Rotterdam to speed up ICU training in preparation for next Covid-19 wave

The Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences has a plan to decrease the Netherlands' shortage in intensive care nurses and be better prepared for a possible second wave of the coronavirus. "We have offered to fully focus the medical training on ICU. Normally this is a broad training. We do this through a specific part developed by Erasmus MC. The material is ready," Ron Bormans of the university said to Rijmond.

By having all nursing students also study ICU nursing, this can hopefully direct more of them to focus on intensive care. "This can be a solution for both the short and the long term. We need to make better agreements with hospitals in the short term. A hospital has 150 internships. With some better agreements, you can make use of the untapped potential of students," Bormans said.

According to the National Network for Acute Care, in the worst case scenario, the Netherlands will need 5 thousand extra ICU workers in a second wave of the coronavirus crisis. 

"I'm not sure if we will get those 5 thousand, but nursing is a large course. If part is prepared for the ICUs, we can make plans quickly. There will be a reservoir and people who cannot be there today, but can be there tomorrow."

According to Bormans, the hardest part will be for Erasmus MC to find time for its ICU staff to train students. "If we come with extra people to train them for a job at an accelerated pace, the hospital will have to free up capacity to supervise them. You can't just send a student into an ICU. We have to make good agreements about that. The ball is now in the hospital's court."