Health care students graduating early to help fight coronavirus

MIAMI, Fla. – Barry University is pushing up the graduation of some health care students so that they can quickly join the front lines in battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead of graduating May 9, seniors in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences Cardiovascular Perfusion Program will now graduate on April 11. “Cardiovascular perfusionists are specialists who work in operating rooms and critical care units with heart and lung machines and other mechanical support machines. The scope of their practice includes long term support for respiratory and cardiac failure,” the school said.

“In seeing the speed at which the novel coronavirus is spreading and the great need for additional practitioners in hospitals across the country, it only makes sense to expedite getting these well-trained individuals into health care settings as quickly as possible,” said John McFadden, dean of Barry’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences, in a statement. “Every day matters in this fight.”

Among the graduates is Andy Kemp, an Air Force veteran who will begin working at Naples Community Hospital on April 15.

“I know what I do is one small part of healthcare,” Kemp said in a school news release. “I want to get in there and do my part and I want to help. I know that every bit helps, even the most junior team member.”

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