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COVID-19 Testing:  Being a Part of the Solution

Posted: June 23, 2021 — Weekly COVID-19 testing became part of the Fulton-Montgomery (FM) campus routine this spring. Faculty and students knew to have their phones ready to go by signing in and completing questions to confirm the COVID-19 test is recorded accurately. Ensuring the process went smooth and the testing was done properly, FM nursing students worked alongside other dedicated students and staff to implement the COVID-19 protocols. For the spring semester, every Tuesday through Thursday, the nursing students became part of the solution, keeping the FM campus compliant with New York State guidelines and helping to keep the campus community safe.

The pandemic has changed our lives in so many ways. At FM, we have challenged our creative side, reaching far outside “the box” in an attempt to provide solid learning opportunities for our students in a world that keeps getting smaller. The pandemic had an immense impact on the nursing students’ traditional clinical experience. With the rise in COVID-19 cases this past winter, and concern for both the safety of their clients and others, many medical facilities across the state closed their doors to visitors and health profession students. The Nursing program had to shift gears quickly to create alternate clinical options. One option was working with the pandemic. The implementation of weekly testing at FM created a new opportunity for the students. The students witnessed firsthand the challenges of community health initiatives, how to reach a larger population, and engaged in standardized health screening practices. These students also focused on accurate data collection, while ensuring the self-administered test was completed properly and labeled correctly. Though not complex, the value was found in the precision and compliance that was so important for the safety of all on the FM campus.

FM’s nursing students have provided an important service to the campus as well as being part of the solution during this health crisis. Keeping FM safe while learning about public health practice is a win for all. Thank you to all who have been a part of the COVID-19 testing!

This article was written by Eileen Casey, MS, RN, CCRN is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Nursing Program at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.

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