ER nurse and WCU graduate Diane Rivero in full PPE.
With nurses on the frontline of the fight against COVID-19, today's global health pandemic emphasizes the life-altering impact West Coast University nursing graduates are making through their healthcare careers, especially during one of the most challenging health crises of our time.
“I will not lie, it is very stressful on the frontlines of COVID-19,” ER nurse and WCU graduate Diane Rivero said. “But at the same time, I feel a sense of belonging being an essential worker and knowing that we are saving people’s lives and making a difference.”
While on the frontlines of COVID-19, WCU alumni are putting the patient care skills they learned in the classroom to the ultimate test, playing the role of both nurse and family to these patients facing isolation from loved ones.
“It is truly an honor to be at an ICU patient’s bedside, holding their hand during their most difficult moments and encouraging them to keep fighting,” ICU nurse and WCU graduate Lorena Solache said.
ER nurse and WCU graduate David Odige
This unique demand for nurses brought on by the pandemic highlights the importance of providing nursing students with critical reasoning, decision-making, leadership, and management techniques to overcome challenges driven by crisis.
“WCU taught me how to react and pick up on changing status quickly,” cardiovascular intensive care nurse and WCU graduate Tanisha Rodriguez said. “ I was prepared when I stepped into the field as a professional.”
The university’s faculty matches the compassion and dedication its nursing students have for helping others with a commitment to equipping them with the confidence and skills to succeed in the face of a health crisis.
“The teachers at WCU were so helpful when I was a nursing student," Rivero said. “If it wasn’t for their encouragement and my office appointments with them, I would not be the great nurse I am today.”
Led by scholars, clinical and healthcare professionals, WCU’s focused curriculum helps to provide opportunities to gain agility and adaptability skills in the classroom, while gaining real-life experience in the technologically advanced Simulation Center.
“Sometimes we think a disaster would never occur and then all of a sudden it does and you are thankful for the Public Health class at WCU,” Rivero said.“The Advanced Med/Surgical course also prepared me to think critically and be witty because a person’s life is in your hands and you need to act quick and safe.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has proven training in critical thinking, assessment, time management, organization and care planning are all pivotal in managing a health crisis. These critical skills are fostered by realistic emergency scenarios created in WCU’s Simulation Lab, testing students in problem-solving through crisis situations that are true to life without posing any risk to real patients.
“The Simulation Lab at WCU is the reason I make sure I have all my supplies and am prepared for the worst-case scenario," ER nurse and WCU graduate David Odige said. “Since you want to minimize the number of times you enter a COVID-19 patient’s room, I’m fully prepared with the right supplies before I walk in, and as we learned in school, I’m organized with a plan of care.”
Before the COVID-19 pandemic and now, West Coast University’s focus has been to prepare nursing students like Diane, Lorena, Tanisha and David, with the tools and education necessary to succeed in the most unpredictable and challenging situations.