UTC’s School of Nursing Prepares Students for the Medical Field During a Pandemic

By Stephanie Swart, Photo Editor—

Despite the adjustment of online classes and Covid-19 safety protocols, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga’s School of Nursing continues to make the most of the situation for their students.

UTC’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students learn both in the classroom and in the field during clinical rotations. There are five levels to complete for the duration of the bachelors program, and each level requires the passing of multiple checkoffs along with exams.

The classroom experience involves the traditional learning environment as well as simulation labs. The labs are located in the Metropolitan Building on campus and are designed to simulate the setting of a hospital. Nursing students are able to prepare for their clinical duties in hospitals by completing checkoffs. Checkoffs involve the demonstration of certain skills on mannequin patients as professors observe through a one way window. The students must execute the skills without mistakes in order to pass the checkoffs.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the UTC nursing students have been able to safely continue their preparation for working in the medical field. Personal protective equipment is nothing new for nursing students, and level four nursing student, Cassetty Parrish, feels that the pandemic has led to her being more prepared for her future professional pursuits.

“Covid has not changed my clinicals besides requiring us to wear more personal protective equipment,” Parrish explained. “Pursuing my nursing degree during covid has helped me prepare for the medical field by preparing me for pandemics, but it has been harder to learn the subjects virtually. I feel like I took in-person classes for granted.”

The most recent and final checkoff for level four students was medication administration. This involved working with a mannequin patient whose medication had an error. It was the student’s responsibility to catch the error, educate their patient on their medications and monitor their labs and vital signs.

As the status of the pandemic evolves, so will the UTC School of Nursing.

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