During this unprecedented time, Hiram College is supporting surrounding communities and those on the frontlines working to contain and slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). As medical workers and first responders face a critical shortage of much-needed personal protective equipment (PPE), Hiram’s nursing program donated over 5,700 pieces of medical equipment to University Hospitals Portage Medical Center, the most proximate medical center to the College’s campus. 

In total, the donation included 2,400 non-sterile gloves, 1,500 sterile gloves, 300 surgical masks, 1,000 surgical sponges, 200 tourniquet bands, 13 PPE gowns, 200 chux patient pads, and 100 surgical bouffant headcaps. The nursing department is also prepared to donate other supplies including syringes, needles, cotton swabs, and alcohol swabs, and loan the College’s nine hospital beds once the additional facilities are set up to handle the surge. 

Hiram also has many nursing faculty and students on the front lines. Several senior nursing students in their final semester are working as aides and nurse technicians in local hospitals. The College is also implementing an accelerated content course for those senior students in efforts to send a completion letter to the Ohio Board of Nursing so they may practice under a temporary license, as issued by House Bill 197.  

“Hiram’s nursing students receive a well-rounded education, learning the scientific skills they need to be clinically competent and ethically grounded health care providers,” said Jill Rankin, D.N.P., assistant professor and director of Hiram‘s Department of Nursing. At the same time, they benefit from liberal arts traditions that prepare them to understand how to be critical observers of how the world works. Our faculty and students alike know the critical importance of providing not only PPE equipment, but also their skills during this time of urgent challenge in our society. I am so proud of our faculty, our current nursing students, and all of our nursing alumni for their unselfish commitment. 

by Jenelle Bayus