July 20, 2021 1:23:56 am
An acute shortage of technically skilled manpower to operate medical equipment such as CT scan machines and oxygen apparatus used in Covid treatment, mostly in Intensive Care Units (ICUs), has made the Ahmedabad Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (AHNA) initiate a tie-up with the Gujarat University (GU) to introduce courses that teach these skills.
More than 50 short-term and one-year certificate, diploma and postgraduate diploma courses will be launched in August with GU affiliation and AHNA as knowledge partners.
“We have seen cases when even an MD doctor could not operate a ventilator or other life-supporting equipment in an ICU during Covid. It was when reality hit us hard that the health system lacked technically trained manpower,” said GU Vice-Chancellor professor Himanshu Pandya who was also managing the 900-bed Dhanvantari Covid Care hospital set up by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the GU and the state government at the GMDC ground.
Programmes in cardiothoracic ICU nursing, neonatal ICU nursing, paediatric ICU nursing, cathlab technology, operation theatre technology, respiratory and sleep medicine, cardiac catheterisation laboratory, critical care and emergency medicine, cardiac diagnostics, pulmonary diagnostic technology, optometry, dialysis technology, radiology and imaging technology are among nthe courses listed in collaboration with AHNA and GU.
“There is a dearth of qualified and trained manpower in Gujarat. The pandemic has clearly shown us that the healthcare infrastructure cannot be neglected. We can provide infrastructure such as equipment and buildings. But unless we have manpower, the infrastructure will remain unutilised,” said Dr Bharat Gadhavi, president, AHNA. Health experts are also looking at these courses to de-stress them. “With lack of technical staff, all the stress to manage a patient comes on the doctors. When we have staff who can manage the technical things, doctors can spare their time and knowledge for better things,” said Dr Anish Chandarana, vice-president, AHNA.
Besides filling the gap of technically trained manpower, the courses are also aimed at offering better employability.
“There are many areas where the hospitals have qualified staff but they are not trained. For instance, nursing students are not exposed to ICU environment. At the same time, there are many students who would like to take up these programmes and get a better job. The only way to get the required talent on a sustainable basis, is to train people on a regular basis,” added Dr Gadhavi. Adding on the collaboration, Dr Anish Chandarana said, “It will be less of theoretical and more of practical training… While theoretical classes will be held at the university campus, the practical training will be provided at hospitals.”
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