Working as a surgical technologist provided the impetus for Alina Leos’ decision to seek a nursing degree. She is currently a pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Akron. She describes how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected her work and education.
In August of 2015, I became a certified surgical technologist, and began my career at University Hospitals on August 24, 2015, as a surgical technologist for Mather Operating room. From my start date, I have known that the operating room is the environment in which I want to have a career. It is engaging and keeps me moving throughout the day. After five years in the operating room, I decided to make the jump to becoming a Registered Nurse at the University of Akron, at which I will earn my BSN in 2023. I saw this as an opportunity to develop professionally. My peers and the army supported me in my goal of pursuing a nursing career. I will be entering my first clinical rotation this fall.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted my practice and learning. All of my classes that were in person were converted to an online learning platform. I continued to work full time throughout the transition. Then, Governor DeWine called my army unit into deployment. I spent the last few months in command of a 20-person unit and then eventually a 240-person unit. We were providing COVID-19 testing to Ohio Prisons. Throughout the traveling and testing, I was still involved in my online classes, although I had to leave my full time job for deployment. It was an interesting experience that has prepared me for my future as a nurse.