AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Auburn University students, dressed in full protective gear, enter the staged hospital room of 9-year-old chronically ill Jason. Jason has cystic fibrosis and is suffering from resistant pneumonia.
It is all a part of simulation hosted by the College of Nursing teaching students how to treat patients with infectious diseases like Ebola.
"We give the students a chance to practice what they are actually learning in the classroom and have a safe environment for them to practice it, where they can learn before they take on real patients," explains Dr. Teresa Gore, AU Associate Professor.
A lab on campus was transformed into treatment center where students care for the patient Jason, who is in contact and droplet isolation.
"You can read anything and understand it, but actually putting it into practice helps you understand it a lot more," says nursing student Mallory Murphy.
Before students entered the room, a product was applied to the surfaces on and around the patient to simulate contamination.
After treatment, a UV light was used to help students see the contaminated areas and if any contaminants were transferred to them.
"They needed to take the precautions to protect themselves, and from transmitting to other patients," says Gore.
One student found spreading the germs was as easy as touching her mask before she removed her gloves.
"These germs can stay alive and by touching something or somebody else or rubbing your nose, touching your eye or biting your nails, so it was really neat to see how germs were spread," explains nursing student, Sydney Wait.
The students said they were initially nervous and scared when they heard news about Ebola in the US, but are now excited to start their careers confidently knowing how to prevent it.
"Realizing I will have to face sicknesses like this makes you want to understand and know everything you can do to help the spread of infection," says Murphy.