Several of Trinity’s science departments have donated personal protective equipment such as masks, goggles and gloves to St James’s and Tallaght hospitals to help healthcare workers treat patients during the coronavirus pandemic.
Some 208 coronavirus patients in Ireland are HSE staff. In the last week, 60,000 healthcare workers – students among them – signed up to volunteer with the HSE’s “Be on Call for Ireland” initiative.
Speaking to The University Times, Prof Tomás Ryan, an associate professor in Trinity’s Institute of Neurosciences, said: “We’re just doing what we can.”
“We put a call around Trinity to all the biology departments, also engineering, geography, geology”, Ryan said. “We got a response much better than expected.”
The equipment donated includes gowns, masks, visors, goggles, and gloves for healthcare workers. The majority of items were sent to St James’s Hospital, with some equipment sent to Tallaght University Hospital. Both are teaching hospitals affiliated with Trinity.
Ryan added that he was impressed by the Irish response to the coronavirus pandemic as well as the response from Trinity’s academics in supporting healthcare staff.
“We’ll give them everything we have”, he said. “Everyone in academia just has so much good will – we just want to give everything we have to help.”
Elsewhere in Trinity, large numbers of nursing and midwifery students have been pulled from their clinical placement, but final-year nurses on internships are still being required to attend.
First and third-year nursing students, who were on placement up to last week, were told they would not have to attend their clinical placements for the rest of the year, and will not have to make up for lost time during the summer.
Second-year nursing and midwifery students were not on placement at the time.
Meanwhile, final years on internships – an arrangement that sees them paid €10.47 an hour, and requires them to make up lost time unless accompanied by a doctor’s certificate – are still attending internships that run from January to September.