Anticipating the “shortage of human resources,” the state health department on Friday issued a resolution to assign undergraduate medical students for COVID management assistance at designated Covid-19 hospitals in Gujarat, following a training module.
The resolution issued under the ambit of the Gujarat Epidemic Regulations, 2020, by health department undersecretary Haresh Parmar, states, “Taking note of the prevailing Covid-19 situation in the state, there is a possibility of lack of human resources in the coming time.”
“To prevent such a situation,” as the resolution noted, students of the state government’s medical and paramedical colleges, medical colleges associated with the Gujarat Medical Education Research (GMERS), self-financed medical colleges and grant-in-aid institutions shall be trained on various subjects related to COVID care and management by nodal officers of dedicated COVID hospitals, taluka health officers or medical officers and microbiology department in charge. Second and third-year students studying MBBS, BDS (dental), BAMS (ayurvedic medicine and surgery)/ BHMS (homeopathic medicine and surgery), B.Sc (bachelors of science) in nursing and microbiology, GNM (General Nursing and midwifery) and physiotherapists will also be trained. The training duration shall range from a day to five.
These students shall be trained in aspects such as clinical management of COVID, infection prevention and control, field surveillance and supervision, psycho-social care, critical care assistance, sample collection, packaging and transportation and being a caregiver for home-isolated patients. Following the training module, the students shall be posted across various designated COVID hospitals in the state as “Covid assistants,” working under the guidance of the concerned hospitals’ superintendents.
Duties at the hospital shall include domains of preventive care, clinical care, logistics, health, and medical data management, data analysis, tele-counselling, and psychological support helplines.
A medical student said training modules such as that of psycho-social care and field surveillance are officially taught as subjects to third and final year students. However, as per the schedule charted in the resolution, first and second-year students, too, shall be trained in these aspects for a day.
Meanwhile, NITI Aayog member Vinod Paul, who was part of a central task force on a two-day visit in Surat and Ahmedabad, expressed his satisfaction on Gujarat managing to train “over 10,000 healthworkers”.