Coronavirus | Nurses protest, cite shortage of manpower

Nurses protesting at the Government Medical College Hospital premises in Chennai on Wednesday.  

A section of nurses from the Government Medical College Hospital in Omandurar Estate staged a protest on Wednesday, citing shortage of manpower for managing patients diagnosed with COVID-19.

According to the nurses, there are around 140 staff nurses at the hospital. At a time, half of them are posted on COVID-19 duty, in three shifts, at the two tower blocks where patients are admitted. A few of the nurses and their family members have tested positive for COVID-19 and have been hospitalised.

“One batch will be in quarantine after completing their COVID-19 duty, while the others will be posted for work. There are 22-23 nurses in a single shift and we need to take care of 400 COVID-19 patients. We also need to prepare reports and coordinate with the kitchen for diet and laundry services. The two tower blocks have seven floors each, and each floor requires at least two nurses in a shift,” said one of the nurses on condition of anonymity. There was an instance of a nurse fainting due to the use of personal protective equipment for long hours.

“The night shifts are for 12 hours. On a week’s duty, the same nurse is posted on this 12-hour shift that starts at 7 p.m. and extends up to 8 a.m. the next day. There are inadequate hospital workers for assistance,” she said.

Nurses also demanded that every floor should have proper equipment such as ECG machines. They demanded the posting of sufficient numbers of staff nurses on COVID-19 duty, in four shifts.

Officials of the Health Department said that the nurses made a representation to the dean of the hospital and that they were assured that additional manpower would be appointed. “We have joining orders for 190 nurses recruited through the Medical Services Recruitment Board for the hospital. A number of nurses have been deputed from institutions such as the Government Kasturba Gandhi Hospital for Women and Children and the Madras Medical College,” an official said.

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Printable version | Sep 16, 2021 3:24:28 PM |

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