In light of the recent deaths of two toddlers after receiving their Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccination (M.M.R.) in Savaii, the need to properly train nursing students is crucial.
Commission of Inquiry Chairman, Tuiloma Neroni Slade highlighted this during the submission made by the National University of Samoa School of Nursing to the Commission yesterday.
“This Commission of Inquiry has been called to work because of the very tragic event in this area; the Commission is focusing on the administration of the M.M.R. vaccine,” Tuiloma said.
“The event took place in the District Hospital and it is this reason we are focusing on this particular environment, but it is very clear that now whatever we do, it needs to be for the future, it means that it seems clear already that we need to focus on training, training, training, there’s never enough of training.
“I’d like to suggest that neither you, nor the National Health Service (N.H.S.) or the Health Ministry itself, some other health departments or Government indeed has a monopoly in training, everybody needs to work together, this needs to be a community action.”
Dean of Faculty of Health Science Salā Maatasesa Samuelu Matthes, in her submission, said their Bachelor of Nursing covers drug usage, administration and management.
“The bachelor of nursing is tailored to produce generalist nurses who are at the end ready registered under the catering of registered nurses,” Salā said.
“The 24 courses of the bachelor programme prepare a registered nurse to be able to provide comprehensive nursing care in hospital and community settings. This programme covers drug usage, administration and management.
“The nursing practice where students are allocated to areas of practice in the national hospital, the practice includes expanded programme of immunisation, they observe the practice of vaccine management, administration and documentation.”
Salā said they do not keep manuals of procedures, however the school maximises the use of what is available for teaching provided by health organisations.
“The fourth question given to us by the Commission is if there are trainings and whether these are available to nurses both here in Upolu and Savaii. This is not a question we have an answer to because the school of nursing does not provide any training specifically on the specialised fields of vaccinations.”
Salā added the postgraduate programme, which focuses on specialised fields like vaccination, is not within the capacity of the school at the moment and it’s something they are looking at.
The submission highlighted that the School works closely with the N.H.S. in training student nurses.