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Concerns over revelation student nurses being used in Christchurch MIQ facilities

Some in the health sector are alarmed at the revelation student nurses are being used in frontline jobs in managed isolation and quarantine facilities in Christchurch.

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However Canterbury District Health Board says what it’s doing is safe. Source: 1 NEWS

It's such a concern the nurses’ union is demanding it be stopped immediately for public safety reasons.

However, the local district health board says what it's doing is safe, and a great learning experience.

New Zealand Nurses Organisation president and kaiwhakahaere Kerri Nuku disagrees.

“It's not OK to put our nursing students in this situation,” she told 1 NEWS.

“When we found out we were really shocked and concerned about the organisations putting young nursing students at risk.”

She says their inexperience could lead to Covid-19 getting into the community.

But the school that put them there stands by the decision.

“I believe what we are doing is the right thing in terms of building that experience, if for one minute we thought there was lack of safety then we wouldn’t be doing this,” Tony Gray, chief executive at the Ara Institute of Canterbury, says.

The students working in MIQ volunteered for the work experience.

They've also got the backing of Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins.

“They are supervised by other experienced nurses, some exposure to work in an MIQ setting is not necessarily a bad thing,” he told 1 NEWS.

However, a number of registered nurses who initially raised the issue with 1 NEWS still question why students are going into these facilities.

They say only trained professionals should be there, not students who are still learning.