U of T Alum’s donation will help nursing students prepare for real-world clinical scenarios

21 July 2023

In the Bloomberg Nursing Simulation Lab, nursing students are prepared for the profession through the simulation of clinical situations,  including high-risk infection prevention control.

As part of their regular education, which was especially significant during the pandemic, nursing students are taught how to properly put and take off personal protective equipment, including what is called donning and doffing of protective gowns.

“Learning how and when to use a protective gown ensures that students know how to keep themselves and their patients safe from contamination and is an essential skill in infection prevention and control,” says Chris Bergeron, simulation lab coordinator at Bloomberg Nursing.

Having real gowns helps to add to the life-like creation of simulation learning, and Dev Khanna, a retail business executive and U of T alumnus, saw that this was a need he could fulfill.

His business creating branded and promotional products, branched out to include personal protective equipment at the start of 2020.

“I was returning home from China in early 2020 from a project, when I got panicky phone calls from colleagues of mine who worked in long-term care and ambulatory services. They needed gowns fast, COVID-19 was spreading and they were resorting to using garbage bags,” recalls Khanna.

With his strong connections to suppliers, Khanna knew he could help, and after applying for and getting his Medical Devices Establishment Listing (MDEL) from Health Canada, he was able to provide gowns to a variety of locations all over Ontario.

Now with COVID-19 a bit more manageable, Khanna is able to donate surplus product to educational institutions like Bloomberg Nursing, because he recognizes the importance of having well-prepared and educated health professionals.

“Throughout the last three years I’ve gotten to know the personnel who were receiving the PPE we were supplying and hear their stories of how hard it was to go to work fearing infection. I also have a great deal of respect for nurses. My mum had an emergency hospital stay during COVID, and the nurses at both the hospital and rehabilitation centre were phenomenal, helping her get back to around 80 per cent mobility,” says Khanna.

As a U of T alum of Victoria College, Khanna is also keen to help his alma mater, where he says he found a place to grow, developed his passion for film, and built life-long connections.

“I always try to stay connected to the University, help in any way I can, and keep in touch with the next generation of students,” says Khanna. “If I can play a small role in shaping the future of nursing education, that is an opportunity I will not pass up.”