Health care workers across the globe are calling out daily for more supplies as the coronavirus crisis continues to grow and create shortages.
College of Coastal Georgia’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences recently pulled from its own stock of supplies to aid health care workers.
The college donated personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency to help in the fight against COVID-19.
The donation included 350 loop masks, 150 face-shield surgical masks and a ventilator.
The equipment and supplies were originally meant for use by nursing students in a simulated hospital setting.
The donation was a collaboration between the nursing department and college campus police.
The Georgia Emergency Management Agency asked the University System to list available supplies that could be donated in the event they were needed.
Campus police chief Bryan Sipe, who also serves as the emergency operations coordinator for the college, received the request and contacted Lydia Watkins, dean of the nursing department.
“It’s ironic because earlier that morning I texted my lab assistant, Jeff Garrett, and asked him to inventory our PPE and other supplies that we may have and could donate,” Watkins said. “I also asked him to inventory our lab bed space in case the hospital needed overflow.”
Within an hour of being notified, the items were packed and ready for shipment. The donation was picked up Friday.
“This is a great example of how our department and institution continually support the broader regional public safety efforts,” Sipe said. “Working with Dr. Watkins and Jeff Garrett could not have been any easier. They were quickly able to compile a list of everything they have in their inventory that GEMA requested.”
What the college has donated may seem small compared to global needs, Watkins said, but combined with similar donations from other institutions in the University System of Georgia and businesses, the supplies will be a significant help.
Watkins urged everyone who knows someone working in a hospital environment during this time to send words of encouragement.
“Many of our nursing and radiologic sciences students are working in our hospitals during this time and are working in the COVID-19 units,” she said. “As you see videos from and pictures of nurses and physicians on the news and in social media, remember that there are many of our own alumni out there working countless hours, risking their safety, following their oath to help heal others.”
Most nursing students report getting into the field to help others, she said.
“Well I think they are definitely doing that,” Watkins said. “This year, 2020, was designated the ‘Year of the Nurse’ by the World Health Organization. No better timing for that designation.”