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Nursing students finished their clinicals inside of Piedmont Tech’s Funeral Services Department building Thursday night. The COVID-19 pandemic postponed their clinicals, which they began in July at NHC HealthCare.

Jessica Davis and her nursing classmates at Piedmont Technical College began their clinical practices at NHC HealthCare Greenwood in July, but they didn’t complete all of them until Thursday night.

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented the aspiring nurses from finishing their clinicals on time, and Davis said they were not allowed to do anything until two weeks ago.

“We all did it,” she said. “It was a lot of hard work and makeup hours.”

When they started at NHC, Davis said they were only eligible to do three nights of clinicals. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced nursing homes to take precautions, the clinicals were stopped until further notice.

“Most people going into any type of CNA or nursing as of right now aren’t going to get through clinicals,” Davis said. “There’s no definite date on when clinicals will start, and we can’t do them virtually like you can in an anatomy lab or something of that nature.”

Davis recently turned in her application for Piedmont Tech’s medical assistance program and won’t know if she has been accepted until the end of July. She is working at Mig’s Pizza Castle while awaiting a response.

“I’m a single mom so they do everything that I need them to do for me to be successful in school and as a mother,” she said.

If Davis is accepted into the program, she thinks it is going to be dangerous to go into a nursing home right now without a vaccine for the new coronavirus. She has a 2-year-old son at home, so she’s worried about coming back from work and possibly getting him sick.

Davis and her classmates finished their clinicals at Piedmont Tech’s Funeral Services Department building. She said it was hard to come back after months and relearn the multiple steps for each skill that is needed to take care of a residence.

“We’re oh so grateful to finally be done and this is a step for us to be more successful in life,” she said. “We’re all a little bit older, and most of us have children, so we’re just trying to be great parents and role models for those who look up to us.”

Contact reporter Jonathan Limehouse at 864-943-5644 or follow him on Twitter @jon_limehouse.