Covid 19: Combining normative and adaptative safety to build quality in a physiotherapy school and protect students and staff

Over the past two years, our environment has become hostile. Work and life have been strongly impacted by the pandemic and this is not over and no way out is visible. This paper will discuss how we have organised teaching and work in a physiotherapy school since the summer of 2020.
Safety and quality are a construction combining normative and adaptative parts. It is in this context that this intervention was built, which was strongly intended to be participatory and constructive with the school’s teachers and staff initially, and then with the students as soon as they returned to school.
The challenges of the intervention are mixed: To ensure the safety of teachers and administrative staff and students. To ensure an optimal quality of teaching in a constrained context: physiotherapy is a manual discipline; it is thus not possible to propose practical teaching without inter-individual contacts which would be exclusively given at distance.
Ergonomics intervention models are based on activity analysis, including observation and interviews. As the period was not a teaching period, the activity could not be observed as there were no courses. The uncertainties associated with the emergence of SARS-CoV 2 were not conducive to traditional methods. It was therefore necessary to deal with these constraints by developing perceptual simulation of activity during the non-activity period.
Three axes of intervention were implemented: (1) Securing the administrative part of the school. (2) Securing the teaching, with a particular focus on maintaining a high quality of teaching, in particular by keeping the practical work in the classroom as much as possible. (3) A relationship of trust has been established with the students.
Crisis intervention is complex. One of the factors of success is the collaboration established with the main idea “what happens outside the school can have an impact on the inside”. This intervention has shown once again that the combination of normative and adaptative safety in a new context such as the pandemic makes it possible to build an environment that links quality and safety in work and teaching.