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“I've learned so much at the hospital since the pandemic began, and I'm thankful that I'm a student during this time so I can take the time to really learn while on the job,” says Brooke Schobel, a nursing major, graduating in January 2021. 

For Schobel this time providing care for patients at Rhode Island Hospital has also put into perspective why she is in nursing school. “This whole experience really solidified for me my career choice and that I am ready, willing, and excited to be a nurse, even during the really crazy times.” 

Schobel knows that the virus is real and scary, but even then she wants to be in the hospital all the time, learning, caring for patients, making a difference. “I still come to work because although some days are more difficult than others, I love my job and I know that this is where I am meant to be,” she says.

In her role as Certified Nurse Assistant, a typical day includes taking vital signs, helping patients with hygiene and other activities of daily living, taking blood sugars, and helping out the nurses on the ‘warm unit’ — a section of the hospital just for COVID-19 patients. 

“While in the ‘warm units’ I've definitely noticed more of a ‘we're all in this together’ kind of team effort among staff, and everyone always helps everyone out.” She adds, “I’m not afraid to be in the hospital. We are very well protected.” 

Schobel says that it is very important to stay safe, and recommends to wash hands — which she says is the number one way to prevent the spread of infection —  stay home if you don't have to go out and use a face mask. “I am still taking extra precautions and following social distancing guidelines as well.

This story is Part 4 in a series of stories about members of the Rhode Island College community serving various roles at Rhode Island Hospital during the COVID-19 crisis. Read the other parts here: Part 1Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 5 | Part 6