Nursing students return to Utica medical lab


Oliver Gamez, Copy Editor

After nearly an entire year of students working individually and distanced, the students in Mrs. Tancredi’s Nursing Assistant class have finally returned to the lab for hands-on learning. The medical science teachers approached Principal Tom Lietz in November with the idea of allowing their students to return to the medical lab. They explained all of the safety equipment and procedures the students would wear and follow, and it was readily agreed upon that the students were ready.

“I think those kids are probably the safest in the school right now,” principal Tom Lietz said. “Because they’re following what would be an expected medical protocol if they were working in a hospital or any other working environment.”

All of the safety procedures were established months before students even returned to the building, so administration was more than comfortable with allowing students to return to the lab for practical training.

“I was a little nervous to be working with people again but I really appreciated that Mrs. T helped us make face shields to be better protected,” senior Brooke Budd said.

As well as wearing face shields, the students are assuredly getting temperature checks and using hand sanitizer before and after entering the work area.

“Once we returned to in-person learning we wanted to be able to work on the skills we teach in Nursing Assisting,” teacher Lisa Tancredi said.

With procedures ranging from moving dummies around the lab to simulate transporting patients in different lying and sitting positions to taking temperatures and vital signs, Mrs. Tancredi is doing all possible to prepare the nursing students for the education they’re missing out on from working in real hospitals.

“Simulation is a common mode of learning in Nursing schools,” Tancredi said, “but we do not have the fancy mannequins you would find at Colleges and Universities.”
Utica’s nursing students will be quickly catching up on their time missed and safely practicing in small groups.