A student nurse had to help an elderly patient shower after his toe fell off, the Dáil has heard.
As the TD's debated the motion of pay for student nurses and midwives, Sinn Féin TD for Kildare, Patricia Ryan, read one nurse’s particularly gruesome account into the Dáil record.
“One student nurse told me recently, that while helping a patient to shower, the patient’s toe came off in his sock.
“The student nurse was on her own and could not leave the patent alone.
"They had to finish the patient’s shower, and then find a nurse to seek help
Ms Ryan also read other accounts of nurses struggling with the demands being placed upon them during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The Dáil has been debating a motion whether to give a €100 allowance to student nurses.
During the debate, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson David Cullinane hit out at health minister Stephen Donnelly, saying that student nurses he had spoken to felt insulted by the proposed allowance.
Mr Cullinane pointed out that the €100 payment, divided over hours worked would equate to just €3.22 per hour.
Other opposition TDs contrasted the issue of student nurses' pay with the recent pay rise given to Secretary-General at the Department of Health, Robert Watt.
"How on earth do the government expect them to pay their bills and cover their rent, with 100 euros a week," said Rise TD, Paul Murphy.
It’s worth contrasting the treatment of the student nurses, with the position of the Secretary-General of the Department of Health, which is getting an extra €90,000 a year."
Solidarity TD for Cork North-Central Mick Barry called the issue “a scandal.”
The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) spoke out against the €100 proposal last week, saying the amount did not reflect the “risks” student nurses are regularly being exposed to.