New way of learning in the nursing field

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Jordyn Franklin/The Lion's Roar

Nursing students have been able to better understand the scope of their future careers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For many nursing students, their learning experience has opened the door for new insights to the medical field due to COVID-19.

Nicholas Moncaleano, a senior nursing major, discussed how being a nursing student has changed under new circumstances.

“The pandemic has definitely changed aspects of my major,” said Moncaleano. “There’s the obvious superficial level changes, such as having to wear a mask and having to social distance. However, it has also given me an interesting perspective of the medical field during this public health crisis.”

During the progression of the pandemic, professionals in the medical field have been in the spotlight on the frontlines, with the extra hours and efforts they have had to endure.

“It’s a bad and good time to be a student as you get to see many things you wouldn’t have in a normal world,” shared Moncaleano. “It has highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of the medical fields, as the pandemic has had a massive strain on the medical field.”

Camryn Austin, a senior nursing major, emphasized the length that medical professionals are going through to combat COVID-19.

 

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“COVID-19 has changed my perception towards nursing, but for the better,” said Austin. “I think this pandemic has shed a light on just how important our health care workers are. In a time where everything is so uncertain, nurses are not only providing for patients but also helping to educate them and just be a smiling face to those who may not be able to have family and visitors in the hospitals at this time.”

Austin reflected on the difficulties that arose from campus being closed last semester.

“The initial shutdown of school back in March was definitely an adjustment that was felt by all students,” discussed Austin. “Nursing is a very hands-on profession, so it was different to transition into completely online learning. But our professors worked diligently to provide us with as much ‘patient interaction’ and skills as possible, recording videos of themselves from their homes to show us how to perform certain skills, as well as having online simulations that showed us clinical patients and how the choices we would have made throughout the experience would have affected them.”

Since the university has converted to hybrid learning, nursing students have returned to a hands-on learning experience.

“Fortunately, this semester is pretty close to normal as we are in class, of course following precautions, and we’re allowed to go to clinical,” mentioned Moncaleano. “We have missed out on community activities and things of the sort, but everyone is doing their best to maximize learning.”

Austin described the rundown of how classes are being conducted.

“In this fall semester we have moved back on campus, taking the necessary precautions to keep us safe,” said Austin. “We have been given the option for our lecture class to go in-person or watch online, which I really appreciate. Being able to be back in the skills lab and hospitals has allowed me to learn better and feel a sense of normalcy amid this craziness.”

A significant part of being a nursing student includes attending clinicals during the last two semesters of the undergraduate program.

“We are required to wear masks for the duration of our clinical day, and we must be screened before entering the hospital,” explained Austin. “However, the patients have been so kind in allowing us into their rooms and letting us be a part of the patient care they recieve. I just finished my OB rotation, and I was allowed to perform all the skills and tasks that I would have been able to pre-COVID.”

Austin explained how the experience has changed her, not only as a student, but a person as well.

“COVID-19 has helped me to develop a deeper passion for wanting to help and care for those who are sick and hurting and ease their minds as best as I can,” shared Austin. “At first, I was not sure what our clinical experience would look like in the midst of a pandemic, but in most ways I feel like I am receiving the same experience as in past semesters.”

 

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