By Ashley Palos, Chronicle Staff Writer
In the last year, COVID-19 has affected the whole world left and right with 105 million cases or more currently. Orange County being in the purple tier, with ICU’s still at full capacity with 19,354 cases in the last 14 days, and Young adults making up a large portion of these cases. Covid is effecting youth more than anyone thinks.
Orange county hospitals and intensive care units started to fill up immensely early last year. With capacity as low as 10%. Leaving the hospitals in a disorientated state. “We started to build a tent as an outside unit,” says Diane Gonzalez, nurse at UCI medical center. Hospitals started to accommodate these overwhelming numbers of patients as they kept growing. About 13.88% of cases in young adults ages 18-24 have been reported and 20.12% of cases in people of ages 25-34 have been reported.
Terri Wheeler, Director of Nursing at Cypress College says “students are in exposed environments, living with essential workers or being essential workers themselves.” With Student nurses constantly exposed, Cypress College and their clinical partners are on alert and a lot more restrictive. Their clinical partners began to require different requirements to be able to go out into the field for their clinical training, and are trained for infectious diseases.
At Cypress College, clinical trials in the nursing program are mandatory with lots of hours. When lockdown began and numbers started increasing, Their hospitals did not allow for them to do their clinical trials. As time went on, 1 out of 3 of their clinicals allowed them back, then the program petitioned the board to do 50% simulation and 50% face to face which was approved, “With conditions such as testing, wearing the appropriate masks, and mandating that students could not enter any rooms occupied by a patient with an infectious disease.” says Terri.
Telehealth is beginning to look like the future of nursing. Allowing for doctors and nurses to provide service through Zoom, phone call etc. As well as for nursing students themselves, they have increased patient simulation resources allowing them to take on hospital roles with high fidelity and low fidelity mannequins, providing training for proper care.
With Hospitals filling up and accommodations to be made, it is best for these young adults and students to be properly equipped and prepared for what is to come, leaving Covid for the younger generation.