Background: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a cluster of acute respiratory illness that was first identified in Wuhan Province in China. The virus causing this syndrome is known as SARS-CoV-2. The COVID 19 pandemic affects every aspect of our life, including education, work, travel, business, and social life. Aim: To evaluate the final year medical students' perceptions of their preparedness for internship and assess their awareness of COVID-19 and patients’ management in the Sultanate of Oman.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey of cohort of final year medical students at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) and National University of Science and Technology (NU) was distributed to 227 students in both medical schools from 21st to 28th of April 2020. A total of 99 students fully completed the survey with a response rate of 43.6%. The survey had five sections exploring perceptions on preparedness for internship and awareness and knowledge on COVID-19, training, and implications.
Results: Majority of participants (82.8%) were 24-26 years old. Omani students accounted for 88.9% of the participants. 81.4 of SQU participants were competent in carrying ward’s practical procedures comparing to 39.3% of NU participants (p<0.05). There was a higher level of awareness of the current ministry of health policies on the management of patients with COVID-19 with NU participants than SQU (p < 0.005). Training on preparedness for COVID-19 was higher in females than males (p= 0.02).
Conclusion: COVID-19 has affected the teaching process and limited student- patient interactions. With ongoing rise in confirmed cases every day, the uncertainty of the duration of the suspension of on-campus teaching in higher education institutions in Oman is still ongoing. The overall perceptions of preparedness for internship among medical students in Oman are good. However, further education in emergency management and training on practical procedures are still required.
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