NDSU Nursing Students lend a hand and a swab to keep the campus safe

For NDSU nursing and pharmacy students, the desire to help is second nature.

FARGO, N.D. – As students prepare to return to NDSU for the fall semester, they may be getting a helping hand, or swab, from their fellow students.

That’s because they are helping out with mass testing.

For NDSU nursing and pharmacy students, the desire to help is second nature.

“When we put the call out for volunteers, immediately we were able to get students. They immediately started calling, texting, emailing saying that they wanted to help,” said Nancy Turrubiates, the Public Health Clinical Coordinator for NDSU.

In a matter of hours, 65 students had volunteered to help administer the nearly 10,000 COVID-19 tests the North Dakota Department of Health is hoping to collect from NDSU students and faculty returning to campus.

“I’ve yet to be disappointed. Our students are awesome,” said Turrubiates.

For student nurses, this is an opportunity that only comes once in a lifetime and valuable experience to take into their careers.

“If something like this is ever to happen again in the future, just to kind of get an understanding of knowing how to combat it and be able to protect myself among others,” said Aaron Peckskamp, a senior nursing student at NDSU.

“Having this experience, keeping us on our toes, and having us know to always expect the unexpected and then being able to stay calm and figure out what I can do to make this better,” said Keringten Lee, a junior in the Nursing program at NDSU, “I think that’ll help me out in the future as a nurse.”

It’s also an opportunity for them to learn about bedside manner and the logistics behind the scenes.

“You do have to reassure a lot of the people coming in because they are a little nervous for the test. You can’t lie to them. You have to let them know that it’s going to be a little painful, but it’ll be over before you know it,” said Peckskamp.

“There is so much coordination behind the scenes that I don’t think people realize. There is so many people that go into these mass testing events that kind of make the process go smoother,” said Lee.

But most importantly, it’s teaching them that the only way to fight a pandemic is to work as a team.

“It’s a group of us to come together to keep a community healthy, because it takes a village really,” said Turrubiates.

NDSU students, staff and faculty, as well as K-12 teachers in the area can get tested at mass testing events at the Fargodome until Sunday.

Categories: Community, Coronavirus, Coronavirus-ND, Local News, North Dakota News