How coronavirus impacts clinicals, research and internships for students

How coronavirus impacts clinicals, research and internships for students

Many students need internships or work experience to graduate. Nurses need clinicals, biology students need research and many students need internships. Summer is a valuable time for students to complete these requirements but coronavirus may halt these opportunities.

Nursing Clinicals

Calvin nursing students need to complete clinical hours throughout their time in the program. This is an especially sensitive time for seniors, as they have no other opportunity to get these hours before graduation. Calvin has set up a system to allow students to do so. 

Typically during this time of year, senior nursing students are participating in clinicals with neighborhood residents in their community rotation. These students can use technology such as Sentinel City and Google voice to complete their hours. They are still meeting with their patients through the phone regularly and helping them check for coronavirus symptoms. 

Nursing students such as Valerie VerHage are disappointed not to be able to meet in person with the community patients but are thankful for the new and additional skills they are learning in this crisis. Because of this system, the senior nursing students will be able to graduate on time this spring with all of their required hours complete.

Summer Research

Many science majors need to participate in research in order to graduate. Each summer Calvin offers various research positions for students. Professor Grasman says each “research project will respond differently” due to the impact of coronavirus.

Research involving labs will not be happening this summer at Calvin. Others will be carried out online. Currently, a few projects held outdoors will continue with participants operating at an acceptable social distance, but this is subject to change. The research projects still taking place will be only eight weeks long rather than the usual 10.

Private Employers

Steelcase, a large furniture company in Grand Rapids, is accountable for hiring many interns during the summer and school year months. Currently, they have decided to keep their interns both now and in the summer, but hours will be cut to a maximum of 21 per week.

TaRita Johnson, director of the Calvin career center, says, “Several employers are making daily decisions and some have decided to pause university recruitment efforts for internships or full-time positions. Others plan to continue their internship programs but delay start dates, and a few others have canceled their summer internship programs.” Other local internships have either been canceled or have a decreased amount of work.