Students, former healthcare workers supporting hospital staff during current Covid wave
Hospitals are turning to former healthcare workers and current students during the current wave of the coronavirus pandemic in an effort to relieve some of the pressure on the healthcare sector. Assistance is also being provided outside the hospitals.
At Maastricht UMC+, more than two hundred students of medicine, health sciences and biomedical sciences are currently helping in various departments at the hospital. Some are supporting nursing staff in the Covid-19 wards, while others are working in the lab. Another group is tasked with testing hospital employees suffering from symptoms of Covid-19.
A spokesperson for the Isala Hospital in Zwolle said that they are trying to shore up their ability to provide care to more Covid-19 patients by moving healthcare staff who already work in the hospital from other departments. The quality of care at the hospital is currently a "point of attention," she said. "Too many people who do not know the department or the profession does not always give relief, and this can even be counterproductive."
The Elisabeth-TweeSteden Hospital in Tilburg indicated that former healthcare employees are helping with the treatment of Covid-19 patients. A spokesperson was unable to say how many workers this entails, but they are all still listed in the BIG registry of licensed healthcare workers. They help in the hospital where it is responsible for them to do so, the spokesperson said. In some cases, this includes tasks like bathing patients.
Healthcare institutions outside of the hospital system are also helping distribute the pressure on hospital care. For example, several institutions have set up special wards just for Covid patients. Patients can go to these clinics when they no longer need to be hospitalized, but when they still need extra oxygen which may not be able to be handled at home.
ActiZ, an association of care institutions, said there is a limit to the help these clinics can provide, because it also takes resources away from those locations.
Reporting by ANP.