BUFFALO, NY (WBKW) — Nurses are on the front-lines at hospitals and nursing homes being exposed to virus and infections daily. Now they must protect patients and themselves from COVID-19.
Nursing students at Trocaire College in south Buffalo are learning protocols in the classroom.
“As health care providers, and as lay individuals, we are constantly using our hands, constantly being exposed to organisms that we can’t always see,” Jacob Fisher, assistant professor of nursing, Trocaire College.
On their very first day of training in nursing, the students learn the ‘art of hand-washing'.
Fisher said Trocaire College nursing students focus on proper hand hygiene.
“We have to be very careful. We have to be cognizant of the way we wash our hands, the time we take to wash our hands,” remarked Fisher.
Trocaire nursing students Alexandria Brant and Tyler Carpenter are training at Buffalo General Medical Center. But it was in the classroom where they've learned how not to spread viruses and infectious diseases.
“Going into the health care field, you always are taught that you always have the risk of being exposed to certain things,” Carpenter explained.
“Then you wear the right equipment, so you don't get that on your clothes. You make sure you use hand sanitizer or then you wash your hands for 20-seconds to not have that bacteria on you,” Brant said.
“Keeping ones self safe, as a professional, is about keeping ones patients safe as well,” remarked Allyson Lowe, vice president of academic affairs, Trocaire College.
Lowe joined students in a surgical training room at the college.
There are nearly 700-Trocaire nursing students. Many are training at hospitals and nursing homes in three counties.
“The key to all of that is readiness, so the good hand hygiene that you’ve heard about — good sterile procedure for students, who train in a program like the room that we’re in for surgical technology and really the core for all that is understanding how germs spread and how to stop that spread,” Lowe stated.
COVID-19 is offering a 'teachable moment' and reminder of the rules students are learning.
But Carpenter and Brant follow other rules to protect themselves and the community beyond the hospital.
“When I get home, I change and I make sure that I don’t stop at grocery stores because they always say when you’re in your uniform - never to go like grocery stores even before or after work, because you could get bacteria on you and bring it into the place you are going or then you could have stuff on your cloths when your done and bring it into a grocery store,” Brant said. “For me personally, I change my shoes when I leave the clinical or leaving school because you never know what you're exposed to,” Carpenter noted.