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Student nurses providing care in NYC hospitals

In early April, Laura Brubaker and other Ohio State nursing students did something that might seem counterintuitive. They headed east to New York City — a city hit incredibly hard by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

But while counterintuitive to others, it definitely felt like the right move for Brubaker and her nursing friends.

“As nurses, we’re helpers. It’s part of who we are, our core personality, not just our career,” Brubaker said.

Brubaker has previously served two stints as a travel nurse in California and has even worked on OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital’s COVID-19 floor. In New York City, she is at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx, working four 12-hour shifts each week while still finishing up her master’s program courses for Ohio State.

Shot of a street in New York.

Brubaker took this photo of an empty street in New York City near Jacobi Hospital. "It was 4 p.m. in the afternoon when the city should be teeming with life. All the shops were closed up with gates down. It was like being in a ghost town."

At Jacobi, Brubaker is working as a medical surgical nurse and will serve in that role until mid-May or early June. She said her training at Ohio State put her in position to do her job better. "At Ohio State I was prepared for practitioner-level assessment and interaction with patients. This only added to my current assessment skills of being a registered nurse. This combined makes me an effective nurse as well as a quick thinker as I have the skills and abilities to think ahead about patient needs."

Brubaker, who is blogging about her experiences, sees her helping in New York as a way of reaching out to others, and also as a good way to gain experience.

 “It’s nerve wracking just to sit at home and watch everything happening and not be doing anything about it.” Brubaker said. “I like to be doing things, helping out.”

Published: April 22, 2020

Ohio State student studies at her laptop

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