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College of Nursing

  • Thank you from Cocky

Frontline Gamecocks

Many of our alumni and graduate students are on the frontlines caring for patients during the day or night while attending class online and caring for themselves and their families. Others are working in supportive roles in hospitals, clinics, health departments, and other health systems. They inspire us with their stories  and experiences. During this unprecedented time in our nation’s history, nurses make a difference in the lives of millions of Americans. They are dedicated, committed, and passionate about their role in fighting this pandemic.

“The main challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic have been related to the disease’s unknown - its effects and transmission. It was scary for me knowing that I could be bringing COVID-19 germs back to the neonatal ICU, where the patients’ immune systems are extremely vulnerable. As hard as everything has been during the pandemic, staying positive has been easy. As a nurse, each shift’s primary goal is to save patient’s lives and positively influence them.”

Katherine Koss, ‘16 BSN, MSN Student
Children's Hospital of Georgia, Neonatal-ICU

“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.” 

Chelsea Headden, ‘18 BSN
Public Health Nurse, DHEC

“Once elective procedures resumed, we had to test all of our patients for COVID-19 before procedures were performed. If patients are an unknown status, the entire team has to dress out completely. We are adapting as much as we can as a unit.”
Hannah Kerrigan, ‘16 BSN
Surgery Center of Aiken 

“COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of my job as a nurse practitioner. Even the simplest cases are now more complex and time demanding. I think the biggest impact is learning how to advocate for a patient with COVID-19. I have developed a new level of resilience that I hope translates into more holistic patient care. The challenges have been more emotional and mental than physical. It has also been hard telling family members or explaining to patients that visitors are not allowed. It is heartbreaking to see how isolated our patients have become due to COVID-19.”
April Hutto, ‘01 BSN, ‘20 CGS
Lake Psychological Services, LLC, Columbia, SC

“I work in the Progressive Care Unit, which became a COVID-19 unit. It’s a scary feeling going in every day, but our patients need us.” 

Adeline Fotso, RN-BSN Student
Regional Medical Center, Orangeburg, SC

“Testing and treating patients for COVID-19 has made me so much more appreciative of my health. While these times may be stressful at work, I am grateful for the strong workforce I am with each time I step into the ED. COVID-19 patients represent only a fraction of the patients we are treating. Even more now, we must 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 ‘regular’ population. I am doing my best to show compassion and empathy to anxious patients and overwhelmed coworkers, which is more prevalent now.
Robert Blackwelder, ‘20 MSN
Augusta University Medical Center, ED

“What’s happening right now is overwhelming. As an ER nurse, the pressure to protect our community while caring for those affected is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. We’re scared, but we will get through this. 

Jess Belden, ‘12 BSN
Prisma Health ER

“During COVID-19, I have been floated to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, and Pediatric Oncology floors. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to broaden my knowledge base and skill set, connecting all the dots at such a critical yet eventful time.”
Shir' Mel McCullough, ‘18 BSN, DNP Student
MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital 

“My primary role includes assessing home-bound patients following acute illnesses who require hospitalization or rehab. I coordinate with primary providers to develop and facilitate safe care plans to continue their journey to health.
I educate patients and their caregivers on medications, disease processes, and safety in their homes. COVID-19 has been an interesting spin on my daily activities because I not only come in contact with high-risk patients but also educate caregivers
and family on their safety and precautions to keep all persons
safe and healthy in the community.”
Meredith Altenburg , MSN Student
Bayada Homehealth, Charlotte, NC




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