Covid frontline efforts to be credited for UL students

Fintan Walsh

Reporter:

Fintan Walsh

Email:

fintan.walsh@limerickleader.ie

Covid frontline efforts to be credited for UL students

UL nursing and midwifery students were concerned over receiving credits for frontline work

THE UNIVERSITY of Limerick has moved to assure nursing and midwifery students, who answered the nation’s call for help on the Covid-19 frontline, that their efforts will be credited as part of their course work. 

This follows “extensive levels of communication” with students who had missed out on essential clinical placement and had put themselves forward for the HSE’s ‘Be On Call For Ireland’ recruitment campaign in April. 

However, some students who had offered six weeks’ work as a healthcare assistant on the frontline remained concerned about receiving their credits. 

Correspondence sent by the Department of Nursing and Midwifery, seen by the Leader, clearly stated that up to six weeks of the Covid-19 experience could be credited towards “remaining regulated placement”. 

There are two different types of placements; the optional healthcare assistant roles during Covid-19; and mandatory supervised experience, which can be unpaid. 

The latter, which was cut short in spring due to the pandemic, is now underway for many students for a period of four weeks. 

However, one student, who did not wish to be named, has said it is “unfair” that they have to endure an added financial strain of doing unpaid work in another part of the country, despite having put themselves on the frontline for nearly two months. 

UL this week confirmed that “there has been no request for students to give up part-time employment”. 

The spokesperson said that the department “is mindful of the impact that suspension of placement has on students’ studies, accommodation and managing self during this crisis period. 

“It is acutely aware of the strain and anxiety that this pandemic is placing on all in society and is working tirelessly to support students and is making accommodations for students on an individual basis where they are engaging with the university.”

He added that the department and health service providers “are fully committed to ensuring student safety and wellbeing during this time. University supports were and continue to be offered to our nursing and midwifery students, in addition to individual meetings and support plans.”

Students have been submitting their validation sheets, which are being processed individually, and has required UL to bring staff back early from leave to support the entire review. 

“The Department of Nursing and Midwifery is actively encouraging students to engage with them, but has asked for patience as the documentation submitted is reviewed, matching the experience with the programme requirements, endeavouring to support students.”

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