1. We are not considered employees in the hospital as we don't have any employment contract.
Yes. Not considered as employee because of that "Specialized Area training" contract as youve signed earlier.
However, in my opinion, you can still fight your right to become a regular employee because your services rendered to the hospital are usually necessary and desirable to their operation, likewise, the "SAT" is somewhat a contract that circumvent your status to become a regular employee.
2. The pay is a little less than minimum
Valid and legal since was agreed upon in the contract(SAT), likewise, you are not yet entitled to minimum wage because you are not considered yet as their employee.
3. We are still trainees but we were given the workload of a regular duty nurse. Like, we are left on our own when we work with pay.
That is valid because as such is within the scope of your contract (SAT). So, In my opinion, if you fight your right to be a regular employee, then you can establish this fact to support your cause that your services are necessary and desirable to their operation.
4. Can a verbal agreement be legally binding in employment?
Yup. Contracts can be made orally or thru in writing, and in both cases they are binding between the contracting parties. Further, contracts are perfected by mere consent. Hence, The moment you give your consent to that verbal agreement, then as such is binding between you and the hospital.
5. Is it considered deceit on their part when we were supposedly undergoing special training yet we are filling in for regular duty nurses during understaffing?
In my opinion, there was a deceit and negligence with respect to the supervision made by the regular staff to your supposed training.
6. Can we just do the special training and disregard calls for floor duty nursing?
Qualify it. IF that "calls for floor duty nursing" is not embodied in the "SAT" contract or Vebally said by the person whom youve talked to during the signing of that "SAT" then you can refuse or disragard such call.
Otherwise, if stated in the contract or verbally said to you AT THE TIME of signing the "SAT" then you are obliged to take heed the call.