To develop a process to ensure nursing and midwifery students are aware of the Work Health & Safety (WH&S) considerations when undertaking in paid employment during their PEP.
Present Problem: Students are putting those for whom they care and themselves at risk by undertaking paid or volunteer employment in addition to their PEP hours. Working whilst on PEP results in fatigue and impairs the nursing or midwifery student's judgement leading to increased clinical risk for the person the student is providing care, self-injury for the student, and additional supervision requirements for clinical staff. JCU N&M seeks to minimise all stakeholders' risks.
Work Health and Safety: It is expected JCU nursing and midwifery students will not undertake paid or volunteer employment whilst on PEP as it poses an occupational and safety risk. Working whilst on PEP results in fatigue and impairs the student's judgement and can lead to increased clinical risk for the person to whom the student is providing care, self-injury for the student, and additional supervision requirements for clinical staff.
Student agreement: JCU nursing and midwifery students sign a student placement agreement and by doing so agree not to work in paid or volunteer employment whilst undertaking their PEP.
Communication: If a student has circumstances requiring, they work they should advise the Academic Lead: Professional Practice during week 1 of the study period. The student will be referred to the Subject Coordinator and Year Level Advisor and provided advice regarding academic progress implications associated with re-enrolling in the subject.
Work Commitments: Students enrol in clinical units at the beginning of semester. When enrolling in a clinical unit students are agreeing to be available for a clinical placement. It is expected that if students are given at least 6 weeks’ notice of their PEP allocation students will be available to attend. Students should inform their employer of impending placement requirements before enrolling to ensure they can be absent from the workplace to undertake their PEP. Students should inform their employer that they are not to be rostered for paid employment during their PEP period.
Financial Resources: The Academic Lead Professional Practice advises nursing and midwifery to seek available scholarships to assist with associated PEP costs. Professional experience placements and the associated costs remain nursing and midwifery students’ responsibility.
Students are aware when they accept the offer of enrolment in the BNSc and the BNSc-BMid of the PEP requirement associated with each course.
Students are advised to seek JCU Student Support services if they are experiencing financial difficulties.
Non Compliance: If a student is found to be in paid or voluntary employment whilst on PEP the student will be counselled by their subject coordinator of the dangers to themselves and others.
Risk minimisation: If the student continues to work and it is judged by the Clinical Facilitator, Clinical Coach, or Nurse Unit Manager, and Subject Coordinator to be affecting their safety, performance, or posing a clinical risk to people or the organisation, they will be strongly advised to discontinue paid or voluntary employment. A student unable to heed advice may be removed from PEP. Removing the student from PEP is to minimise the risk of harm to people to whom the student is providing care, the student, the organisation, and James Cook University. Removal of a student from PEP will result in an Unsatisfactory (U) grade being awarded for PEP.
Appeals process: The student may at any time seek advice if they believe they have grounds to appeal a decision. The Head Nursing and Midwifery will advise the student of the outcome.