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CHEN Nga Kwan

One of the familiar courses, PRCC – Emergency Nursing has been suspended for a year and finally launched in 2020. In view of the recent outbreak of the epidemic, it is inevitable to teach classes via virtual teaching instead of face-to-face.

Not only in teaching, meeting, webinar or conference in the health care setting, the virtual conferencing also emerges into clinical settings rapidly. Let’s talk about some pros and cons for zoom.


First, the new setup of infrastructure including the latency and bandwidth of the network, the additional computer equipment, and the unfamiliarity with the use of communication software, etc. The signal is often unstable, especially for those who live in remote areas and when the weather is bad. However, these situations are not easy to improve at this stage due to too many variables and difficulty to resolve.

Second, lack of people interaction decreases the learning atmosphere. It makes the speakers talk like lonesome rangers. 

Third, when it comes to hands-on skills practice or demonstration, it is difficult to use PowerPoint to show the techniques when compared to in-person classes. The students and the teachers can observe each other directly with a 3-dimension view in in-person class. Before the application of VR headset becoming more mature and popular, the online courses are still definitely not as effective as classrooms.


On the other hand, there are also some dazzling advantages, including decreased risk of disease transmission due to zero physical contact, convenience of supplementary classes, more efficiency in learning due to self-adjustment of class speed, etc.

First, in clinical settings, for example in A&E, we can arrange meetings for psychiatric patients who request to see judges. This arrangement can help to diminish the waiting time that patients have to endure. The patients may feel more stable psychologically and comfortable to see judges online. For judges, they don’t need to spend time commuting.

Second, due to the heavy workload and long working hours of the health professionals, it is not easy for both teachers and students to attend together physically. It is more practical for teachers to record lectures prior to class, and students can replay the recorded classes whenever and wherever for their studies.

Third, there is no need to book a venue in the virtual class. The maximum people can attend the lecture no longer depends on the size of the venue. When the number of attendees changes dramatically, there is no need to change the venue. Also, even with a lot of attendance, every person can see and hear the same things no matter how far the distance between students and teachers.

Fourth, with using other online tools, it is very easy and efficient to provide feedback to teachers. Many online tools allow people in virtual class to vote, to leave comments, and to practice online exercises.

We believe that the advantages of virtual teaching can be retained even if physical classes can be resumed later. People can select the most appropriate way to conduct the teaching. Afterwards, students can still enjoy these advantages; reflect on the shortcomings, and find ways to improve, only if they encounter similar situations in the future. It is also expected and encouraging to see that online learning/teaching/meeting must be the future development trend. I believe everyone is thinking about how to develop e-health care better in the future.

Lastly, there are many uncertainties in the current development of the epidemic. When we take care of others, we must also take care of ourselves and maintain good health to cope with future challenges. Let’s pray for the epidemic to stop, everyone to be safe and healthy, and let’s hope our life will get back to normal as soon as possible.

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