The nursing union has threatened to ballot nurses working at Cork University Hospital (CUH) over plans to introduce operating theatre assistants.
Hospital management wants to enable healthcare assistants (HCAs) to work as operating theatre assistants. They would assist surgical teams by taking up non-nursing duties currently done by highly trained theatre nurses.
Management believes the move would allow for the professional development of HCAs, free up nurses from non-core duties and improve patient flow.
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