Medical job seekers facing training and testing troubles due to COVID-19

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Current job seekers in the medical field are facing several roadblocks in their learning and testing for their future careers because of the virus.

EMT students at South Central Kentucky Community and Technical College in Bowling Green have spent hours this week in a refresher course hoping to pass their skills testing next week.

After the virus hit, the EMT classes became online only in March.

The class ended in early May, but in person testing wasn’t an option because of the virus until now, according to Griffin Spainhoward, an EMT student.

“It was very difficult off the bat because everything we do is hands on. So, having to switch to a virtual learning environment was very hard to adjust to and some didn’t adjust to it very well, some adjusted to it OK. But I think we are all still trying to get used to it,” said Spainhoward

Because the online teaching could not include hands on, Terri Bailey, the class instructor, says students were worried about their upcoming skills test.

“We have to be able to do patient assessments, and patient assessments is a big impact of knowledge as well as hands on. So, if we don’t have both, we are not going to be able to perform our job completely,” said Bailey.

Students missed out on more than just class time, ride along time was cancelled as well.

“I actually didn’t get to do a single ride along time up until last Saturday with Med Center EMS and learned so much off that. It would have benefited me greatly if I would have gotten to do it during actual class time like we were supposed to,” said Spainhoward.

And for the nursing field, things are not looking much different.

Testing centers are backed up for months in the state, according to Lauren Federer, a recent Western Kentucky University nursing graduate.

“They were so booked out until, I think, like the fall, and so I scheduled it in Georgia and had to take a five-hour trip just to take my NCLEX in another state to be able to pass and start working and get my license before sometime this fall,” said Federer.

Skills and licensing tests for many medical students have been pushed back multiple times because of the virus.