Lipscomb introduces new protocols to on-campus food service

Lipscomb introduces new protocols to on-campus food service

It’s no secret that college campuses will look different this semester. With safety at top priority, Lipscomb has created some new ways for students to eat on campus.  There have been new dining options, a full-service Chick-fil-A and even a healthy snack bar added to Bennett in preparation for students’ arrival in the fall. “We will be doing some fairly dramatic changing in terms of food service,” said President Randy Lowry in a conversation with Lumination about dining at Lipscomb this fall. Lowry talked about four specific changes that students will notice come August. The first “dramatic change” Lowry noted was the limiting of seating in Bison Cafe to half of its usual capacity, in order to follow social distancing guidelines. To accommodate for this loss of seating, there will now be seating available in two additional spaces: Room 1891 and downstairs in Shamblin.  Not only will there be a reduction in seating, but the serving of the food itself will no longer look the same either.  That’s where the next two major changes come into play. “There will be no self-service in the cafeteria,” Lowry said. “Everything will be served to you.” The Bison Cafe won’t be changing what food is served, just how the food is served. These modifications will limit contact between those in the cafeteria to reduce the spread of germs.  “We will have a very robust grab-and-go kind of concept that will be introduced,” Lowry said.  There will be an area where students can pick up pre-portioned food in addition to a cafeteria-style station. Not only will this be safer for students, but it will...
Virtual learning instead of hands-on experience offers new challenges for nursing students

Virtual learning instead of hands-on experience offers new challenges for nursing students

Lipscomb’s nursing program, always reliant on physical interaction and hands-on experiences in the past, had to adapt dramatically when the school switched to virtual learning. The pandemic that mandated virtual learning also caused problems in terms of the opportunities for nursing students. “Many clinical partners, around the same time Lipscomb decided to switch to virtual learning, also decided to no longer let students into their facilities,” said Dr. Chelsia Harris, the program’s executive director. “The rationale was to conserve their personal protection equipment, or PPE’s, for essential workers that absolutely needed them.” “It was challenging for me to finish online in the spring, seeing a lot of cool things in my clinicals (at Vanderbilt Trauma Unit), but was only able to go twice before everything started shutting down,” said McKenzie Allen, a senior. Despite many clinical partners and direct physical interaction being cut off, the nursing program made successful adaptations, according to Harris. “We have such incredible faculty and staff that worked really hard to work with some of the vendors in a virtual capacity, and were able to launch a high-fidelity type virtual simulation,” she said. “Some of the simulations are so realistic, and actually have students think more critically than what you thought you would even imagine comparatively to bedside with a real patient.” “The Tennessee State Board of Nursing as well as our national accreditation body were in full support of the utilization of virtual simulations as long as students were able to meet outcomes,” Harris said. The sudden shift to isolation for students and faculty did cause adjustment, according to Harris. “It was gut-wrenching to...
Lipscomb nursing alumni and students become health-care heroes in front lines of the pandemic

Lipscomb nursing alumni and students become health-care heroes in front lines of the pandemic

Lipscomb’s recent graduates and others currently in the nursing program have been thrown into the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic. They join an army of new nurses and nursing students nationwide who have been called into action because of the emergency. “Many signed up for the COVID-19 relief team at Vanderbilt and other area hospitals, which they all did voluntarily and not under any mandatory process from the School of Nursing or Lipscomb,” said Dr. Chelsia Harris, director of the nursing program at Lipscomb. “Many are getting paid in some capacity.” “Some of our graduates went straight to work in hospitals and other health-care facilities with COVID-19 units, post-graduation,” Harris said. “Out of 35 graduates, at least 15 or 16 that I know of have been doing that.” Kayla Neal is a recent graduate, who works as a patient care tech at Skyline Medical Center and AHC Cumberland nursing home. Neal, who graduated in May, has been in close vicinity of quarantined sectors. “They take our temperature at the beginning of the shift and make sure we are wearing our required masks,” Neal said. “All patients are screened beforehand and are also required to wear masks when being transported around.” Neal said the increasing number of patients, due to COVID, is putting stress on the healthcare system. “The nurse-to-patient ratio has increased from five-to-one to six-to-one just while I’ve been working there, and the responsibility for each employee has increased significantly as well,” said Neal. “COVID-19 is a stressful thing, but it gives me an advantage because I’m starting off as a new nurse in the midst of a...
COVID-19 pandemic halts fall semester Global Learning

