FAQs Student Placements and COVID-19
The COVID-19 situation continues to evolve and it is important to regularly check the latest updates on the NSW Government website.
Yes. At this time, NSW Health is supportive of the continuation of safe, risk assessed student placements in NSW Health facilities and affiliated organisations wherever possible throughout our pandemic response.
Student placements are an essential element of educating and training our future health workforce. It is important that health students can commence and continue their placements to ensure they can meet their registration and accreditation requirements. However, additional considerations may be necessary from time to time as risk profiles change within the health system. Given the seriousness of the delta variant, NSW Health may need to make decisions to pause placements for a limited period in certain facilities to manage risk to both students and patients. We will ensure that education providers are notified as early as possible, noting that these decisions may need to be made with immediate effect at times.
For students to attend their placements in NSW Health health facilities, the Clinical Placements in NSW Health Policy still applies.
Patient, staff and student safety, well-being and quality of care is to be prioritised in all situations.
Decisions around the continuation and safety of student placements should continue to be based on risk assessments and consideration of local circumstances. In terms of risk assessment, students should be treated in the same way as existing staff and not unnecessarily excluded.
The COVID-19 screening requirements for NSW Healthcare facilities should be referred to for full details of the necessary screening procedures.
Yes. In terms of risk assessment, students should be treated in the same way as existing staff.
More information can be found on the NSW Health website.
The latest advice for health workers, staff, healthcare students and volunteers diagnosed with and / or showing symptoms of COVID-19 or in contact with a COVID-19 case is available on the NSW Health website.
Where NSW Health clinical services are reduced or suspended for safety reasons, weighing up the capacity of clinicians to manage students and the ability for students to achieve learning outcomes may be necessary.
Education Providers are asked to consider how they may assist hospitals to facilitate student placements, particularly if supervision concerns or time of placements are raised.
It may be possible to facilitate students in alternative placement settings. Where appropriate and necessary, the relevant NSW Health service is encouraged to identify any alternative placement arrangements in consultation with Education Provider partners.
Yes. Under a temporary Regulation for the COVID-19 emergency under section 17 of the Electronic Transactions Act 2000 (NSW), the categories of people authorised to witness NSW statutory declarations have been expanded to include those who may witness Commonwealth statutory declarations. For further information on who can witness a statutory declaration, see the Federal Government Guidelines.
In addition, the Regulation provides that NSW statutory declarations can temporarily be witnessed by video conferencing technology (eg Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, and Zoom). The witness must still see a person signing the document in real time and endorse the document by specifying how the document was witnessed and that the document was witnessed in accordance with section 14G of the Electronic Transactions Act 2000 (NSW). For further details on these temporary requirements and their application, please see Part 2B of the Act. The temporary Regulation will expire on 31 December 2021, unless changed by further regulation or resolution of Parliament.
The provisions outlined in the Regulation apply to overseas applicants and overseas students applying for a position / placement in NSW Health where they are required to provide a NSW statutory declaration regarding any criminal charges or convictions.
NSW Health will also apply the above provisions to relevant Commonwealth statutory declarations, in line with current advice from the Federal Attorney-General’s Department.
Yes. While there is a legal requirement in place for Healthcare workers and students that work in a State Government residential aged care facility to have an annual influenza vaccination, Policy PD2020_017 Occupational Assessment, Screening and Vaccination against Specified Infectious Diseases mandates that these workers must be vaccinated provided the vaccine is available.
Workers or students working in a State Government residential aged care facility that are unable to receive the influenza vaccine due to a medical contraindication as per the online Australian Immunisation Handbook must provide evidence from their doctor or treating specialist. During the influenza season these workers must wear a surgical/procedural mask while providing patient care or be deployed while the legal requirement is in place.
Workers or students working in a State Government residential aged care facility who refuse annual influenza vaccination must not work in the facility while the legal requirement is in place.
The National principles for clinical education during the COVID-19 pandemic support and encourage student placements to continue where this is safe and possible to do so. They set out national principles to guide the decisions of professions, accreditation authorities, education providers and health services about student clinical education during the COVID-19 pandemic response. This includes safety principles to protect patients, students and staff working in health services while supporting the delivery of high quality care to patients during COVID-19.