Tag Archives: nursing student

A student’s jeopardy, JFL and the effects of the decertification

By Shani Isaac | ST.CROIX–A medical textbook lays wide open as the harsh light of the laptop beams out onto a intensely studying  student’s face. Facts and data must be recognized, for in this young woman’s  desired line of work, a simple mistake could mean death for her patient.

This is an average scene for a student, in this case,  Shanice Rawlins, a sophomore here at UVI studying to be a nurse . Her future, or at least, her future for gaining a start here in the Virgin Islands is uncertain due to the troubles afflicting the sole hospital on the island, the Juan F. Luis Hospital. Due to certain decisions and inadequate  response to situations at the local hospital, there is disappointment and uncertainty regarding its future. This aspiring nurse is among the uncertain faction.

“I am actually more concerned about being accredited so that when we go to get a job on the mainland, they don’t say, “Oh, the hospital you were at wasn’t certified.”  says Rawlins, a look of anxiety on her visage. While it is also an option to go elsewhere to get experience, some students may not be in a financial situation to go abroad, or even to the mainland, to gain valuable internships or experience. The decertification of Juan  F. Luis Hospital, due to questionable care and incorrect observation of procedures may negatively impact this select group of students, as many institutions in the United States look far more favorably  on receiving nurses from certified hospitals, rather than the alternative.

Students, and not just the nursing students, at UVI are concerned about both the professional and medical aspects of the fall-out from JFL. “Health wise, there is a right way of doing things and the wrong way of doing things. People at JFL tend to take the short way out. Their technology is not that advanced. For example, stateside hospitals are equipped with scanners, and our hospital is not.”, says Rawlins, who has shadowed at JFL in the past. This is a claim supported by some of the stories coming in from previous reports of incidents that have sickened and even resulted in the death of several people. Then there was a case of the mismanaged handling of the corpse of a 22-week year old baby. One of the highlighted cases of questionable management is the hiring of a doctor allegedly responsible for the death of two patients, whose license was suspended at the time of her hiring, according to the St. Croix Avis.

There is a general sense of fear among the populace, particularly for elder relatives of the UVI students who rely on Medicare in order to get the medical treatment that they need. Now that Medicare has given JFL an extension, those people are worrying, not just for themselves, but for their families and communities. More and more people are going to the states for medical treatment. “The atmosphere is friendly,” says Rawlins , “but the bills are ridiculous.” With many Crucian families suffering from the high electric bill and a general raised cost of living, being hit with a medical crisis cannot be anything short of harsh for them.

“They had enough time to do it, they had enough time to fix the issues.” Rawlins says, “Rather than purchasing unnecessary crap  The fact that so many years passed between the initial investigation and the subsequent decertification is shocking to many. “Yes, you have to make the place look nice, but still, you have to worry about the procedures and how to take care of the patient.

She finishes out, a stern, almost angered look on her face, “The purpose of the hospital is to care about the patient. We shouldn’t really be worrying about ourselves but of the patient and how we take care of them.” Although Rawlins is fond of her home island and the program she participates it, it would appear that for now, her future lays elsewhere.

Nurses or Heroes?


ST.CROIX- It was a cool and cloudy Sunday morning in the Sunny Isle Shopping Center.

The rain sprinkled on the streets while the gray sky flashed with soft lightning. I was expecting a normal day of work at the Payless Shoe Store. However, what I wasn’t expecting would be what I was most prepared for.

The sweater on my back kept me warm while I cleaned the glass windows outside the store. While outside, a tall man in a red shirt broke the silence of the calm and gloomy morning.
“Help!” he yelled, as he hurried in the opposite direction of a man lying on the concrete.

Instinctively, I dropped the window cleaner and hurried across the street only to see that there was an elderly male lying unconscious on the ground.

I felt prepared, like I was supposed to be there. During that moment, flashbacks from my nursing lectures at the University of the Virgin Islands and CPR training flooded my mind. I heard the voice of my instructor Ms. Cooper asking me “What are you going to do first?”

I assessed the situation first. I looked at him and tapped him asking him if he was OK but he didn’t respond. I checked his pulse and found one. Just as I was about to call 911, the tall man in the red shirt came back.
“I just called 911,” he said. I kept the unconscious elderly man on his back and kept trying to see if he would respond.
A bystander noticed that there was a lot of bleeding behind the man’s head. My immediate thought was to stop the bleeding.
“We have to stop the bleeding,” I said out loud.
People driving by got out of their cars and kept me company until the ambulance came. Bystanders were getting anxious and complaining about how long the ambulance was taking. It felt like every second was equivalent to five minutes in that moment. Many people around me kept asking questions about the man on the ground.
“I don’t know this guy” I said. I just knew that if I did not stop the bleeding, he could possibly die. I asked if anyone had anything to stop the bleeding, but no one had anything.
A guy on the corner told me “do not touch the man.”
‘We can’t stay here and watch his head bleed out,” I said.
I took the sweater off of my back, bundled it up and applied pressure to the bleeding, being careful not to get blood on my hands. Within a minute after I stopped the bleeding, he moved his head and opened his eyes.
“Can you hear me,” I asked.
The man stared at me with an unfamiliar look. He shook his head in response and I kept talking to him. He was lifting his head to get up.
I called my boyfriend who graduated last semester from the nursing program. He works in the emergency room, so I knew he would be able to help me on the phone until the ambulance came.
“Sir, you have to stay still, don’t get up, the ambulance are on their way.”

In about 10 minutes the ambulance arrived on the scene, the blinking lights and sirens flooded the area as people watched frantically.

A bystander knelt down to the ground to meet me where I helped stop the bleeding. He held on to the man’s arm with a sense of compassion, trying to keep him conscious.

I could feel around me getting warmer. I turned my eyes away from the guy on the floor for the first time and saw many more bystanders staring at me.

The paramedics got the stretcher out and assessed the senior citizen who tried to speak but spoke with a slur. I left him there when the paramedics took over and headed back to work with no sweater.

The sweater I had put on that morning was now under a strangers bleeding head. The adrenaline that was running through my body was now resorting back to its normal composure. I felt calm when I saw the paramedics wheeling out the stretcher and lifting the small framed man off of the hard cold concrete.

The nursing program at UVI prepared me mentally for this situation that required fast action and critical thinking.

Many locals decide to go to nursing school on the mainland but UVI’s nursing program is one of the best nursing programs. It offers an associate degree on the St. Croix campus and bachelor’s degree on the St. Thomas campus.

If anyone is interested in the nursing program at UVI, go for it! The professors and advisors are willing to help and give you step-by-step guidance in the skills you need to learn to help you at the bedside or in emergency situations.

I wasn’t a hero as people said that day. I was just a nursing student, prepared for the worst.

By various (Niki ) (own work based on) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons
By various (Niki ) (own work based on) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons