We are less than two months away from January 2021, which marks one year since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.
Our country is inching closer to 15 million confirmed cases, and most states show a continued growth of COVID-19 infections, with only a few exceptions.
States like California, New York, and Florida are currently on the list for most coronavirus cases. There is talk of new mobility restrictions, and possible shutdowns. However, every state seems to be handling the pandemic a little bit differently.
What does this mean for NP students that want to complete their rotations next year? Will you still be able to do that? Our opinion is that there is still hope, and that a possible second shutdown will not affect you as much as it could.
Let’s dive into the latest news regarding a second COVID-19 shutdown, and how the future is looking for NP students and professional nurse practitioners in the field.
A brief update on the COVID situation
- Americans who want to get a COVID-19 vaccine should be able to do so by next year’s second quarter, according to Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services.
- Rudy Giuliani is the latest high-profile politician to suffer from COVID-19, according to a tweet by Donald Trump.
- There have been reports of side effects from the US coronavirus vaccine, such as joint pain, fever, and chills. This could greatly affect healthcare workers who receive it.
- Related to the point above: We recently wrote about healthcare workers getting the first doses of the vaccine, according to CDC officials.
- Hospitalizations and deaths related to the coronavirus reached new records last Wednesday.
Will there be a second shutdown in the US?
The latest news regarding the spread of coronavirus paints a difficult future for the United States. However, not everything is bad.
There aren’t any plans for a current, countrywide shutdown that could affect how nurse practitioners work. And even if there was a countrywide shutdown, NPs are still essential workers that are critical to public health and safety.
If you are an NP student that’s worried about your future, and your clinical rotations, the best thing you can do right now is book your rotations ASAP to avoid complications in the coming months.
You should also be aware of the fact that the President cannot institute a countrywide shutdown.
The power to shut down businesses and to keep people from going out is in the hands of state officials and local governments.
This means that, if you’re worried about a second shutdown, you should look into the current (and coming) restrictions in your own state, county, and city. These restrictions may vary between the three.
USA Today has published a very handy guide on current coronavirus restrictions. Click on the link to see different case trends, restrictions by state, and mobility trends.
A second shutdown is not going to drastically impact you, we believe
Our current assumption, according to the latest news, is that a second shutdown in your state, county, or city is not going to be as drastic as previous measures to combat the spread of coronavirus.
We believe that, because there has already been a shutdown, people know how to deal with this better.
Cases are growing, yes, but a new vaccine for Americans is right around the corner, and we haven’t even mentioned the current treatments that are in place for COVID-19. Check out the COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines by the CDC for more information.
You’ll most likely be able to continue doing your rotations
Since most people now understand the risks associated with COVID-19, and since the virus is not as novel as it was a year ago, we believe that you’ll be able to continue your clinical rotations.
It is unlikely that there will be a large furloughing or shutdown of private practice clinics, based on what we’re currently seeing.
Private practices, and other places where you would do your clinical rotations, have adopted the emerging trend of telehealth, for example. We’re also seeing that some universities are better equipped now to deal with this challenge.
At the beginning of the pandemic, almost everyone was taken by surprise and didn’t know how to react. But now, unfortunately, the pandemic has become a part of our lives.
In hindsight, what we’re trying to say here is that we don’t expect a second shutdown to make a drastic impact on your clinical rotations. We believe that you’ll be able to complete them.
There might be a drop on patient load, however. Pay attention to that!
The only thing that we could potentially caution you against and ask you to verify is that patient census can drop, especially in private clinics.
When we talk about patient census, we’re talking about the number of patients that come every day to your clinic. That’s the only thing you should potentially be concerned about at this stage of the pandemic.
Patient census might drop because of mobility restrictions, which again, vary by state, county, and city.
With this in mind, we suggest reaching out to your university. Find out if they will allow you to continue your rotations. If they will be okay with you having a lower patient census. Also, don’t forget to ask about their policy on telehealth rotations.
What else can you do to ensure you can complete your clinical rotations?
We’ll never get tired of saying this: Book. Your rotations. Now. Don’t wait until things get better. Don’t wait until “the time is right.” Do it now on your own or with the help of a preceptor matching service like ours. To make it super simple for you, we even designed our system so that everything you have to do is log in and choose your preceptor. It’s that easy.
If you have additional questions, you can always reach out to us. We’re going to continue updating our team, our staff, our students and our preceptors on this, and making sure we’re delivering the most updated information possible during this pandemic.
Also, the lockdowns are making preceptors hesitant to take students. We really recommend booking your rotations as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary delays.
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