospitals to many communities in the broader Cape Town area, many of them unfamiliar to students.
Adri Winckler, Deputy Faculty Office Manager, who compiled the booklet, said the Health Sciences Faculty entered into partnerships with various communities, including Site B in Khayelitsha, Mamre and Atlantis.
"In transforming teaching and training in this way, the Faculty is mindful of the health and safety of its students when they travel to and from and work at these community sites. We have a Site Development Committee which looks at all aspects of their safety."
The booklet outlines a position paper on student safety and transport and includes sections on: The South African Bill of Rights and UCT; incident reporting and debriefing policy; safety guidelines, including guidelines for assessing the risks of violence and dangerous situations; as well as safety tips recommended by the police.
It also includes a transport policy document for drivers and students. This decrees that all UCT drivers transporting students must receive first aid training, undergo refresher driver training courses and adhere to strict daily passenger lists. They are also required to adhere to a vehicle checklist and to study vehicle breakdown protocol.
From a health perspective, the guide provides TB information for students (TB is on the increase in Cape communities), listing protective measures, symptoms and details of where students can go for medical examinations. A section of the guide also lists information on UCT's compulsory HIV needle stick injury insurance cover.