COVID-19 pandemic prevents normal classwork for nursing students

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Posted at 10:32 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 23:54:22-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Amid the calls for more healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of people planning to go into the medical field have had their studies interrupted.

Things have changes for soon-to-be nurse Joe Titus because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. All of his in-person clinicals stopped on March 16.

"Patient safety was one of the bigger things and student safety was one of the bigger things that Ascension and Marian were trying to take care of," Titus said.

Titus' nursing program is going the route of many programs and classes during this time to make sure everyone can still graduate.

"The approach that we're trying to take to fulfill those clinical hours according to state board regulations we are trying to do virtual sims and virtual clinicals," Titus said.

The Indiana State Board of Nursing said it is streamlining the way nurses are tested and given their licenses during this COVID-19 situation, since nurses are in such high demand.

"We are there to care for people — rich, poor, sick, very sick, on their death bed," Titus said.

Titus knows that's how everyone in healthcare is feeling right now. Doctors and nurses are putting their lives on the line to save other people and Titus is ready to be one of them.

"I am a young, healthy nurse," Titus said. "I can put my best foot forward and if I do contract the virus or a future pandemic like this I could fight it off better than some people."

On Monday, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed an executive order allowing recently retired medical professionals, some medical students and others to apply for a temporary medical license in Indiana.