(NMC) — Northern Marianas College graduates are working and making a difference as frontline workers at the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. during the pandemic.

“When the Covid-19 situation came about, we were assigned to different units to manage the patient flow that might come in because of the Covid-19,” said NMC alumna Mayleen Aldan, a nurse working in the hospital’s operating room. “At first, I was hesitant to go to these different units, but ended up helping patients in the emergency room and the intensive care unit.”

“Although the risk for me was very high of contracting Covid, I still gladly accepted the reassignment because it is my goal to care for patients whether we have a pandemic situation or not. I still have that fear, and concerns but with the development of guidelines from experts, I never regret responding to the call. I am still ever willing to continue to be part of the frontline healthcare providers as I did before, now, and will be in the future,” Aldan said.

Natasha Quitugua, another NMC graduate who is now a nurse at CHCC, said the experience has been “challenging.”

“My experience as a frontliner during the first wave of the pandemic was challenging but rewarding,” said Quitugua. “Still, it made me a nurse who can fight back the virus to protect our community.”

According to Quitugua, the nursing instructors at NMC told her and her classmates to never give up, even when the “dark times” come.

“They prepared us, as nurses, to deal with the worst-case scenario,” Quitugua said. “They trained us to fight fear and obstacles. They educated us to become a wise nurse who can care for ourselves and the community.”

Maria Atrero, another NMC  nursing graduate, said the college helped her deal with the pandemic.

“During the time when Covid was newly introduced, I remember always feeling anxious about the status of the hospital,” said Atrero. “Still, I learned while at NMC to adapt to my environment. In the field of nursing the environment is always changing, especially with patients and family members coming in and out of the hospital.”

Atrero asked that the community in the CNMI to continue to adhere to Covid-19 regulations and preventive measures.

“It helps us, your families, and yourself if you’re compliant with taking your medications and keeping your health in check,” Atrero added.

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