Thousands of people are adjusting to social distancing and working from home.
"We simply have shifted gears, and we did it rather fast,” Sara Nicolette, the LPN program Coordinator for Herkimer BOCES said.
The Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Adult Practical Nursing Program is doing what nurses all over the world are doing – quickly adjusting to the new normal in response to the coronavirus public health crisis.
Herkimer BOCES is continuing its program that trains local adults to be licensed practical nurses by moving to virtual instruction and virtual clinical experiences.
Nicolette has been teaching her classes on Zoom.
"We have extremely dedicated students who will graduate on time," Nicolette said.
To recruit new students, Nicolette will be hosting live virtual open houses using Zoom video conferencing at 7 p.m. every Wednesday in April and May. The open houses through Zoom can be accessed through a computer or smartphone. To receive your invite to one of the virtual open houses, email Nicolette at email@example.com.
"I can't have open houses as we have in the past, but I can have virtual open houses," Nicolette said. "We are getting ready to go for next year, there's a desperate need for nurses in the area, there was before this, it's even more so."
To help local businesses who have their employees working from home, Northland Communications is providing free video conferencing and phone software to all businesses in CNY and surrounding areas for free until June 30. Their product is called Accession.
"Our Accession platform is built on the Zoom platform which enables them by clicking a link in their Outlook calender or whichever calender their using that will send an email invite to the participants their looking for and enable a video call," Jim McCarthy, president of Northland Communications said.
Accession offers teleworking features like video and audio conferencing, instant messaging, screen sharing, group collaboration tools and more.
"This is quickly becoming the new norm and we're all learning this on my fly," McCarthy said.
These platforms are important to keep people connected.
"You can have your meetings, it's one thing to have the technology to enable it, but trying to make sure above and beyond the physical connection that people are still taking the time to make sure everyone is doing okay," McCarthy said. "I've heard people talking about social distancing as a bad word right now, it should be physical distancing just because our social engagement, no matter how we do it, is really what is going to get everybody through this."
You can find more information about Accession and Northland Communications here.