COVID-19 pandemic halts fall semester Global Learning

With the European Union banning American tourists beginning this summer and other factors as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, study abroad programs have been postponed indefinitely. “This tough decision was a collaborative agreement between our Office of Global Learning, Risk Management, and upper administration,” said Rebecca Zanolini, director of Global Learning, citing information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State Department as source material in this decision. “Given the current information we have and due to a number of factors out of our control, such as many countries either limiting entrance or imposing a 14-day quarantine on those entering, it is the decision of the university to cancel our fall 2020 study abroad programs,” said Provost W. Craig Bledsoe. The EU has said that American tourists will be banned from entering the continent because the virus is raging uncontrolled here.  It is similar to the winter’s ban on most European visitors to the U.S., issued when COVID-19 was reaching its peak in several countries. The university is now making accommodations for all students who planned to study abroad this semester to help them transition into a semester on-campus, including classes and housing registration assistance. “Even with this temporary situation regarding fall 2020 programs, we are moving ahead with our investment in Lipscomb’s global learning program and on-campus activities for students interested in future international travel opportunities,” said Bledsoe. “In the next few weeks the university plans to purchase the Florence villa that has served our global students so well for the last few years,” Bledsoe said. “This is a significant investment in our global learning program...
Lipscomb College of Pharmacy makes hand-sanitizer for Nashville community

Lipscomb College of Pharmacy makes hand-sanitizer for Nashville community

The Lipscomb College of Pharmacy began compounding hand-sanitizer for the Nashville community in May, due to a shortage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Students, alumni, faculty and volunteers were involved in the compounding, and more who want to help are filling up a waiting list. “We started getting reports from our healthcare community saying supplies were getting extremely limited in terms of PPE (personal protection equipment) and also just hand-sanitizer to have available for both the patients and staff as they carry out their healthcare duties,” said Tom Campbell, dean of the College of Pharmacy and associate professor of Pharmacy Practice. Many of the college of pharmacy graduates are on the front lines in this battle against the virus, and the school keeps in contact with them, so when alums gave the word of the shortages around local healthcare facilities, Lipscomb stepped in. This is an experiment that the college would normally do in a pharmaceutical compounding class, according to Campbell. So making the hand-sanitizer was a way to reinforce compounding skills, while meeting a public health need with student pharmacists. “It was a great opportunity for our students to use the knowledge and skills they developed, knowing that they were able to help people in need. That’s always a very rewarding and refreshing feeling,” said Campbell. He said the college hopes to continue compounding throughout the summer and into the fall if needed, possibly even providing more hand-sanitizer around campus to create a safer environment as students return in the fall. Campbell encourages all who can to donate to the effort. “The one limiting factor will be costs, over...
Lipscomb campus construction workers test positive with COVID-19

Lipscomb campus construction workers test positive with COVID-19

Several members of a construction team working on the Lipscomb campus have tested positive for the coronavirus, said President Randy Lowry in an email sent out to faculty members. “Yesterday one of the contractors on-site notified us that during routine daily health screenings required before an employee enters the construction site, several of their employees presented with a fever and were asked to leave the construction site to get COVID-19 tests and to self-quarantine,” Lowry wrote in the email. All of the individuals working at the site were tested, and the results have begun to come in. “While we are awaiting results from all of the tests, the contractor has notified us that several of the construction workers did test positive for the virus,” Lowry said. “When we learned of self-reported cases through one of our contractors, we engaged with the contractor to ensure access to testing was available to all members of the work crew,” said Kim Chaudoin, Lipscomb assistant vice president for public relations and communications. The site has been temporarily shut down for cleaning, and Lipscomb is taking precautions by holding virtual meetings with all of the contractors working on summer projects and reviewing their protocols. “The university has also implemented enhanced precautionary measures that require all subcontractors to assess their employees when they arrive on the work site, including a temperature check and health screening, wear masks and maintain appropriate physical distance among other measures,“ said Chaudoin. “While these results are concerning, we were not necessarily surprised to have a situation like this occur at some point, and we are prepared,” Chaudoin continued. “This quick...