10 Mar 2021

Helena Nordenstedt & Ellen Toet: Health education amid a global pandemic



On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 emergency a pandemic. Reaching the one-year milestone on this global health crisis in 2021 offers a salient moment to reflect on how health educators have undertaken the challenges of educating the next generation of medical professionals under difficult circumstances and how this worldwide phenomenon has affected them both personally and professionally. 

For healthcare professionals and health educators around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a unique set of powerful impacts. These individuals have been on the frontline of care giving as well as the work of training new care givers under very challenging circumstances. At the same time, their roles and the systems of healthcare in which they work have achieved extremely high visibility, as societies across the globe have worked to fight the pandemic's spread and its impact on public health. This episode allows us to explore some of the effects of this extraordinary year with Swedish physician Helena Nordenstedt, and Dutch nurse Ellen Toet, whose work in healthcare education and delivery has given them front-row perspectives on this global phenomenon playing out in local communities around the world.

About Helena Nordenstedt

Helena Nordenstedt is a physician and Associate Professor in Global Health at Karolinska Institutet (Sweden). Her particular research interests include behaviour change and misconceptions in infectious disease outbreaks (especially Ebola), as well as epidemiology and prevention of cardiovascular diseases in Uganda, with a focus on people living with HIV.

About Ellen Toet

As a Clinical Nurse Scientist, Ellen Toet is currently a Lecturer in Nursing at Avans University of Applied Science, the Netherlands, since September 2017. Before that, she worked for several years as a specialist ICU nurse at Amphia Hospital in Breda, where she later returned to spend 2.5 months supporting former colleagues in the ICU during the beginning of the pandemic in the spring of 2020.

Further reading

→ EAIE Expert Community Health and Welfare Education

→ World Health Organisation COVID-19 Dashboard

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