Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges have closed their doors and switched to online classes for the safety of students. While many majors are compatible with today's technology, others require a more hands-on experience. With mandatory social distancing orders, nursing students will face serious consequences from the COVID-19 shutdown.
Nursing majors across the nation are at a crossroads. Many of them can’t complete their labs or their clinicals, which is a hands-on practice at a local hospital. Biola University, located in La Mirada, California, is among these schools.
“There is nothing we could do about it,” Breanna Franz, a second-semester nursing student at Biola, said. “It really sucks. I’m going to be delayed another semester, but it's not like people haven’t tried to convince them to let us stay or propose other options to avoid that.”
Franz and other nursing students at Biola University will have to retake any theory classes that included a lab or a clinical, which makes up a majority of second and third-semester students' schedules.
The college proposed the idea of summer classes for these students at an accelerated rate to keep them on schedule, but as COVID-19 continues to spread uncontrollably, the school decided that alternative wouldn’t be possible.
“They’ve actually delayed the application process for underclassmen who are trying to get into the nursing program,” Franz said. “Even if I had gotten all of my hours in [working at the hospital], they wouldn’t let me move forward because everyone who is ahead of me is also being held back. It’s created a big jam in the system.”
Despite the fact that Franz will be delayed another semester in her studies, she believes that she and her peers could be doing more for their communities.
“We have skills and certifications to help people. That is what we want to be doing, that’s why we are here,” Franz said. “We could help with the routine patients while the doctors and other nurses put their time into the patients who have the coronavirus.”
Franz later stated that she understood why the schools and hospitals will not allow them to help but continued to stress her desire to use her skills and knowledge during this time of need.
With the virus continuing to sweep the nation, doctors and nurses who have been treating COVID-19 patients are now also contracting the disease due to a lack of protective gear. The need for doctors and nurses has never been greater. Hospitals urge people to stay home to reduce the spread and reduce the number of patients coming into already overwhelmed hospitals nationwide.
By Kristen Franz