LBCC Prepares Students for COVID-19 Frontlines
Three months ago, Long Beach City College, along with all other public education institutions across the state, closed its campuses to students in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. But as the health crisis grew, the number of current and future health care workers became an issue of concern. Both the Chancellor’s Office and Governor Newsom urged community colleges to do what they could to help current students complete their studies so they could quickly move into the workforce.
In response to this call, Long Beach City College quickly assisted several health science students to complete their lab studies during a time when they are needed the most.
For the Diagnostic Medical Imaging (DMI) program at LBCC, faculty and administrators quickly developed a plan for the 18 DMI students to complete their required state and national board competencies at LBCC’s Liberal Arts Campus.
Timing was critical for the DMI students. The testing centers conducting the American Registry of Radiologic Technicians national board exam were reducing their capacity and the number of students to take the test due to COVID-19. With the next round of testing happening in August, the students needed to meet in person to fulfill their requirements. But LBCC needed to ensure the safest learning environment possible.
DMI students were scheduled in two-hour blocks with two students per appointment period. Faculty and students met on campus wearing PPE, had their temperatures checked, and screened for other COVID-19 symptoms before they stepped into the lab space. Inside the classroom, faculty and students practiced physical distancing. And the Facilities Department disinfected the labs, bathrooms and surrounding areas before, during, and after the scheduled student appointments.
The DMI students each completed approximately five simulation labs in three days and they are now eligible to take the American Registry of Radiologic Technicians national board exam.
The Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) students also had to fulfill certain lab hours. With hospitals becoming stricter with who was allowed inside their medical centers, LBCC ADN students looked to be out of luck to meet their direct care requirements.
But things changed when the Board of Registered Nursing release their new COVID-19 guidelines. ADN students could use volunteer and tele-health hours to qualify as their care hours.
For the LBCC ADN students, they didn’t have to travel very far for their volunteer hours. For the past few weeks, the City of Long Beach has used the massive parking lot at Veterans Memorial Stadium as a drive-up COVID-19 testing site. Through the City’s Department of Health and Human Services and under the watchful eyes of LBCC ADN faculty members, ADN students are now volunteering at Vets Stadium. They are not only receiving direct patient care hours, but they are also giving back to the community by providing an important service during the COVID-19 pandemic.