ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. — Alamance Community College reopened its nursing school for summer classes, school officials report.
Roughly 136 students returned to campus, ACC said. It is the first time since mid-March students have been welcomed onto the school's property due to the coronavirus.
Students studying medical assisting, nurse aide, and associate degree nursing met in classrooms the first time on May 18. They wore masks and were required to abide by social distancing guidelines. Instruction for the programs are purposefully staggered, so there is only a limited number of students in each class at one time. Teachers said the circumstances are different, but not impossible to cope with.
“The most significant challenge is to maintain the six-foot distancing between students,” said Cindy Thompson, an instructor in Medical Assisting. “When it’s time for students to practice tasks on one another, which is how they learn, we will amp up our sanitizing. We have separated the class into two groups who will be here on different days. This means fewer students in our lab area. The students really like this idea.”
“Healthcare workers just do what we have to do to safely get the job done,” said Rhonda Pierce, the Nurse Aide Department Head. “The students didn’t seem too concerned about wearing masks or the challenge of finishing their 30 hours. They are just glad to be back.”
Alamance Community College is evaluating how students will move through their respective spaces so that the school can best provide personal protective equipment and follow sanitizing protocols, officials said. The school is also trying to figure out how to best use online classes, ACC said.
The students are also being closely monitored for health and safety concerned, Alamance Community College said. The school did not provide details as to what that monitoring entails.
The week of May 25, the school welcomes dental assisting students back to campus, including those requiring licensure or certification training under "Continuing Education."