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Gonzaga students prepare to start nursing careers during pandemic

Because of the Gov. Inslee’s Stay-Home, Stay-Health order, Gonzaga students are finishing classes for their senior year at home.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Students in Gonzaga’s nursing program are preparing to start their careers in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Because of the Gov. Inslee’s Stay-Home, Stay-Health order, the students are finishing classes for their senior year at home.

Five of these students spoke with KREM 2 about what they are most looking forward to about beginning work in the nursing field.

How has the coronavirus pandemic changed your perspective on nursing?

“I think that honestly, the nurse is always one of the people that helps people through their oncology treatment, chemo, surgery, whatever it is to help them recover. Now more than ever, that’s going to be evident,” said Kaitlin Hernandez, who said she wants to work with children recovering from cancer.

What challenges have you faced during the coronavirus pandemic that have affected your current work?

“We have about a 24-1 ratio per wing, so it’s definitely a challenge. It involves taking the necessary precautions to practice social distancing,” said Payton Wade, who is doing her senior internship as a nurse practician.

Holly Ebel was working with a vulnerable patient before the coronavirus pandemic but had to stop seeing them to protect their health.

“When you provide that one-on-one care for someone, you really do build such an incredible connection. So that’s been really hard not being able to see my patients every day. And of course, you don’t forget that person,” Ebel said.

What are your plans after graduation?

A: “I have always wanted to work in labor and delivery, so I’ve been applying to a lot of positions in those fields,” said Claire Swafford, who said she plans to stay and work in Spokane once she gets her license.

“Right now becoming a cardiac nurse is my goal, and then hopefully work towards a critical care nurse, the people you see taking care of these really sick COVID patients,” said Clancy Deutz.

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