FHSU Nursing program adjusting to online delivery, helping community


Image courtesy FHSU Department of Nursing Website

On March 17, Reuters reported 10,000 medical students in Italy will graduate early to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic. There is currently a serious shortage of medical resources in Italy. The Italian university minister said the government will allow fresh medical students to work eight to nine months in advance, and exempt them from obtaining qualification examinations. 

These medical students will be sent to general practitioner clinics and nursing homes to work, which will release more experienced doctors to fill the vacancies in first-line hospitals. 

Fort Hays State University also has a nursing program, and students in the program are doing their part to help out.

“Several of our students work in area hospitals, clinics and nursing homes,” said Dr. Jenny Manry, chair and professor of the Nursing Department.

However, due to HIPAA regulations, they cannot give specifics regarding their time at work. In order to make an adjustment to current courses, the department moved courses and clinicals online. 

“For some, this may involve using a simulated online clinical program, while others may have faculty who recorded simulations and skills in our lab and then use it to discuss assessment techniques and skills at home,” Manry said.

Others meet in Zoom and practice skills online in a virtual setting.

“For example, our health assessment class met on Zoom and went into Zoom rooms. There they practiced with someone at home or on a doll. Students and instructors were able to comment about assessment techniques,” Manry said. “While it isn’t what we are used to, we are working hard to ensure that students receive the quality education we are known for providing at FHSU.”

Manry said medical professionals in Hays are working hard to ensure the people of western Kansas receive the best possible care. She also said the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has also given some good suggestions to prevent COVID-19.

  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces daily.  

For more information, please visit the KDHE website at www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus.

For more information about the FHSU nursing program, visit https://www.fhsu.edu/nursing/.

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