Many student nurses pulled from placement but final years are expected to continue attending

Many final year Nursing students across the country are expected to finish out their internships to their required date as they are employed HSE staff.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic has made its way to our shores, certain colleges such as Trinity and DCU have pulled their first, second and third-year students from their clinical placements.

However, final year DCU students on their internships are expected to stay in the hospitals they were employed by, as they are paid employees.

Third-year, Nursing student Clare Tuite shared her concerns on the current epidemic,

“We start our final year placement in August so hopefully, things will have improved by then, otherwise, it could have implications for when we start our internship in April 2021 if we have to repeat placements”.

A Nursing student studying in UCC who wished to remain anonymous said that “more is expected of you” as a 4th Year Intern.

For UCC Nursing students, first- third year is supernumerary while their fourth year consists of a nine-month internship from January -September.

“With regards to present Covid-19 times, between annual leave and self-isolating, I am due back to my placement tomorrow.  I cannot express my opinion to what it’s currently like on the wards.  However, the employer is preparing us as much as they can via email. If there is a surge of cases over the next couple of weeks, I am unsure of how much interns will be able to work within their scope of practice and that more may be expected of them due to worsening staffing issues or increased pressure.

“Sometimes it is forgotten that technically I’m still a student and I’m still learning. Whilst some staff nurses are delighted to assist with learning, others are not, leaving us to feel thrown into the deep end,” she continued.

Simon Harris has now acknowledged that student nurses, at the frontline of the Covid-19 crisis who are not being paid, will receive a wage for their work.

This comes after student nurses voiced their opinions on not being paid for their work, along with several Go Fund Me pages being set up in order to support them.

As of Monday 23rd March, The Irish and Midwives Organisation (INMO) met with the Department of Health and the HSE raising the need for an ‘urgent decision’ on student nurse and midwife placement with more news to come over the next week.

Anja Zauers

Image Credit: DCU