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Florida SouthWestern nursing students train to recognize coronavirus, flu

At Florida SouthWestern State College, nursing students learn how to cope with emergencies. As flu season gets in full swing and the coronavirus spreads, they’re making sure students are equipped for anything that comes their way.

Shortness of breath, coughing, and body aches. Those are the symptoms a patient could be suffering who has coronavirus… or they could just have the flu.

Today, it was up to Florida Southwestern medical students to figure it out.

Collin McLeod, is in his final semester of the FSW nursing program. He says, “Anytime we have something that comes in not from the United States that we’re not familiar with, we always have that mass panic. And that mass panic can cause more panic … you’ve got to keep a level head and read the facts and not read into the commotion.”

Students ran through simulated patient care scenarios from coronavirus like infections, to opioid overdoses, to prepare them for the challenges they’ll face when they leave the classroom.

Professor of nursing at FSW Carrie Carty, says, “I think this is the most valuable thing we do. They learn about diseases and nursing processes in the classroom, but then this is where they really do hands-on”

Carty says the drill provides low-risk opportunities for students to get hands-on and even make mistakes before lives are on the line.

“They’ll say, ‘oh my gosh, I saw this unfold in the simulation lab,” Carty explained. “So they’re not going to see things for the first time.”

The FSW students will graduate in a month-and-a-half and could start showing up in ER’s and doctors’ offices this summer.

Reporter:Veronica Marshall
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