COVID pressure on healthcare system is also draining critical care studies
“Unfortunately this year, as some nurses continue to want to undertake studies with financial support from employers and government, the pandemic is having an impact.”
Deakin University also offers postgraduate degrees in Critical Care and Critical Nursing. Students are required to work in these fields simultaneously while studying.
“Any health work is a challenge, but these patients are very, very difficult work.”
Deakin Associate Professor of Nursing Melissa Bloomer said pressure from COVID-infected patients on the hospital system has made this requirement more difficult to meet.
“Concurrent employment in the relevant specialty area is a requirement of the course,” said Prof Bloomer.
“So, despite the growing interest and demand for professional nurses to work in critical and critical care, the clinical response to COVID-19 has had an impact on the ability of critical care teams to increase the number of patients. students whom they can support during their postgraduate studies. “
Age asked the universities of Melbourne, Deakin and La Trobe if enrollment in critical and intensive care nursing had been affected by the pandemic, but none of the institutions provided figures.
Doctors have warned that staffing shortages in hospital emergency departments have reached a point where they risk being shut down when coronavirus outbreaks take hold. They called for an emergency plan to be put in place to deal with future shortages of hospital staff.
The Victorian government is leading a recruitment drive, calling on healthcare workers and students to join the COVID-19 workforce.
Students in fields such as medicine, dentistry, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, pharmacy, nursing and midwifery, and paramedical medicine have been invited to join us.
The president of the Victorian branch of the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Foundation, Lisa Fitzpatrick, said the high cost of postgraduate nursing studies discouraged some in the workforce from upgrading their qualifications.
“University fees are expensive and I don’t know the rationale for the expense behind these postgraduate degrees. Most of them are six month courses, but somehow [people] are still billed from $ 11,000 to $ 15,000, ”she said.
Interest in undergraduate-level nursing studies has increased during the pandemic, with fees slashed by 45% this year as part of the Morrison government’s reforms for ready-to-work graduates.
But some internship students, as well as recent graduates, said they felt exhausted and disconnected from their colleagues when working in the emergency department, the head of a nurse support agency said.
Glenn Taylor, executive director of the nurse and midwifery health program, said the pandemic had deprived some graduates of the opportunity to make important connections with new colleagues and for established medical staff to mentor newcomers.
“Now everyone is working at a very high capacity and we hear that there is this anxiety that students and nurses feel at the start of their careers, as if they are having a hard time finding their place, because of everything. uncertainty, demands and changes, ”Taylor said.
With Ashleigh McMillan
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