Belmont’s Graduate Nurse Practitioner students recently teamed up with Meharry Medical students and staff at the assessment center at Meharry Medical College, one of Nashville’s three city-wide assessment centers, to offer drive through COVID-19 testing.
Many Belmont nursing students have taken on alternative ways to obtain clinical experience during this time, such as volunteering at the TEMA COVID-19 call center. Staffing the drive through testing center at Meharry is another example of how Belmont students are using their education and training to teach others about mitigating the spread of disease in the community.
From directing traffic to specimen labeling, 3rd year Doctor of Nursing Practice student Joanna Plumb has taken all these experiences in stride. “I have worked with undergraduate nursing students, dental and medical students, and seasoned medical providers (PAs, MDs) through these experiences, and it’s really great to talk and learn from everyone no matter if they are a novice or an expert,” she said. “We are all working together to do our part during this pandemic.”
Plumb was grateful to partner with the Meharry students. She said, “I think it’s special when students in the medical field from different schools come together to help out the community.”
In addition to directing traffic and collecting nasopharyngeal swab samples from suspected individuals, Plumb and her peers were able to educate community members on COVID and how to protect themselves and others from the virus. As nurses being prepared at the doctorate level to practice as a FNP, the students learned how to address the health of not only individual patients but of communities, as well.
Aside from completing her required hours to graduate, Plumb wanted to do something to help out. “I’m a former ER nurse, and I wish I was at the frontlines with my old friends and co-workers,” she explained. “But since I’m not there, I wanted to find other ways to help, even if it’s small.”
Plumb also volunteered at the TEMA COVID-19 call center, and she has also been working at The Next Door, a women’s addiction treatment center. She recently took a job at Vanderbilt University Medical Center as a floor nurse to help out with the nursing workforce during the pandemic.