Nursing students adapt to changes


By Jessika Fulton, Staff Reporter

With the COVID-19 outbreak, schools and hospitals have restricted access. For Amarillo College’s nursing program, the adaptation to tech supported learning has meant online exams, assignments and virtual clinicals.

Charlotte Wills, a first year nursing student, said all clinicals and simulations are online or Zoom based.

“Right now any skills that we have to learn and test off on we are filming at home or performing on a Zoom meeting for our professors to see and grade,” Wills said.

Students say the changes have been challenging.

“Many students including myself are unhappy with this as many are used to the on-campus lectures, especially as it is my first semester as a nursing student,” Arine Garin, a nursing student, said.

The situation has made it difficult to meet guidelines for nursing training.

“One thing that has been a bit of a challenge is ensuring that we follow the guidelines that the Board of Nursing has set in place for us students.  Each semester we are supposed to complete a number of clinical hours to help us become board certified,” Wills said.

Due to the COVID crisis, local hospitals are not allowing students into their facilities for clincals. The students who are unable to complete clinical hours in the hospital, their spring classes will be marked incomplete.

“Some of us were not even able to begin a clinical rotation before the school shut down, so instead we are taking a temporary incomplete for this semester’s clinical course until we can get back into the hospital and have more hands on experience,” Wills said.

Haley Macina, a nursing student who plans to graduate this December, said the situation isn’t ideal, but she still feels prepared.

“I have mixed feelings about the transition and style of learning, but I know our instructors are working diligently to ensure we are still learning everything we need to be successful once we graduate. From the very beginning of the program, they are teaching and preparing us for as many real life situations,” Macina said.

Wills also praised the AC nursing faculty for adapting their teaching methods during the crisis.

“We are still getting the same information, just delivered in a different format. Our professors are amazing and they’ve made this transition incredibly easy for us,” Wills said.

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