Canceled on-site training for nurses, med students could delay critically needed help

As U.S. hospitals cancel clinical rotations for student nurses and medical students amid the coronavirus pandemic, they could be delaying their entry into the healthcare workforce at a critically needed time, Kaiser Health News reported.

The cancellation of on-site training is occurring at hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare venues nationally. 

Although the cancellations aim to protect students and patients and reserve personal protective equipment, medical educators have expressed concerns about the potential effects for nursing and medical school students, according to Kaiser Health News. 

Students are concerned they may not be able to graduate on time due if they can't meet their training requirements, which also could affect the number of students able to enter the healthcare workforce.

"We are in unprecedented times," John Prescott, MD, chief academic officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges told the nonprofit news service. "Medical education hasn't faced anything quite like this since the beginning of the second World War."

Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente is among the healthcare organizations that have canceled on-site training.

According to Kaiser Health News, Kaiser requested on March 5 that nursing schools temporarily discontinue student clinical rotations in its northern California medical centers. Roseville, Calif.-based Adventist Health and San Francisco-based Dignity Health reportedly took similar actions. Additionally, Little Rock-based University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has asked students to leave their clinical rotations.

Other places that have suspended clinical rotations for some medical students include Philadelphia-based University of Pennsylvania as well as Minneapolis-based University of Minnesota

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