Fisher nursing students in the age of COVID-19

By Madison Weber ’22, Staff Writer

By Madison Weber ’22, Staff Writer

Nurses at St. John Fisher College make up one third of the student body, but the last few months have put stress on the students, faculty, and program itself alike. 

Nick Ames graduated from the Wegmans School of Nursing in the spring 2020. Ames was forced to miss his preceptorship — an experience where he would “work as a nurse on the floor, with one of their nurses,”. He admits it may “seem small in the big picture” but went on to say that it was “crucial for us to learn our foundations.” 

Ames went on to pass exams and has recently started his career as an RN in the Rochester General Emergency Department. Out of the class of May ‘20 99% of them went on to pass their boards, something Dr. Christine Boev says shows the “resiliency of a Fisher Nurse.” 

“Even though this is not at all how I wanted my senior year to look, I could not be happier to be in a program that really works as hard as it can, regardless of circumstances,” Senior Nursing Student and President of the Student Nurses Association Alexandria Reppi said. According to Reppi, some unique struggles that nursing students are dealing with this fall include shortened clinical hours, a complete loss of in-person community health hours, constant Personal Protective Equipment, and online clinical. 

Last spring, Reppi went straight from clinicals into working at a local hospital. She mentioned the struggle of having to adjust to policies in the Intensive Care Units where she works. “It’s hard to see… just trying to roll with the punches literally everyday that we work.” Reppi will be graduating this December and hopes to heal in the field of critical care. Dr. Boev can still recall the day that campus closed. “Literally the minute campus closed I called Strong (Memorial Hospital), and asked them if I could come back to work” — Along with the one third of WSoN May ‘20 graduates that volunteered to perform COVID-19 swabs at MCC. 

Dr. Christine Boev is the current Department Chair of the WSoN and feels that the school is “much better prepared now” than last March for a potential shutdown; all classes are able to go fully online. She hopes that the nursing students will take the initiative to “be role models for the rest of the community” as us being here “depends on the students.” She also clarified that Fisher nursing students will not be permitted to care for COVID-19 or COVID-19 suspected patients in clinicals as a safety measure for the community. As both a healthcare worker and educator herself, Dr. Boev is “excited” to be back this fall and feels Fisher has created a safe environment as long as people follow the “common-sense mitigation strategies,”.

This year is undoubtedly one of a kind; Dr. Boev even referred to it as “historical” for the Fisher nurse. 

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