Senior nursing students from OLOL College responded to a statewide call for volunteers issued by the Department of Health and Hospital Disaster Plan to provide extra assistance for the Emergency Departments of New Orleans Hospitals during Mardi Gras weekend. On Saturday February 14, six senior level nursing students and on Sunday February 15, nine students worked alongside the nurses and staff in the Emergency Department of Tulane Medical Center under the supervision of their faculty Dr. Valerie Schluter.
Tulane Medical Center is located in the heart of downtown New Orleans and is one block from Canal Street where many of the major New Orleans parades roll. As a certified stroke and chest pain center, students learned about latest evidence-based emergency care for patient with specific cardiovascular emergencies.
According to Nicole Cowen, “It was a great experience. Throughout the day we practiced our assessment skills and patient communication skills. We were able to observe CT scans and ultrasound guided IV insertion. Throughout the day our instructor educated us on stroke protocols, EKGs, and other relevant topics.”
Students received a warm welcome from the Tulane ER nurses as many were themselves graduates of OLOL College’s distance campus in New Orleans. The opportunity to work with patients who truly represented the vulnerable and underserved of downtown New Orleans was very rewarding.
According to Brenna Mann, “I learned a lot about the role of the nurse and how the nurse is a true patient advocate in this setting. Many of the patients we served did not have primary healthcare and came to the ER instead of going to a doctor’s office, which really made me understand why we have to educate the community on healthcare.”
Danna Lowell stated, “Volunteering at the ER at Tulane Medical Center was a valuable learning experience. It was a great opportunity to see patients come in with various illnesses and to be able to help provide care to this vulnerable population. Being able to provide an extra set of helping hands and to be of service was a reward by itself.” -- Submitted by Valerie Schluter