New Delhi: The Health Ministry has released the standard operating procedure (SOP) for reallocation of residents, PG students and nursing students as part of hospital management of COVID-19.
The SOP is also applicable to private hospitals and colleges.
According to the SOP, the hospital may be divided into three broad zones — non covid area, covid area looking after patients with mild to moderate illness and critical area like the ICU.
Additionally, a triage area needs to be developed during emergency where patients with acute severe respiratory illness will be admitted. Emphasising on training of medical professionals, the Health Ministry said it is also important to ensure linkage between the team providing training and the COVID-19 Task Force responsible for deployment of resident students.
“No resident should be posted at any COVID-19 facility without undergoing an essential training module, as is being conducted by the hospital infection control team”, said the SOP.
The Ministry is also pondering to include psychologists to be part of the training, to enhance motivation of participating residents.
The COVID-19 Task Force and faculty-in-charge for various levels of the facilities will decide the total number of individuals required per team / shift and the duration of a shift (depending on the need to wear personal protective equipment).
“The total number of individuals per team can be modified based on patient load in a facility and or the proportion of critically ill patients. It is however suggested, that the numbers can be arrived on after the experience of the first few days of management at these facilities, and then serve as a template for future planning”, said the health ministry in the SOP.
According to the SOP, additional training must be given at the facility where the resident is posted – keeping the three levels of facility in mind. Hence, if there are two locations where screening takes place, the content of the facility level training must be the same, even if it is being delivered by different team leaders at the different physical locations. This will ensure that all key aspects of training are covered, irrespective of site of delivery and trainer.
The faculty-in-charge is required to ensure uniform level of training is devised and delivered. “Training about COVID-19, and other aspects of clinical evaluation of patients should also be made available for residents, especially those drawn from departments where there is either no regular patient-care activity (pre- and para- clinical departments) or if they so desire, even those with a limited engagement with sick patients”, said the SOP.
The Health Ministry said it may rope in nursing students to manage the health crisis. “As our country is facing an unprecedented public health emergency.
The COVID-19 cases are increasing the need for more manpower is essential to handle the pandemic situation. If the need arises, students can be roped in to handle the crisis, as per their level of skills and training”, said the SOP.