As COVID-19 testing continues to ramp up on campus, some students want to have a helping hand during this historic time.
The Graves Gilbert Clinic began hiring nursing students, along with students from healthcare administration and other departments, as employees, some assisting with COVID-19 testing. However, while the clinic is still hiring students, they are no longer hiring any to assist with COVID-19 related tasks.
“We haven’t stopped hiring students entirely,” stated Graves Gilbert employee Leah Goodwin in an email. “We will continue to hire as needed to meet staffing requirements. With our current staff levels and the addition of the student workers, we are able to sufficiently manage the patient volume to ensure that each patient receives the best care possible.”
There are nursing students employed with Graves Gilbert who deal with COVID-19.
According to Dr. Zaiba Moledina, a physician practice coordinator at Graves Gilbert, the safety of its employees and patients is the clinic’s number one priority.
“We use an improved testing technique that protects the tester from the risks they use to incur in the massive drive-by testing,” Moledina stated in an email. “By using a shorter, more patient friendly swab, the physical response to the test (coughing, sneezing, gagging... and the accompanying spewing of bodily fluid) by the patient is minimal.”
With the mystery and severity of the coronavirus, it is expected that some students and employees don’t feel comfortable being in contact with potential cases. To Graves Gilbert, this is not a problem.
“The students or patients who are at the least bit concerned, can reach out to their supervisor or the lab director with their concerns,” Moledina stated. “Our team will then take the necessary actions based on student/patient concerns.”
Aside from previously hired student employees at GGC, nursing students will not come into contact with anyone suspected to have COVID-19 or any type of infectious disease.
“For now, students may assist nursing personnel with other functions, to include non-patient care activities, to allow the nursing staff more time to spend with patients who may have some type of infectious disease,” the WKU nursing program’s website stated.
According to the CEO of Graves Gilbert, Chris Thorn, working at the clinic as a student can give valuable experience in the nursing field.
“The students will obtain real life, hands-on experience in parts of healthcare,” Thorn stated in an email. “Practical experience will help when they follow their educational path. It’s one thing to learn from a book or a classroom, but more meaningful and valuable if you have experience applying the lessons learned.”