Class of 2020 nurses begin careers during pandemic

By Kinsley Centers
Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 8:19 PM CDT
DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) – Many nurses are diving into the medical field for the first time, it’s uncharted waters caring for patients with COVID-19.

Jamesen Pylant graduated from the nursing program at Wallace Community College in August.

“I know that nurses are kind of needed right now especially during this pandemic,” Pylant, RN at Southeast Health, said. “I don’t think there is enough help that you can get.”

Amidst the pandemic, a lot of classes went virtual during her final months of school.

“It was definitely an adjustment trying to learn the last few skills we needed online but we did get to practice quite a bit in the hospital and we are very grateful for the hospitals that let us in and for the clinical experience that we did get,” Pylant said.

While completing most of her clinical hours online, a new challenge was presenting itself to hospitals.

“We didn’t get to cover a whole lot of Coronavirus, it’s kind of one of those things that you have to learn once you got out into the field,” Pylant said.

The pandemic has impacted industries around the world, especially the medical field. many nurses of the class of 2020 are caring for patients for the first time.

“With college that’s kind of a requirement that we don’t go in patients’ rooms who have covid or possible covid, so we haven’t seen anything like it yet,” Pylant said.

A recently graduated RN, Pylant is finishing up her orientation; hoping to hit the floor next week. Inspired to this career field when she saw nurses care for her grandfather in a nursing home.

“That passion and that drive of taking care of people and helping people in their final days or helping someone get better and be able to go home is what really keeps pushing me,” Pylant said. “You know, while someone may have covid, they still deserve that same care they still deserve the same love that we would show someone else who does not have this disease that we are not quite sure how to control yet.”

Pylant knows new nurses like herself have many new challenges ahead.

“I think there is a lot of anxiety with everybody,” Pylant said. “You know we have seen common things like breaks, or we’ve seen pneumonia and stuff like that, but we have never seen anything like this.”

A job on the front lines making history and a difference during the pandemic.

“We are the ones by their bed the whole time, we are the ones that are holding their hands and carrying out doctors’ orders and seeing the changes in them before anybody else does,” Pylant said. “So I think a nurse is just very important and continuing that care and making sure the patient gets the best care that they deserve and I’ve seen some great nurses around southeast health and I’m very blessed to be here with them.”

Health officials continue to encourage everyone to wear their masks, wash their hands, social distance to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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