Clinical placements for student nurses and midwives to resume in phases

Placements for first, second and third year students are to resume on a phased basis from February 8

Mandatory Clinical Placements for student nurses and midwives in first to third year are to resume on a phased basis from next Monday.

From February 8, student nurses and midwives will return to placements in phases, the Department of Health has confirmed.

In an email to students seen by Trinity News, Dr Damien Byrne of the School of Nursing and Midwifery said he was “very pleased that the national suspension of placements has been lifted”.

“It is the consistent position of our school that, as far as possible within the current Covid-19 context, supernumerary placements should proceed,” Byrne said.

The decision will have an immediate impact on Senior Fresh students who were on placement at the time of the initial suspension. College has advised that “not all placements will be viable from February 8 and that there will be “some unevenness in the timing of the return of students”. 

College has also stated that they expect placements for Junior Fresh and Junior Sophister students to proceed as planned in March.

On January 29, after an initial two-week placement hiatus, it was reported in the national media that the suspension was to be extended by another week. This led to disappointment among students who were not aware of the decision before the news broke.

Today, in a letter from the Department of Health, Chief Nursing Officer Rachel Kenna acknowledged that this failure in communication from the department had an adverse effect on students. 

“I want to make it clear that it was not the intention that my letter last week would reach you after the media reported the decision and it is important for me to acknowledge that this added to your concerns at this challenging time,” Kenna said.

The Chief Nursing Officer said the department will continue to monitor the situation and she will be in contact with students again the during the week of February 15.

Clinical placements for student nurses in first to third year were suspended since the government announcement on January 16.

Kate Henshaw

Kate Henshaw is current Editor-in-Chief of Trinity News, and a graduate of Sociology and Social Policy. She previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.