By Erica Techo
To help nurses and other health care heroes care for our community and fight the COVID-19 pandemic the UAB School of Nursing and its simulation team have donated several batches of personal protection equipment (PPE), including N-95 masks, gowns and shoe covers, to UAB Hospital, the UAB Police Department and the Medical West Bessemer Clinic to help battle the PPE shortage.
“A few weeks ago, when the conversations around COVID-19 were ramping up, I worked with our simulation team to keep track of our PPE inventory and make sure it was secured,” said Assistant Professor and Director of Clinical Simulation Penni Watts, PhD, RN, CHSE-A. “I worked with Associate Dean of Technology and Innovation Jacqueline Moss to determine what equipment could go to clinics in our area and what could go to the hospital.”
The School of Nursing donated approximately 100 N-95 masks, 600 yellow gowns, 2,000 tie-on surgical masks, 400 regular masks, 600 standard cone blue masks, 300 boxes of bouffants, 500 boxes of shoe covers, 100 sterile surgical gowns, 90 boxes of gloves, 100 boxes of white hazmat coveralls, 200 pairs of goggles and 100 face shields to the hospital.
These supplies are typically used in simulations within the School, during which students learn the proper way to “don and doff” PPE in order to remain safe and prevent contamination. Innovative simulations, including chemical spills and community disaster response, also emphasize the wide range of applications for this equipment.
“As a School of Nursing, we work to properly educate our students on the importance of PPE and show the different types of precautions you’re supposed to take for different disease processes,” Watts said. “We are so fortunate to have real-world equipment and supplies for our students to use, and in these unprecedented times, we’re glad to provide these supplies to our community care providers in order to improve their safety. I’m thankful we can support our UAB community in this way.”
The School of Nursing also continues to look for new ways to collaborate with UAB Hospital and to support those on the front lines, said Professor and Associate Dean Jacqueline Moss, PhD, RN, FAAN.
“The Office of Technology and Innovation has worked to not only develop and enhance online education opportunities, but also to see what ways we can support our community locally and globally,” Moss said. “As we encounter new challenges, we look forward to assisting through the development of novel technological innovation and fostering community through online collaboration.”