Nursing students run wards in Patiala hospital, patients suffer

  • Avtar Singh, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Jul 10, 2016 15:56 IST
Nursing students taking care of patients at the emergency ward of Rajindra Hospital in Patiala on Saturday. (Bharat Bhushan/HT Photo)

The indefinite strike called by nurses and the ancillary staff since the beginning of last month has taken its toll on the working of labour room, emergency wing and operation theatres of Rajindra Hospital.

Although around 100 nurses, who were on strike, reportedly joined services, wards are being run under the supervision of nursing students from various colleges. Initially, when around 315 nurses called the strike, students were deployed in various wards under the guidance of a single staff nurse. Now, only trainees are serving the patients and assisting doctors in several sensitive wards.

“It is very difficult to manage the work in absence of experienced nurses. The students are of little help and all the responsibility of taking care of patients falls on our shoulders,” said a doctor.

“Nursing students are taking care of work in emergency wards. The lack of nursing staff exits in all three shifts,” said another doctor on duty in the emergency ward.

The nursing students have been called from various institutes, and have been serving here since the first week of June. “We have been performing our duty in absence of staff nurses in this ward,” said a student working at ward number 7.

Despite the best intentions of these budding nurses, patients are suffering in absence of proper care. “These girls (nursing students) are not trained enough. Patients are crying with pain, and these girls cannot handle the situation. An experienced staff nurse should attend to patients,” said Gurdev Singh, a relative of a patient.

Nurses superintendent Baljit Kaur said: “We have deployed a large number of nursing students. Staff nurses are also serving in all wards. Also, around 100 agitators have joined work again. We are managing the situation.”

Emergency wards of the hospital, however, were found being run by just nursing students on Saturday.

Nurses and ancillary staff union president Karamjit Kaur, however, claimed of the 60 nurses who had joined work in the emergency ward, 25 have again joined the protest.

She said a number of patients are returning from the hospital without treatment. “When a doctor operates on a person, it is the nursing staff which has to take care of the patient. It seems the government is not serious about the problems being faced by the patients,” she said. The union has been protesting for regular jobs.

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