Nursing students assist following flooding | HCTC

Nursing students assist following flooding

The flood waters were rising fast in Jackson on March 1 and residents of the Nim Henson Geriatric Center needed to be moved quickly to higher ground. Leaders took quick action so the residents could be safe. Nursing students from the Lees College Campus of Hazard Community and Technical College, along with their professor Arzella Howard, took good care of the residents in their new temporary home – Jackson City School.

Nursing students assisted the residents with feeding, grooming and other daily living activities. The nursing students were also able to assist in the disaster by distributing medications to the residents. Student Jennifer Collins of Jackson knew the residents were scared, as were so many others during the crisis, and she and fellow students did all they could to help put the residents’ minds at ease. 

Student Kaylee Connelley of Salyersville appreciated this chance to learn so much in a short amount of time. “This was definitely a learning experience,” she said, as she fondly remembers brushing the hair of one resident. “It was nice to bond with them,” she said.

John Harmon lives at Bear Branch in Leslie County. He makes the long drive to the Lees College Campus because of his dream of becoming a nurse. When the opportunity came up to be of service to the residents, Harmon remembers thinking, “I’m not missing this chance.”

Professor Howard noted that because of COVID-19, the residents had not been allowed to be around people. She said she could tell how the residents cheerfully responded to seeing the students. 

Besides the appreciation for the good experience, the students also praise Professor Howard for her teaching style. Connelly put it, “Arzella is our saving grace. With two kids, it’s hard to juggle, but Arzella works with you, along with Professor Becky Fields Bingham.” Connelly said if she didn’t have fine teachers like she has at HCTC, she would have enrolled at a different school, closer to her home. “With the price of gasoline, it would have been cheaper for me to enroll at a different school, but I heard great things about HCTC,” she said. 

Professor Howard listened as the students praised her during an interview. “I was a student once and you don’t forget how a student feels,” noted the professor.

Collins remembers when she heard her mom had cancer. She was tempted to not enroll. But now, she is glad she is on her way to a good career for her two children. Collins is fortunate her mom is still with her, and that her mom even provides childcare when needed. “I’m so glad I have kept at my goal,” she said. 

Harmon said he wouldn’t drive three hours each day, round trip, if it were not for the quality of education he is receiving. “The staff has been good to me. They answer my many questions. I’m enjoying the experience.” Harmon’s late father was an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) before he died 15 years ago. “I know my dad would be proud of me for enrolling,” Harmon said. 

Interested in becoming a nurse? Call 487-3293 about enrolling.