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Coronavirus Coverage

Student nurses on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic share their motivation

CEI 4th Semester Nursing Students
KIFI

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Burnout and fatigue from the nursing community has dominated COVID-19 headlines. We hear about hospitals overrun, the loss of lives, lack of research and lack of the PPE needed to do the job. It's hard for some of us to imagine being a registered nurse, but there are those among us who are willing to step in.

"Most people go into health care to help people and to help people rise above," said Brianna Genetti who's a fourth semester nursing student at the College of Eastern Idaho.

Genetti decided to become a registered nurse after spending quite a bit of time in and out of hospitals. She has three children that were premature babies who started their life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

"I can never repay those nurses for what they gave me, but hopefully I can give it to someone else," Genetti said.

CEI says their nursing program has been in demand with a waiting list for decades. so it's difficult to determine if the pandemic has impacted enrollment. The nursing program made a big change just before the pandemic. Last spring the college added two new pathways, that allowed students to attend year-round with fewer classes at one time. Which allowed students like Jake Wade and his wife to join the program.

"My wife is actually a semester behind me in school and so we're going through this together," Wade said. "It's definitely been some hard times for sure, but the support that we have for each other to keep going to just see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel."

Wade was originally a political science major, but changed his mind once he saw the need that the pandemic brought about.

"I think the one thing that stands out is the gratitude that a lot of the patients have for us. They are just so happy that we are willing to take care of them and I think that keeps pushing me to finish the program," Wade said.

Genetti, Wade and fourth semester nursing student David Poulsen took time to speak with me on their one day off. When these three aren't in the classroom, they are on the front-lines getting first hand experience at area hospitals.

"I work as an EMT as well, so I guess it's something that's just been bred into me," Poulsen said. "My siblings say all the time that 'I don't know how you do this,' but you get to a point where those scary times don't become so scary."

To learn more about practical nursing or registered nursing at the College of Eastern Idaho, click HERE.

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Bre Clark

Bre is an anchor for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.

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