Nursing students stepping up to become Covid testers

Laura James
Source: 1News

There are hundreds of nursing students at the Manukau Institute of Technology that are "really keen" to step up to become Covid-19 testers, as Auckland DHB's put a call out for student help.

The Northern Region Health Coordination Centre has revealed it's training 200 healthcare students from The University of Auckland, Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT), Auckland University of Technology (AUT) and Unitec to carry out swabbing at Community Testing Centres and in primary care.

The head of nursing at MIT, Associate Professor Deborah Rowe said, "As part of MIT we really want to be a part of that important Kaupapa and ensuring we’re keeping our community safe"

"Other universities... have used the medical students and radiology students etc, for MIT we’ve primarily used our nursing students.

"To date we’ve had an enormous amount of inquiries from our students who are really keen to get in there and help the community."

Shania Dod collects a sample at a United Memorial Medical Centre Covid-19 testing site.

The students all need to have had their second Covid-19 vaccination to step into the role.

In a statement, the Northern Region Health Coordination Centre said, "[students] will learn how to safely take a swab, donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection prevention and control procedures".

The two and a half hour training sessions started today and will run daily until Friday August 27.

Rowe believes it's a great opportunity for students.

"A lot of our students have lost their jobs. They were doing part time work, and a lot of them, because of the Level 4 lockdown they haven’t been able to do that. So it’s a fantastic opportunity for them to get some extra putea, some money, but also it increases their ability to have that hands on learning.

“It provides our tauira with additional experience contributing to the Covid-19 response which will be part of the worldwide healthcare landscape for the foreseeable future.”

Northern Region Health Coordination Centre Lead Fepulea'i Margie Apa said, "the Auckland metro region has seen unprecedented demand for testing in recent days and we appreciate the willingness of these students to be part of our frontline Covid-19 response".

Interested Auckland healthcare students can register online here.