At the moment, all education is conducted remotely, only individual tutorials are available. This raises alarm for prospective medics who have to learn important procedures online. Lelde is a freshman student at medical college for a doctor's assistant profession.
“I want to actually learn to inject in the veins. I realize that it is at a 45-degree angle, I know what it is, but how it really happens in life... or, I listen to a Youtube clip about noises in the lungs. I don't even know what normal lungs sound like, let alone noises,” Lelde said.
Viesturs also is studying to be a doctor's assistant. He thinks it's impossible to become a medic remotely. He said: “All this on paper looks very basic and understandable. The human body – well, you realize that there are different people, they have different pathologies.”
Some teachers are understanding, and these kinds of lessons are delayed until they can be learned onsite. The University of Latvia (LU) Rīga's 1st Medical College explains that it is currently focused on theoretical knowledge and skills that can be learned remotely, said Sendija Špacs-Daģe, head of the vocational education program.
“The students come and consult with the teachers [individually] when they have watched a video of a manipulation. Teachers see whether the manipulation is done correctly or incorrectly through a camera two meters away,” Špacs-Daģe said.
It is not possible to transfer these skills fully to a time when you can learn in person, explained the teacher. However, the practical skills acquired remotely will also be polished when the study process takes place on site.
Rīga Stradiņš University's Liepāja Faculty of Health director Dita Role said that different technology and simulators are used to assist students.
She said: “For masseurs and fitness coaches, it is quite a creative process. The teacher heads the class from a masseurs' equipped office, but students set up work stations at home as accurately as possible. Some practice on their children.”
On the other hand, representative of the Ministry for Education Rūta Gintauta-Marihina said: “We understand that it cannot be learned qualitatively. We tried to advance a rule this week that we could allow the practice to be learned on-site by up to 6 people in groups, but unfortunately the epidemiological situation in the country is what it is.”
The head of the educational establishment may make changes to the organization of the learning process and shift the learning of practical skills to later time periods. This is also recommended by the Ministry.