Medical students ask governor for permits to help

Updated: Mar. 27, 2020 at 5:39 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - On Saturday, Governor Greg Abbott allowed nursing students to meet clinical requirements through simulations when before it was limited to 50 percent, as well as allowing graduate nurses to get a permit to practice for 6 months to help keep hospitals staffed.

“What we were wanting to do was get the word out for Governor Greg Abbott to do that for us essentially also,” MSU respiratory therapy senior Tanairi Mai said.

Other disciplines aren’t included in the nursing order, so respiratory therapist students can’t necessarily help, despite the huge impact they could have.

“We’ve been hearing a lot about a ventilator shortage there’s also a huge need for respiratory therapists because they are the specialists and the experts, they know how to assess pulmonary patients especially patients with coronavirus,” respiratory care department chair Jennifer Anderson said.

The students hope that Governor Abbott can see how important all parts of the medical field are, not just the nurses and doctors.

“We want him to recognize we are essential especially in ventilator management, I think nurses are just as essential as well, but when it comes down to ventilator management which is needed right now we are the front lines for that,” Mai said

“We’re hoping he lifts this legislation and includes respiratory therapists as well as other medical professionals, such as radiology as well, we’re hoping he hears this message and considers opening up legislation to allow the students to go ahead and go into practice,” Anderson said.

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