Students behind our hospitals
Start writing a post
Community

Students behind our hospitals

Megan Tretter, an SU rising senior and nurse technician, shares her experience working at Harborview Medical Center during the coronavirus pandemic

72
Students behind our hospitals
Megan Tretter

COVID-19 has turned our world upside down. Our daily routines have been disrupted, our loved ones have been harmed and hardships have hit many of us. More than 40 million jobless claims, 103,700+ U.S. deaths and over 1.7 million U.S. cases.

The Novel Coronavirus has claimed 369,500+ lives and infected over 6 million people around the world, according to Johns Hopkins. Once the virus made its way into the United States, its first known case was in Seattle, where 37 of the first 50 cases were claimed by the virus.

Seattle was one of the first cities to be heavily impacted and has continued to be a hot spot throughout the pandemic. Washington currently has over 21,000 confirmed cases and over 1,100 deaths, according to NBC News.

With schools moving to online platforms such as Zoom, in Seattle and all over the United States, many Seattle University students were put in a tough situation. Many students are from out of state or out of the country, therefore, they were faced with the decision to go home or finish classes online in a COVID-19 hot spot.

Nursing students at Seattle University and all over the country were given the opportunity to be involved and help hospitals during the outbreak. Many students work as nurse technicians/assistants to help them gain experience and become familiar with working in a hospital environment. Little did many of these students known, they would be helping during one of the most crucial times in history.

Megan Tretter

Megan Tretter, a rising senior and nursing major at SU, is one of these students. Tretter, who works as a nurse tech at Harborview Medical Center, a public hospital managed by UW Medicine, shares her experience as a student working during a pandemic.

Question and Answer with Megan Tretter:

Q: What is your position at the hospital, and why do you work there?

A: I am a nurse technician, which is essentially a position for nursing students that is similar to a nurse assistant with some added responsibilities that I am qualified for because of my program. I decided to become a nurse tech for the experience and to help me get more comfortable in a hospital environment and interacting with patients while I'm still in school.

Q: How has your school responded to COVID-19? As someone who is amongst those working in the hospital, are you satisfied with your school's response?

A: Back in March, I had clinical days canceled and finals converted to online exams as everyone was adjusting to the rising case numbers in Seattle. Shortly after, Seattle University announced that spring quarter would be online, and underclassmen were forced to move out of dorms. Upperclassmen could stay or opt-out of rent for the quarter. They are now planning to reopen campus with safety measures in the fall and adjusting the start of school to combine Thanksgiving & Christmas break.

Q: Walk us through a typical day at Harborview Medical Center.

A: I am on my floor by 7 a.m. to pick up my assignment for the day. Hospital assistants/nurse techs are usually paired with two nurses and are responsible for up to eight patients. I work with neurosurgery and neurology patients, and every day is completely different, but my responsibilities are helping patients with all basic needs throughout the day: bathing, eating, etc. I also assist nurses wherever needed until around 7:30 p.m.

Q: How has this changed since COVID-19?

A: Harborview has been great at adapting to changes and responding quickly to things that work well and things that do not. Visitors were not allowed to come for about two months, and we recently started allowing visitors again. We stopped doing our morning huddle, conserve personal protective equipment when we can, attest that we don't have any symptoms before each shift, enforce social distancing in the break room and each staff member has one surgical mask that stays on an entire day.

Q: What is it like entering the medical field at this time?

A: It has been stressful to adjust to the unknown and follow new guidelines/policies from the hospital every few days. Surprisingly, it has reinforced my decision to go into nursing rather than scare me away from it because the healthcare environment is something I thrive in even in a time like this.

Q: Are there any businesses that have supported you or your coworkers during this time?

A: We have had tons of food donations from local businesses, retired nurses and family members of patients.

Q: Can you describe the nature of the hospital during the start of COVID-19. Was there panic, especially with some of the first cases rising in Seattle?

A: My official first shift was March 4, so I have been adjusting to my new job and learning how everyone and everything works on my floor as COVID-19 cases increase. The only panic that set in was when my floor had patients that I had worked with test positive along with staff members testing positive, but the hospital has ramped up testing before procedures, discharge, screens visitors and works to keep everyone safe.

Q: Is there anything you'd like the public to know or do?

A: The most frustrating thing for a lot of people has been the constant changes, and it can be hard to keep up, especially since every state is in different stages of reopening. Wash your hands, wear a mask, practice social distancing, and think about how your actions can help protect someone vulnerable!

Q: Which news outlets have you been following? Who do you think has done a good job reporting on COVID-19?

A: I mostly read the Seattle Times, CNN, and updates from Harborview and the University of Washington. We get daily COVID-19 briefings emailed to employees with the current inpatient cases, number of tests vs. positives, and a graph of the changes in case numbers over time.

Q: Have you experienced any positive memories through working during the pandemic such as acts of human kindness or rewarding moments at the hospital?

A: I have had such a great experience on my unit throughout all of this and have loved being a part of this workforce during such an uncertain time. I love that the staff on my floor has remained positive and that I have felt supported throughout every step of the pandemic.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

121156

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

136706
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

385702
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

242151
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

127820
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

311751

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

192199

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

130109
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments