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Lack of PPE prevents FSU nursing anesthesia students from completing clinicals

Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare
Posted at 6:27 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 21:54:53-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Since the middle of March, Florida State University nurse anesthesia program students in Panama City who were in clinicals, have been studying from home because of the pandemic.

Students and professors say they hope to be back in clinical by the beginning of June.

Lack of personal protective equipment for students has them learning online instead of inside hospitals. They have been taking a different course online for the past two months.

“They try to guide it more towards the clinical aspect of things and creating clinical scenarios to try to replace what we’re losing,” said Nikki Hatcher, a nurse anesthesia student at FSU-PC.

Hatcher says there’s no comparison between virtual learning and real hospital experiences.

“It’s helpful and it’s what we have to do right now, but nothing can compare to actually being in the OR and getting the hands on experience,” said Hatcher.

Stacey VanDyke, a professor for the College of Applied Studies department in Panama City knows how much her students want to be helping right now.

“When we were told we couldn’t go back to clinicals, the number one question that I was asked was, 'Can I volunteer? Can I go to the frontlines? This is my roll, this is where I want to be,'” Van Dyke said.

“We just want to get back to doing what we signed up to do,” said Hatcher.

Hatcher says her class has a required number of hours and cases they must complete before graduation, which means a lot of compensating for clinical hours.

The class is expected to graduate this coming December.

Both VanDyke and Hatcher say they hope to be back in clinicals by June 1.