Pasadena City College is celebrating Nurse Appreciation Week this week to recognize all of their nursing students, future students, alumni and faculty, many of whom are on the frontlines in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If there was ever a time to celebrate nurses, it is now. While nurses should be appreciated year-round, they are currently the backbone to our fight against COVID-19,” PCC said in a post on Facebook Tuesday.
The appreciation goes especially for PCC’s nursing faculty, many of whom are “clinically active,” meaning they’re not only teaching, through online classes, but providing care as well in local hospitals during this unprecedented time.
PCC’s Dean of Health Sciences Dr. Micah Young said PCC wanted to shine a spotlight on these nursing professionals, whose commitment to rise above the challenges of these unprecedented times has been exceptional.
“The nursing faculty has done a remarkable job of transitioning and developing innovative ways to remotely distribute a curriculum that was once thought to be doable only in person,” Dr. Young said. “I’ve seen instructors who were reluctant to ever teach in a distance modality embrace this new reality of remote learning. All the while, they’ve demonstrated their ability to be on the frontlines in terms of innovation in educational approaches as well as being on the frontlines in healthcare.”
One of PCC’s nursing faculty, Assistant Professor Rindy Kettle, assigned to care for COVID-19 patients at an LA county trauma center, dedicates as much of her free time to her PCC students as she can. Through Zoom, she gives daily feedback to students as they undergo clinicals (nurses’ practical training, usually in a real or simulated hospital environment) without her direct involvement.
Because of restrictions due to COVID-19, these students may not be able to complete their requirements to take their NCLEX and become Registered Nurses, Kettle said. So when Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, PCC’s major hospital partner, started taking in nursing students to help, it was a welcome gift, she said.
“The students who decided to do it are having a wonderful experience and are really stepping up and making a difference, which is what nursing is all about,” Kettle said.
PCC said Huntington Memorial specifically requested PCC students to work alongside their nursing staff once it was determined that the reopening of clinicals was safe.
“Our nursing students are participating in healthcare that no one has ever seen and hopefully will never see again,” PCC Nursing Instructor Paula Marie Vento said. “They leapt at the chance to care for patients and learn from nurses on the frontlines of this pandemic.”
Although clinicals were initially canceled due to the state-wide shutdown, PCC’s nursing students have been back in clinicals at Huntington Memorial for the past two weeks. Vento’s students are currently assisting in testing and caring for non-COVID hospital patients to relieve nursing staff to care for those who are infected.
“All at once our students are using every bit of their theory and lab content to become the registered nurses they dreamed of,” Vento said. “They’re doing a great job jumping into the fray at Huntington Memorial Hospital. We all are so proud of them!”
More stories about how PCC’s nursing faculty are working on the frontlines can be read through the PCC Foundation website, www.pccfoundationimpact.com/pccfrontlines.