REDDING, Calif. — Everyone seems to be benefitting from an arrangement at Mercy Medical Center in Redding: nursing school graduates and students getting scholarships while helping care for patients.
Fifteen Simpson University and Shasta College nursing students and graduates are helping out at Mercy. They're getting clinical training, while the hospital gets additional help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The students don't provide direct care to COVID- 19 patients, but rather help in other areas.
The most recent graduates didn't get the opportunity for clinical hours because of the unknowns surrounding the virus at the time.
“We decided we would offer this additional semester and scholarship it so they could get some additional hours in the hospital, working with us," said Sandra Rock, Director of Education at Mercy Medical Center. "At the same time it helps support our staff while we’re struggling with the COVID crisis as well, and staffing shortages at times, and just needing some extra hands on deck.”
Nursing graduate of Simpson University, Rachelle Edwards, said “I feel like it’s been an excellent resource for the vulnerable in our community and the nursing shortage during the pandemic. It’s also been a huge advantage for us new grads just growing in knowledge and skills and so that when we’re out there shortly we’re going to be better prepared.”
Shasta college students are participating through Chico State's rural nursing preceptorships.
"Health care is more than just a job. We're involved with health, that is health promotion, which is through vaccine, and also when patients are sick, which is COVID, right now we're in our regular flu season also so it's supporting patients and so it's about diseases, and so the students are learning how to take care of patients with real conditions," said Linda Thomas, Nursing Program Director at Shasta College.
The short-term program will last for another four to six weeks.