Hundreds of Student nurses are scheduled to take to the front line today in the fight against Covid-19.
These students will be unpaid and begin their mandatory work placements as part of their college degree. Placements generally last six weeks and most third level nursing courses have work placements in almost every year of the degree.
Despite Minister for Health, Simon Harris' plea for medical staff to return to paid medical roles in the Irish health service, this offer of payment has not been extended to the trainee nurses and only refers to those who are fully qualified.
They are set to join many other student nurses at the coal face and according to Fianna Fáil TD for Limerick Deputy Niall Collins they should be paid for the important work they are doing during the current Covid-19 crisis.
Several student nurses on placements have contacted Deputy Collins to say they are working the same number of hours as qualified nurses without any pay.
Deputy Collins said: “Medical staff across the country are working extremely hard and under pressurised situations during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. However, several student nurses have not had their placements suspended and are now working on the front line of this crisis.
“Student placements in other disciplines in third-level colleges have been suspended but this is not the case for many trainee nurses.They are working in difficult situations without any pay and many have concerns about how they will pay their rents and bills.”
According to TheJournal.ie, the Irish Nurses and Midwifery Organisation (INMO) outlined that students who are taking up work placements should be paid for their efforts.
The INMO stated that “training should not be interrupted where possible. Proper supervisions continues during any training – and if interrupted for any reason which is not your fault, we will advocate for the best possible outcome."
The HSE has become exceptionally pressurised in recent days as the number of people with the coronavirus is expected to surpass 1,000 today.