Recent headlines in the Northern Nevada Business Weekly are reporting on an unfortunate outcome of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic: workers in the nursing and allied health fields are leaving their positions due to fatigue, burnout, and being overwhelmed. In the early fall of 2021 after nearly two years of fighting the pandemic, the increase in COVID-19 cases became the final straw, leaving many vacant positions.
In fact, shortages in nurses have plagued Northern Nevada for quite some time; but the ongoing pandemic is only making those shortages worse. “Nursing shortages have long plagued hospitals in Northern Nevada and beyond. But in the year and a half since COVID hit the U.S., the pandemic has stretched the nation’s nurses like never before, testing their skills and stamina as desperately ill patients with a poorly understood illness overwhelm emergency rooms,” writes author Kaleb Roedel.
In a related article featuring local leaders in the medical field, Alan Garrett, President and CEO of Carson Tahoe Health commented on the fatigue that many in the industry are feeling. “When this most recent surge came to Northern Nevada, I think the general consensus was, ‘Really? We’re going to do this all over again?’ And people are tired—not just the workload from taking care of patients, just the burden of life is different. Lots of people couldn’t get away on vacation [and] there’s just fatigue around that….I don’t blame folks, but we’ve got a number of clinicians, nurses, and others, that are like, ‘I’m done; I don’t want to do this anymore.’”
Supporting Future Medical Professionals
While the demands placed on those in the allied health and medical fields are certainly high, so are the rewards, which is why many TMCC students enroll in programs that provide them with the hands-on, practical training and experience they will need to be successful in these fields.
Every year, students from the Nursing, EMT/Paramedic, Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Clinical Lab Specialist/Phlebotomy (CLS), Dietetic Technician, Radiologic Technology, Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene Programs enter the local workforce, contributing to the health and wellness of our community. In fact, the majority of TMCC graduates remain in Northern Nevada, pursuing careers in their respective fields. Now more than ever supporting these soon-to-graduate students in the allied health and nursing fields is vital to the continued vitality of our community.
That’s why the TMCC Foundation is once again participating in the “world’s biggest day of generosity,” #GivingTuesday. “It has always been TMCC’s mission to focus on and support student success. To perpetuate this mission this year, it occurred to us that students in the allied health and nursing fields are preparing themselves for a lifetime of service that supports our community in a vital way. This year, we wanted to provide those students with a little extra support to motivate them to complete their educational journeys and to ‘get their foot in the door’ in their respective professions,” said TMCC Foundation Executive Director Gretchen Sawyer.
Help Students To Reach Their Goals
For this year's #GivingTuesday event, the TMCC Foundation has set a goal to raise $10,000, with the goal of creating ten separate $1,000 scholarships that will be awarded to students in their final year of an allied health or nursing program. While #GivingTuesday is officially observed on Nov. 30, Sawyer encourages donors to contribute whatever amount when they can. Every donation will be used to support students in pursuit of certificates and degrees in these vital careers that our community desperately needs.
Supporting students at this critical juncture in their education on Giving Tuesday is giving them the opportunity to focus and complete their training. And then, to start their careers in which they will undoubtedly make a lasting impact.
Participating in this year’s Giving Tuesday is easy: donations can be made online at any time. For more information about other ways to support TMCC students through scholarships or endowments, contact the TMCC Foundation and Grants Office at 775-674-7648.