With an apparently uncontrolled alarming spike in number of COVID-19 patients triggered by the highly contagious Omicron, new variant of the novel coronavirus, the state government has decided to utilize nursing students for management and care of affected cases.
The state health department has issued an order in this regard directing principals of all nursing colleges in the city and districts to conduct training camps for nursing students so that the latter could be utilized for COVIDcare management of patients in hospitals.
The order issued by the officer on special duty (OSD), nursing, on 11 January stated, to augment human resources for covid management & as per instruction of Indian Nursing Council, if need arises, the nursing students can also be roped to handle the crisis, as per their level of skills & training under direct supervision of Clinical Nurse/Clinical Instructors/Tutors/ Nursing Teachers.”
According to the order, 1st year and 2nd year students of BSc nursing course would be used for screening of COVID19 patients while their counterparts of 3rd year and 4th year in the same undergraduate nursing course to be engaged for attending to novel coronavirus cases belonging to mild and moderate category illness.
For critically ill COVID patients, 1st year and 2nd year MSc nursing students would be required for management and care. Students of 1st and 2nd year in post basic BSc nursing course would also be asked for the critically ill patients, the order stated. A principal associated with a state-run nursing college in the city said that the considering the acute crisis in number of nurses in government hospitals and medical colleges across the state service of the nursing students would be utilized at this trying time when there has been an alarming surge in number of COVID positive cases touching 35 percent positivity rate.
There would be a huge crisis in adequate number nurses if minimum seven to eight percent of total daily COVID-affected cases require hospital treatment considering the virtually ‘uncontrolled’ surge in number of patients, she feared requesting anonymity. Apart from COVID cases, there are thousands of nonCOVID patients in numerous departments like maternity, gynaecology, medicine, surgery, cardiology, chest etc in most hospitals where hundreds of nurses are engaged every day, she added.