Nursing faculty share a virtual Blessing of the Hands with graduating seniors. The blessing is usually part of the Nursing Pinning Ceremony.
As coronavirus forced many students off-campus for the last eight weeks of the spring 2020 semester, many wondered how hands-on learning and experiences would be affected. With creativity and patience, workable solutions were found to continue delivering high-quality education.
Junior aviation student Chris Lichti ’21 (Shickley, Neb.) was pleased with the accommodations that were made to be able for student to continue flying. Aviation students were among the students allowed to remain on campus during the shut down so they would have access to aircraft for flight training.
“If there was a silver lining to the situation, it was the increased flexibility of my schedule to get more flight hours,” Lichti said. “We got to continue flight training, just with some added steps to avoid spreading illness to one another. Planes were sanitized after every flight, and we tried to stagger scheduling times to avoid having too many people in the hangar at one time.”
As early as late February, Hesston College partnering nursing clinical agencies began limiting student experiences in some areas as a way to conserve personal protective equipment and remove extra contact with particularly vulnerable patients. When the college moved classes online, nursing faculty jumped into high gear, spending their own spring break week exploring virtual clinical options and preparing for online teaching and learning. The efforts put forth, though quick and unexpected, were positive for both students and faculty overall and continued to equip the soon-to-graduate students with the skills and knowledge they need to join the nursing profession.
Virtual clinicals consisted of scenarios and interactive case studies meant to help students develop clinical judgment and decision-making skills. In addition, clinical and simulation faculty continued to have pre-conference and post-conference with their clinical groups.
“I never felt as though I was alone in this process,” said Jenna Boller ’20 (Kalona, Iowa). “Even without a pandemic there is so much to appreciate about Hesston College Nursing. One of the things anyone can see is how much the nursing faculty care about each student. They work countless hours to prepare material and schedule clinical rotations. They take interest in each one of us and are always available to talk or help guide us along. I have always felt supported by all of the faculty and appreciate the dedication they have to the program and educating and training future nurses.”