Sydney

College students driving ambulances to meet demand as paramedics become isolated: union

The union says that more than 12 vehicles are unmanned during one shift, as college emergency medical students are forced to drive ambulances and workers are forced to be isolated due to the outbreak of Omicron. I am saying.

Up to 18 ambulances remained unmanned throughout the metropolitan Adelaide in a single shift alone, as “a significant number” of rescuers captured Covid-19 or were identified as close contacts during the recent outbreak.

Leah Watkins, secretary of the Ambulance Employees Association, said SA Ambulance Service needs to hire third-year emergency medical students to drive vehicles and fill vacant seats on the roster.

She said the students had a quick introduction process. It put more pressure on the emergency care working with them as they need to attend all cases.

“Usually they share duties with rescuer partners, one leading one patient and the other leading the next,” Watkins told NCA NewsWire.

“They work at full PPE at this intensity for 12-14 hours without breaks. Look at their colleagues monitoring the safety of the scene. It’s physically and mentally exhausting. doing.”

Camera iconAEA secretary Ria Watkins said a third-year college student was hired to drive an ambulance because of the isolation of so many rescuers. NCA NewsWire / Brenton Edwards credit: News Corp Australia

Rescuer morale is said to have “bottomed out” as members felt burnout and collapsed, either quitting their jobs altogether or working part-time to deal with constant pressure.

According to Watkins, emergency response time has increased to “dangerous levels” because only 40% of priority 1 cases or patients with cardiac arrest were satisfied.

She said that priority 2 cases, including those who had a heart attack or anaphylactic reaction, those who were stabbed, shot, electrocuted, or involved in a car accident, were only achieved for 32% of the time. Stated.

The union urged the state government to admit that SAAS failed to meet its response time target due to staff shortages.

“We were holding the heads of the government and loggerhead turtles about what we saw as apparently scarce,” Watkins said.

“The government has fought us at every stage. When we emphasized the patient’s unfavorable experience, they called it” it was just a surge “or” we bent “. I explained in.

Covid Update Presser
Camera iconHealth Minister Stephen Wade said the state government has significantly increased ambulance resources. NCA NewsWire / Brenton Edwards credit: News Corp Australia

However, Health Minister Stephen Wade said the state government has “significantly” increased ambulance resources, including doubling the acceptance of emergency medical internships in 2021 and 2022 and adopting triple-zero call takers.

SAAS has taken various steps to ensure that the security of South Australians is not compromised by staff isolation, and the Covid-19 Resilience Program was implemented before the state border opened in November last year. Always use paramedicine students to respond to the virus in the state.

“These investments are on top of an additional 74 FTE ambulance officers announced by the treasurer in this year’s state budget,” Wade said.

“As a result of these investments, South Australia has more emergency medical personnel, rescue personnel and triple zero call takers than ever before.

“Frontline medical staff is not unique to South Australia, but is seen nationwide, including the entire ambulance service.”

We are also seeking comments from the SA Ambulance Service.

College students driving ambulances to meet demand as paramedics become isolated: union

Source link College students driving ambulances to meet demand as paramedics become isolated: union

Related Articles

Back to top button