Virus depriving nursing student of hands-on experience

Published 6:53 pm Tuesday, April 21, 2020

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By Amber Williams

[Editor’s note: This is the second in a 10-part series about area college and university students and how their education has been affected by COVID-19.]


Ashleigh Carter, a native of Suffolk, is a current freshman at ODU. Her education has been affected as a result of the coronavirus, as has all students, but she has felt the impacts specifically as a student studying nursing.

As a health student, Carter is enrolled in many science courses, one of which is accompanied by a mandatory lab. She stated that while her other classes, which are now online, have not caused her to stress about the impact on her grades, the lab class has been more difficult.

Carter is concerned as well about the effects this will have on her future career. She is preparing for nursing school; however, the virus has essentially taken away her chances to get hands-on experience this summer. The places that Carter was planning on volunteering have now implemented strict policies for visitors and staff and will likely not be accepting undergraduate volunteers.

She said that being at home has added to the pressure of completing classes because there are many distractions. “Being at home makes me more comfortable sometimes, so I tend to lose focus.”

Carter commented on the changes ODU has made and how they are helping students handle this situation. “They have set up ZOOM for us to speak to our teachers and advisors with and [have been] keeping us updated on everything.”

ODU announced that a student contracted the virus during spring break before classes shifted online. She said the student was isolated and did not return to campus.

Her advice to people in the community is to stay home and wash your hands.

AMBER WILLIAMS is an intern for Windsor Weekly and The Tidewater News. Contact her at