Lone Star Faculty nursing college students have been tapped to assist hospitals within the Houston space affected by a spike in COVID

New program to help nursing students find a job during the pandemic

FOX 26 reporter Natalie Hee learned more about the program and what the students will be doing during school.

Nursing students from the Houston area are being recruited to take the pressure off local hospitals burdened by the surge in COVID-19 cases.

A new program, initiated in August by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and the State Department of Health, will help first and sophomore nursing students find jobs at local hospitals such as Ben Taub, LBJ, and UMMC.

The students are charged with dealing with non-COVID patients.

“We’re not sending these students as students, they’re actually being hired as employees,” said Mario Castillo, chief operating officer and general counsel at Lone Star College Systems.

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Castillo says the intent of the program is not to send students into situations unprepared, but rather to free more experienced nurses to deal with the surge in COVID patients.

“I’d say it’s closer to taking temperatures, sitting there and making sure the monitors are fine. Then if something happens, call someone with a lot more experience to manage it. The hospitals just need a lot of eyes essentially, and that’s really the need, “Castillo said.

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Ashley Cook, 24, is a sophomore year LSC nursing student up to the challenge. Cook is about to apply for the new program.

“I feel like I am competent enough to go to a hospital, in a high pressure environment, and be a successful member of a team. We’ve been sitting behind our computers for about a year now, reading our textbooks and watching the news and seeing all the terrible things that have happened. There’s been a lot of talk about why we can’t help, why can’t we go and put our hands in the fire, you know? , put something on the table, “said Cook.

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On Thursday, Lone Star College Montgomery also graduated two dozen students from its first cohort of undergraduate degrees in science and nursing. The program was launched during the pandemic to meet the increased need for medical personnel.

Castillo says LSC is currently reviewing student applications and conducting interviews.

Castillo adds that LSC will send as many skilled nursing students as possible to help out in the hospitals.

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