Triad nursing program helping with hospital staffing shortages

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It’s happening in hospitals across the country and in the Triad. There are not nearly enough nurses to handle the surge of COVID-19 patients.

Help is on the way, however. A school in Greensboro is offering an accelerated nursing program to help fill the gaps as the pandemic rages.

ECPI University is producing several nurses throughout the year because the curriculum operates in 5-week sessions.

“I look forward to being able to go out here into the nursing world and make a difference,” said Brittney Dark, a nursing student.

Right now, Dark and her classmates could make all the difference as concerns about a lack of nurses take center stage.

“The pandemic really urged me to come back because I know there is such a shortage of nurses,” said Dark.

As COVID-19 cases fill up hospitals, resources are exhausted and that includes the staff.

“Nobody really understands how hard it is until you are right there in the trenches with them from the beginning till the end,” said Thom Hodges.

Hodges is the director of nursing at ECPI University in Greensboro. He is preparing students to transfer their skills to the frontlines.

“I tell the students; that could be your loved one. Would you do it any different in the classroom than you’d accept for your mom and dad,” said Hodges.

Hodges is also reminding his nurses in training not to neglect their own health.

“It’s important that we as the educators and even as the direct care providers we make sure we are taking care of ourselves and we allow some downtime in between,” said Hodges.

In the weeks and months to come, expect to see students like Dark answering the call to serve.

“Whatever I can do to help alleviate the pain or take their mind off the reason why they are in isolation or just to be able to provide some type of comfort or support for them is really game-changing for me,” said Dark.

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