CCTC donates protection equipment amidst coronavirus

Central Carolina Technical College has been assisting community healthcare partners by sharing personal protection equipment and healthcare supplies from the college’s classroom inventory during the COVID-19 crisis. Over the past few week, National Health Care in Sumter and Kershaw Health in Camden contacted the college and asked for assistance.

“These healthcare facilities were in desperate need for personal protection equipment such as gloves, masks, etc., so we opened our supply to them. We have loaned approximately 53 boxes of gloves to National Health Care and and approximately 25 boxes of masks, 150 gowns and other various supplies such as antimicrobial wipes and hand sanitizer to Kershaw Health. This has been a collaborative effort with assistance from campus security opening the college’s Health Sciences Center for us to gather these supplies on short notice and Academic Program Manager for Surgical Technology Brie Weber assisted with the actual delivery of these supplies to Kershaw Health,” says CCTC Dean of Health Sciences Mary Jo Ardis.

“When I got the call to help, I didn’t think twice. These medical professionals are putting their lives on the line every day that they step into a facility. I can’t imagine the fear in knowing I had to perform surgery without any personal protection equipment. Some of these workers on the frontlines are my current students, former students and great friends. I knew I wanted to help with donating any supplies we had to help healthcare workers in our community stay safe,” says Weber.

In order to follow the requirement of social distancing, all CCTC Health Sciences programs moved content to an online learning format. Faculty have been creative with transitioning to online teaching. Nursing faculty are using virtual simulations as a replacement for clinical hours in all nursing courses. This allows senior nursing students to graduate as usual in May and allows other students to progress as usual in the nursing program. However, not all Health Sciences programs have been granted permission by accrediting/licensing bodies to use virtual simulation for clinical hours. CCTC’s medical assisting, massage therapy, pharmacy technician and surgical technology are among these programs that are not able to use virtual simulations. Faculty for these programs are using interactive teaching methods such as Zoom and voice over PowerPoint presentations to present online content.

CCTC nursing student Jane Elizabeth Segars speaks first-hand of her experience during the COVID-19 pandemic, “Currently, I am quarantined for two weeks as I was exposed at work to two patients who were deemed positive for the virus. I am remaining optimistic about the virus as we will overcome this as a state and nation. I am enrolled in four courses, three of which were already online. No major changes were made with these online courses. My main nursing course this semester is taking a huge impact as we are having to adapt from precepting within the hospital to virtually online. My instructors have done an excellent job at providing as much information and news as it comes forth.”

CCTC’s Engineering Design Technology Department is working on different prototypes for 3D printed masks. Healthcare facilities have been informed that we are able to increase production of 3D printed masks and devices to expand utilization of ventilators at these facilities.