Heartland nursing students get hands on Ebola training - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland nursing students get hands on Ebola training

Students at Southeast Health College of Nursing are learning how to protect themselves from infectious diseases. Students at Southeast Health College of Nursing are learning how to protect themselves from infectious diseases.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Nursing students at Southeast Health College of Nursing are getting a first hand look at how they can apply what they've been learning in the classroom to the Ebola outbreak.

They're finding out typical medical tools like gloves, medical gowns and gloves can be life savers when it comes to keeping themselves and the community healthy.

"It will not only protect them, their families because they won't be bringing home infectious agents to to their loved ones, as well as the other patients they're caring for and the community at large," nursing instructor Amy Scheffer said.

The students are taught a certain set of standards set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when it comes to putting protective gear on, and more importantly taking it off.

For example, a nurse's gloves should be the first thing they take off when they come out of the isolation room.

"We want them to be safe so that way we can limit the spread of infectious diseases," Scheffer said.

Scheffer said nurses across the country are taught these same skills.

However, two nurses have already contracted the virus in the United States.

Scheffer said sometimes access to resources are to blame.

"Using the hazmat suits for ebola, a lot of facilities may not have those readily available," Scheffer said. "Our standard precautions or our contact personal protective equipment that we use leaves some of our mucus membranes and our skin open. So we have a higher potential to come in contact with the ebola virus in this case."

Going forward, Scheffer said healthcare workers need to be vigilant in making sure that they're using good infection control practices

Nursing student Micki Wooten knows there could be a day when she will have to put these lessons to work.

However, she said there is only so much you can do in the classroom to prepare for something like ebola.

"You can hear all you want to about it, but until you actually see it and experience it, it's just words on a paper," Wooten said.

Wooten said, though, that with all the preparation she should be ready when the time comes.

"Any time you see something for the first time, it's a new experience," Wooten said. "We'll learn from it and we will get better."

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