Alumni and students on the front lines – we see you, hear you, and thank you for your committed and passionate service to patients and families around the globe. You make all of us proud and we are inspired by your dedication and selfless acts to care for your patients. - Dean Andrews
Jess Belden, Alumna
What’s happening right now is overwhelming. As an ER nurse in one of the region’s largest hospitals, the pressure to protect our community while caring for those affected is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. So please, let your health care friends know you’re thinking about them. We need all the love and support we can get right now. We’re scared, but we will get through this.
Robert Blackwater, AGAC-NP Student
I have been working in the ED for about 5 years and thought I had experienced every kind of stress and curveball possible until these past few weeks. Testing patients for COVID-19 while knowing I am possibly being exposed to the virus and treating those already diagnosed, has made me that much more appreciative for my health and the strong workforce that I am surrounded by each time I step foot into the ED. While COVID-19 is continuing to spread, it is representing only a fraction of the patients that we are treating. It is vital, even more now, that we still continue to provide the same care for those patients coming to us for many other reasons. These patients provide perspective for our staff, as they are more of our ‘normal’ population. While these times may be stressful at work, I am grateful for job security and health more than ever. The opportunity to show compassion and empathy to anxious patients and overwhelmed coworkers is more prevalent now, so I am doing my best to make that my focus while at work.
Heather Green, Alumna
I’m currently working as a Certified Nephrology Nurse Practitioner here in the Columbia area. I work for a private practice and my typical day to day includes seeing patients in the hospital, outpatient dialysis unit, and office setting.
Since the start of CV-19, we have been inundated with emails from all of our collaborating facilities on what the standard of care should be when interacting with patients.
Our office is in the process of transitioning to telehealth visits. This is a huge adjustment as it’s something we’ve never done before Our ESRD patients in dialysis clinics are a special population. They are more at risk for having a serious case of the virus. Unfortunately, they can’t stay home! They must come to their dialysis treatments to stay alive. This means being in a center with at least 20 other patients plus the nursing staff for 4 hours 3 times a week.
Patients are required to have their temperatures checked prior to entering the building and they must wear masks the entire time they are there. The staff must don full PPE for their entire shifts gowns, gloves, masks, and face shields.
Megan Allison, Alumna
Being an L&D nurse, a lot of people don’t seem to think that coronavirus is affecting us very much. However, new research has shown that there have been several cases where moms did not show symptoms of COVID-19 until after delivery, where their symptoms became extremely severe. This is very scary, as the patients that we are interacting with on a daily basis may be carrying the virus and not even know it, exposing us all. Our new normal has become wearing N95 masks during epidural placement and while pushing and delivering the baby. Otherwise, we are to wear a surgical mask at all times as well as a hat to cover our hair to prevent us from bringing the virus home. My heart breaks having to watch moms deliver their babies with only one visitor, having to choose between their husbands and their moms being in the room and preventing other family from meeting the newborn for days. I love my job with a passion, but it’s become quite scary with all the uncertainty here lately!
Stephanie Munoz, AGAC-NP Student
I fly to NYC tonight and start Wednesday. I'm part of a team being deployed from Krucial Staffing- an emergency management staffing firm. I will arrive at the hotel in Times Square and the Incident Management Team will give me further information and my assignment. We are bused to our assignment daily for 21 days (12 hour shifts). We can be in hospitals, rapid drive-thru testing sites, etc.
Chelsea Headden, Alumna
As a public health nurse for DHEC, right now my job involves collecting information from multiple sources and providing that information to the public. Daily, I'm talking to patients and community members about COVID-19 updates.
Shir'Mel McCullough, Alumna & FNP-DNP Student
The one question will always remain...why did you choose nursing.
It wasn’t for the pay check.
It wasn’t for the cute scrubs.
It wasn’t for the fancy letters behind my name.
It was for instances such as this.
WHEN THINGS REALLY GET REAL.
Who is at the frontline? Nurses!