Some of Lassen Community College Licensed Vocational Nursing Program students show off their professional attire at public health for part of their current leadership and professionalism class. Photos submitted

Student nurses step up to the plate while continuing studies

Even during trying times, the Lassen Community College Licensed Vocational Nursing students are dedicated to learning the profession while serving the community wherever they can — and if you seek some medical help or are calling the county’s COVID-19 call center, at 251-8100, you may interact with a nursing student helping to maintain the community’s wellbeing while working toward their goal of becoming an LVN.

“Our nursing students have been working diligently to assist in the community during this pandemic,” wrote LCC nursing instructor Celeste Wiser. “We have students at Northeastern helping where they can, screening people, directing patients, answering phones, to taking all employees’ temperatures. We also have students at public health answering calls, providing information based off the CDC guidelines and recommendations and assisting in N95 mask fit tests.”

The Lassen Community College Licensed Vocational Nursing Program students are helping where they can. They’re still taking their normal lecture classes online, ensuring they don’t miss out on anything during the current pandemic.

Although the campus closure has affected some areas of the nursing students’ classroom learning, all lectures have been moved online and educators are bent on ensuring this year’s group of 21 students don’t lose any quality of education.

“We are modifying what we can but not lowering any standards,” Wiser wrote. “They are continuing all lecture online. We are determined to have our students reach their goal of graduating while following the CDC guidelines and governors order.”

Although there are changes no one expected, some of the LCC nursing students say the program has helped prepare them for the challenges they face now.

“As a current Licensed Vocational Nursing student at Lassen Community College, I feel the training and education we are receiving has prepared us to help step up to the plate and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. While choosing to allow the LVN Program to remain open while other schools temporarily close, Lassen Community College is giving us the opportunity to gain real world experience during this difficult time. Along with the help of our incredible instructors, we are becoming more skilled and experienced nurses who will be ready to serve in our community upon graduation,” wrote Crystal Burgess, LCC SVN of the class of 2020.

Other students also shared they’ve been learning what being a nurse is all about.

“Being a Lassen Community College nursing student was the best decision I have ever made. I did not know anyone in Susanville before moving here in August. I took a chance on packing up my belongings and immersing myself in this wonderful community. Throughout this program I have been pushed to do my best and more. Now in the face of adversity, our instructors have shown us what being a nurse is all about. These stressful times are not for fear but for perseverance, sacrifice and protecting our community,” wrote Mickenzie Nielsen, LCC SVN.

And some students are geared up and ready to help fight the pandemic.

“We are receiving a high quality nursing education through the LCC Licensed Vocational Nursing program and are excited to enter the medical work force! It is unfortunate the circumstances we as a community are having to endure through this pandemic. Though as soon to be LVN new grads, we couldn’t be more prepared to assist our local health care teams in ensuring our community is both prepared and doing all we can to remain healthy, compliant, and educated during this time. What a tremendous blessing it is for us to be able to partake in the local opportunities that are molding us into competent, successful, and well-rounded nursing professionals,” wrote Christa Becker.

Although circumstances are different now than they were just a month ago, the nursing students are not backing down.

By helping at local medical facilities and manning the phone lines for the Lassen County Public Health COVID-19 call center, each is pursuing a trying, yet greatly needed field dedicated to the betterment of the community and the world.

“Our students are playing an instrumental part at both facilities by being flexible, adaptable and teachable,” Wiser added. “We couldn’t be more proud.”