SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Nursing students at SDSU are getting the opportunity to care for COVID patients.
When it comes to masks, the CDC recommends N95 masks for health care providers to protect from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
SDSU nursing students now have their own N95s, as they prepare to help care for COVID-19 patients.
“We basically, try on our N95 mask. And then they spray some spray to make sure that none of that spray gets through the mask. We can’t taste it. We can’t smell it. And they’ll test different sizes and make sure that you’re getting fit for the right one. So you have a good seal around your mouth,” Danielle Emmett said.
Danielle Emmett is in her third semester of nursing school.
She says getting fitted for her N95 mask is exciting because it provides the opportunity to care for patients with the virus.
“It’s a whole new level of patient care. And you really feel like you’re taking, along with going into the nursing program, taking that risk of taking care of those patients. And, you know, it’s kind of scary, but it’s all very, very rewarding,” Danielle Emmett said.
“The schools of nursing in conjunction with Avera McKennan made the decision that we would allow nursing students to care for COVID patients. So in order to keep students safe, patients, families, and other coworkers, they’re being fitted for an N95 mask that they will wear when they’re working with patients,” Darcy Sherman said.
Avera director of nursing integration Darcy Sherman Justice says before this decision, nursing students were either furloughed or not able to care for COVID patients.
With their new protection, they’ll now be able to get hands on experience.
“We get to work with COVID patients just like we would when we actually start working as nurses. So it’s very exciting to be able to do that,” Eastlyn Fell said.
Eastlyn Fell is a first year nursing student, with goals of working as an ER nurse.
She says this opportunity will provide even more learning.
“I chose to become a nurse because I want to help people. And right now COVID is the big thing going on in the country. So it’s just knowing that you’re doing what you want to do, and it’s just helping people that need help,” Fell said.