Can UTH Student midwives juggle all duties while nurses continue to strike

UTH Student midwives

STUDENT nurses who have assumed full duties at Lusaka’s University Teaching Hospital (UTH) following a strike by nurses and midwives have been overwhelmed by work and are worried about failing their examinations.
As the strike entered day-four yesterday, some trainees complained that they are being given huge responsibilities to attended to, leaving them with little time, for study and for doing their assignments.
The students, who asked not to be identified, said although they are trained to do such work, the strike at UTH has had a negative bearing on their studies.
“Although we are working, we have assignments to do, we have examinations very soon….there are too many patients who come to this hospital,” one of the students said.
Another student who identified herself only as Chileshe, said studies have come to a virtual halt as the trainees are dedicating their time to patients.
“In terms of studies, we are seriously affected because others work in the night.  We are working in the afternoon and other groups work in the morning.  So we are not even studying because we are concentrating on the wards,” she said.
They also complained of working for long hours without being provided with food.
“We are just working… we don’t even know why we are working because we are students and we are supposed to be in class studying, not in the UTH. We have a timetable which indicates when we are supposed to be here…this time we are not supposed to be here,” she said.
She said even if the students are trying to study, it is far below the required standards of studying.
“For example if we have a test next week, we might get 50 percent when we are supposed to get 80 percent. The strike is affecting us,” she said.
They appealed to Government to urgently address the situation so that nurses can get back to work.
And one of the patients, Mike Muhau, said students, with the help of some doctors and other health staff, are doing a good job and should be motivated.
On Saturday, Public Service Management Division permanent secretary Velepi Mtonga appealed to the health workers to return to work because the anomalies relating to new salary grades will be rectified and they will be paid this month.