"Do you find it normal that as a student nurse, we find ourselves being requisitioned to do nursing aid in covid services all that to be paid 1.40 euro per hour?".
This message, posted on Twitter Tuesday evening by @Marianne_Adkins went viral on Wednesday on the social network, reposted and liked tens of thousands of times.
You find it normal that as a student nurse we end up being requisitioned to do nursing aid in covid services all that to be paid 1 € 40 an hour ??? It's scandalous
– dancing queen (@Marianne_Adkins) March 23, 2020
We received a similar testimony at hooly-news.com. From a grandfather about his granddaughter, a first year nursing student.
"She had to do her internship in a hospital in Normandy. She was told that she was reassigned to another hospital in the region, 90 kilometers away, in palliative care. And despite the extended hours, the pressure, of the horrors that she will see there, her remuneration remains that provided for her initial internship, of 35 euros per week, "he was indignant.
Requisitioning students is illegal
Stories of this ilk, the National Federation of Nursing Students receives dozens a day right now. Calls and emails from nursing students on the front line in the fight against the coronavirus, after barely a year of study, at paltry wages.
Students who also report that where they have been assigned, "they only have a mask for the whole week, or no protection because they go first to 'real' caregivers," said Felix Ledoux, the president of Fnesi.
The situation is even more irregular than at present, it is illegal to requisition nursing students in hospitals. The white plan, launched on March 14 on the occasion of the passage from France to stage 3 of the epidemic, allows hospitals to requisition caregivers, but professionals: retirees, city doctors, liberal nurses, etc. Not the students.
Schools closed, but internships maintained
To send the nursing students to the front, there is nevertheless a parade: the internships. From the first year of the course, you must complete a 5-week internship in a health facility. And even this year, when the Nursing Training Institutes closed (like all schools in France on March 16), the internships were maintained. In recent days, cohorts of students who were doing their internship in "reeducation", "surgery" or other services have found themselves reassigned to "Covid units".
What upset their federation. "These internships are no longer educational. Students are not supervised because the service is underwater, and their missions are no longer the same as a traditional internship," said the organization which represents 94,000 nursing students from France. As for their remuneration, it is effectively that provided for any internship: 28 euros per week in the 1st year, 38 euros in the 2nd, and 50 euros in the 3rd year.
And since these internships count to validate the year, "students who would challenge their assignment fear being rated badly, or receiving bad comments," pointed out our grandfather of future nurse.
Soon a law for the requisitions of students
Whenever it receives a testimony on irregularities of this kind, the Federation of nursing students takes it back to its supervisory ministries, those of Health and Higher Education and Research, which "react very quickly to regularize ", says Felix Ledoux.
In any case, the situation of nursing students should be much better managed soon. "A decree authorizing the requisitioning of nursing students will appear in the coming days, and it will notably define their hours and their remuneration," warns the president of Fnesi.
In the meantime, his organization encourages them to volunteer to help the hospitals, but "on condition that they go to the back, in departments neglected by professional carers who have gone to help the Covids. And above all, that they are properly equipped and remunerated ".
Felix Ledoux counts on this assistance from the regions. In Ile-de-France for example, President Valérie Pécresse called on the 15,000 nursing students from Ile-de-France “to come in support of public and private hospitals”. To compensate them, she indicated that the region would unlock enough to pay them 1540 euros gross for those in first year and 1830 for those in second and third year.