Adapting to virtual learning has been a challenge for every student at every level of education, but some students have a few extra hurdles.
For hands-on subject areas, being able to practice your area of study has been made extra difficult. For nursing students, that's especially true.
Nursing students on TikTok have been sharing the creative ways they've been practicing techniques at home and submitting assignments. The results are pretty funny.
In more normal times, nursing students have access to pretend patients and other tools to practice working with real people. But now, with many students in a mix of online and in-person learning because of the coronavirus, things are getting kind of weird.
Take, for example, this vulva made out of paper plates as a way to practice placing a catheter.
The poster clarified in comments that this isn't meant to be anatomically correct, but it was used to validate the skill.
And did you know you can place an IV line in a green onion?
Students are also having to get their parents and roommates to pretend to be patients so they can record assignments to submit to professors.
Julia Imbert goes to Molloy College in Rockville Center, New York, for its dual-degree nursing program. She posted two TikToks showing her trying to practice her patient interactions with her dad, who had some fun with it.
"Since we weren't in class or clinical every week, we had to submit a video each week doing an assessment of the system we would normally be doing on our patient in the hospital," Imbert told BuzzFeed News. "So my dad was my patient for that video and I was trying to record myself doing the assessment to send to my clinical instructor."
It's been a weird semester, to say the least.
"It's a very strange experience trying to make your family members pretend to be a patient," she said. "I ended up practicing some of my lab skills on stuffed animals, but I think all nursing students right now are just trying to make it work with the situation we are all in."
Meagan Burke, a nursing student at Florida Gulf Coast University, took a similar approach. For one assignment, she submitted a video of herself attending to a Dobby doll from Harry Potter.
"One of my labs required lots of physical demonstrations, which is where Dobby came in! I used him as a 'patient' for various virtual labs to complete different portions of a physical assessment."
She also once used a tissue box to practice sterile wound dressing.
"My labs were in person. However, outbreaks and exposures caused a lot of the labs to be moved to online," she said.
"It was pretty hard starting my first semester of nursing school mostly online!"