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Final-year nursing students for Covid duties: Experts

Nursing college faculty and final-year students of nursing can be deputed for Covid duties as there is a shortage of healthcare manpower, opined healthcare experts.

Published: 25th August 2020 06:20 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2020 06:20 AM   |  A+A-

Vijayawada coronavirus case

A health worker collects the swab sample for COVID testing. (Photo | Prasant Madugula, EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Nursing college faculty and final-year students of nursing can be deputed for Covid duties as there is a shortage of healthcare manpower, opined healthcare experts. Renowned cardiologist and chairman of Narayana Health Dr Devi Shetty has been advocating that final-year students of nursing, doctors in PG medical, MB (Bachelor of Medicine) or DNB (Diplomate in National Board) courses should be considered passed without writing their final-year exams if they work for the next one year in Covid care.

Dr Shetty told TNIE, “Around 1.5 lakh nurses, who are in the final year of nursing training, have finished their course and are at home because colleges are shut. They are waiting for their exam. At the same time at Narayana Health, we have 350 Covid patients and a problem of shortage of nursing staff. These nursing students need no further training and the next training happens on the field when they touch patients.”
He said, “Many countries have exempted doctors from the MBBS exam.

We can exempt these nursing students as well and offer them a degree on the condition that they work at government-recognised hospitals. We will then have a large number of nurses who can work in either Covid or non-Covid wards.” But some expressed reservations. Dr Naveen S, principal, Rajarajeswari Medical College and Hospital, said, “At our hospital, only 272 out of 950 beds are occupied by Covid patients. There are sufficient doctors and nursing staff to manage them. CCCs have less than 50 per cent patient occupancy. Nurses cannot handle tele-monitoring of home quarantined patients without doctor’s advice on medication and its dosage.”


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