Edith Cowan University nursing students urged to get Covid-19 vaccine prior to clinical placement

Students urged to get the vaccine

NURSING STUDENTS in aged-care practical units at Edith Cowan University have been told they must receive a Covid-19 vaccination by 8am, August 1.

In an email recently received by students on July 18, students enrolled in clinical placement units were told they would need to receive the jab prior to beginning their placement at aged care facilities.

"Students must provide evidence of at least one vaccination by the due date," Clinical Associate Dean Olivia Gallagher wrote in the email.

"Clinical placement providers reserve the right to refuse students on clinical placement, which may then affect the students' ability to progress in their course."

"I strongly recommend all students across all courses get vaccinated as soon as possible."

In the Mail's 'Vaccine for Aged Care' story in the July 14 edition, workers in the aged care sector were divided over the Covid-19 vaccination being made mandatory.

Whilst some workers were in favour of the vaccination to protect aged care residents, others raised concerns over having the jab if they had existing autoimmune issues.

An Edith Cowan University student commented on the story on Facebook, expressing her concern over not receiving her nursing degree if she did not receive the vaccination at this point in her studies.

"I think we should be allowed a choice. It's unfair that this is being pushed on me because I have chosen to work as a nurse," the student said.

"I am fully vaccinated against everything else and have spent hundreds of dollars to do so, so I can protect others. I always knew we would need to be vaccinated against Covid later down the line once it had been approved and wasn't only just a couple months old, but we are only second semester nursing students."

An Edith Cowan University spokesperson said whilst being vaccinated had no bearing on their eligibility to graduate, Edith Cowan University students did need to successfully complete clinical placements as part of their course.

Some of us don't even work in aged care, but we are being forced because of our three weeks of prac at the end of this year.

ECU Nursing student

"Following on from National Cabinet's decision, all those working in an aged care setting, including students on clinical placements, must be vaccinated by mid-September."

"It is for this reason that although ECU does not require students to be vaccinated, we recommend they do so in order to successfully complete their placements, as well as protecting themselves and members of the community," the spokesperson said.

The three clinical placement units that Edith Cowan University nursing students are required to get their vaccination for are NPU1101, NPU1202 and NPU2303.

Another nursing student told the Mail that 'NPU1101' is a core unit that students need to complete in order to receive their nursing degree.

"Some of us don't even work in aged care, but we are being forced because of our three weeks of prac at the end of this year," the student said via Facebook.

"I have no issue with vaccinations. What I have an issue with is that the vaccine is not yet approved."