FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- As part of Governor Eric Holcomb’s executive order, he eased the requirements for both past and future healthcare workers in Indiana to help out on the front line.
Students, alumni and faculty in the Ivy Tech nursing program are doing just that.
Rawlin Kegley, who graduated from Ivy Tech on Friday, is one of those students.
He and a few of his nursing classmates have been thrusted to the front lines, working at the Northeast Indiana emergency quarantine shelter for the homeless and disabled.
Kegley said "So far, it’s been the best job I’ve ever had. It’s kind of one of those things that I actually get to use the education that I just got, already, in just a really neat way."
That education is being put to good use, assisting RN’s with patient intake, giving out medication if needed, and providing food and cleaning services for the struggling quarantiners, but it’s not been easy, like last week when they had a mass intake of patients.
"There’s some days where I just don’t sit down and you’re just moving constantly," Kegley explained. "It’s just like man, I don’t know how you can keep going."
However, getting to help those in the community who may have no one else helps raise spirits.
"Getting to see the patients when we interact with them. For a lot of these patients, we’re the only people that they see," Kegley said.
That mindset of helping the community is why Paula Hughes-Schuh reached out for help.
Hughes-Schuh is CEO of the YWCA, one of the agencies supporting the shelter.
"We reached out to Ivy Tech because I know that they have the largest nursing program in the state of Indiana, and more than that, they’re the most community-focused higher education organization,” says Hughes-Schuh. “Nursing Dean Angela Russ has been great to work with, and Ivy Tech Fort Wayne mobilized very quickly and without hesitation to help make this project a reality."
Kegley believes this is exactly where he’s supposed to be
"It’s really been the best on-hands training that I could imagine," Kegley said.
If you know someone who has COVID-19, but can't quarantine safely, you're encouraged to call 211.