At the forefront of North Park’s innovative curriculum is Dr. Suzen Moeller, Associate Professor of Nursing Health Sciences, whose contact tracing course offered this spring focuses on the current COVID-19 pandemic.
During this accessible online quad A course, students will learn about the spread of the virus, effective strategies to manage infectious disease epidemics—including the role that contact tracing plays in protecting health in communities—and the different methods of contact tracing. Going beyond what most contact tracing courses teach, Dr. Moeller’s course covers the ethical side of contact tracing, how to talk about contact tracing, as well as the effects that the pandemic has on mental health.
While the focus of the contact tracing course is not on technology, Dr. Moeller plans on teaching students about new apps that are being developed in relation to the process.
“This course is particularly timely and relevant as public health departments around the country and the entire globe are training more people to do contact tracing,” said Dr. Moeller.
Students can anticipate gaining a better understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic by collaborating with North Park’s contact tracing team to practice mock contact tracing calls. The course will also offer students practical experience to highlight when applying for internships, volunteer positions, or paid positions as contact tracers.
The course’s primary goal is to help students better understand why contact tracing is one of the most powerful tools in public health for managing infectious disease epidemics. “Hopefully, this will help us be more receptive to contact tracing and to advocate to others about the importance of contact tracing. This way we can collectively better manage this pandemic and similar ones in the future,” said Dr. Moeller.