Augusta Tech adjusts lab work schedule to graduate nurses on time


Nurses are on the front lines fighting the current pandemic, but what about nursing students getting ready to graduate? They need hands on training and lab work that can’t be completed using the online methods most colleges and universities are currently using.

Augusta Technical College’s School of Allied Heath Sciences and Nursing has adjusted and rotated their schedules for students so they can still graduate on time and get out into the workforce.

“So through scheduling we have been able to meet the lab competencies for our students,” says Dr. Gwen Taylor, Dean of Allied Health Sciences and Nursing at Augusta Tech.

“In our building we will have one class on the first floor, one on the second floor,” says Dr. Taylor. “Then we have the occupational therapy and the pharmacy students located in the 1400 building,” she added. “They’ll schedule on different days, then we have diagnostic medical stenography students in the emergency services building,” she continued.

The school submitted a limited lab proposal to the state board that was approved.

“The state office, the Technical College System of Georgia required that we submit a limited lab proposal so they could review why was it necessary to have a lab,” said Dr. Taylor. “A description of the lab, proposed hours, and how would we disinfect to ensure to prevent infection.” she said about the proposal. “So we presented those proposals for the spring lab and they were approved and we will do the same thing for the summer semester,” she added.

Dr. Taylor says the students understand it is not how they would normally complete their training, but they have adjusted well. Augusta Tech averages about 25 associate degree nursing graduates per semester. The associate degree nursing program takes six terms or semesters to complete and requires 72 credit hours for graduation.

“Well, the students, they’ve been eager to complete their programs and actually, they were just like when can we do our labs, when can we get done? And as you can see from the students you met, they’ve been excited, they know things are different, but this is what they signed up for,” said Dr. Taylor.

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