Medical Students Meeting Pandemic Staff Needs: Duty, Drives and Dreads - a cross-sectional questionnaire survey at Aalborg University in Denmark

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Background: The covid-19 pandemic hit healthcare systems globally, and demands on healthcare worker resources rose dramatically. Medical students are a potential resource to meet these demands, but to what extent can they be expected to step up, and where can they fill in.
Aims: To evaluate medical students’ contribution as healthcare workers during the pandemic and assess motivation and deterrence factors.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey questionnaire was distributed one year following the lockdown of the country and accessible from March 18th through April 14th 2021. All medical students enrolled at Aalborg University were asked about positions held, number of working hours, and factors of motivation and deterrence.

Results: The response rate was 69% (557 of 806), and 80.4% (448 of 557) of the respondents had performed paid work as healthcare workers during the pandemic. Students took up an array of jobs in the healthcare system, the most prevalent being Covid-19 test-personal (302, 54%), assistant nurse (149, 27%) and locum physician (115, 21%), with 42.2% (235 of 557) of medical students holding more than one position. The majority worked between 11 and 20 hours weekly, and the 448 medical students working in the pandemic reported filling in for 205 full-time jobs. Working students differed from non-working students by giving the most markedly higher scores to taking pride, participating in a historical event, receiving salary and improving job opportunities (all, p
Conclusion: Medical students proved to be willing contributors and flexible resources. The 448 medical students worked an estimated 344,000 hours during the first year of the pandemic, and they supported several job types. Differences within domains for motivation and deterrence were identified.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Research Archives
Issue number2
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2022

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