Posted on Apr 28, 2020

Coronavirus Q & A: Marc Rosales DNP, MBA/HCM, RN, CCRN

Coronavirus Q & A: Marc Rosales DNP, MBA/HCM, RN, CCRN

USF Health has teamed up with Hillsborough County to open three new COVID-19 testing sites in East Tampa, Plant City, and Ruskin to make testing more accessible in underserved communities.

USF College of Nursing instructor Marc Rosales was one of the volunteers, and he shares what he saw from the front lines.

Which location were you assigned to and what roles or tasks were you given?

I was assigned to the Ruskin site. As a nurse, my primary responsibility was to collect the specimen samples by swabbing the patients.

Why did you decide to volunteer?

As a nursing leader, I have a responsibility to make an impact on my local community’s health, inspiring others and setting an example for our future nurses.

What safety protocols did you have to follow?

Safety protocols included following the proper guidelines for handling personal protective equipment (PPE), performing hand hygiene, and practicing safe distancing guidelines.

How many pre-screened and pre-registered people were tested each day?

Approximately 70-100 people were tested each day.

What were the first few days like?

On the first day, I noticed even the volunteers were very nervous about exposure, availability of PPE, and managing their responsibilities. However, the USF Health site leader, Evany Dera, and the Florida Department of Health leader provided excellent direction when we arrived, answered all of the volunteers’ questions, and managed operations efficiently throughout the day. PPE was abundant, readily available, and education was provided as needed. People did not wait in long lines, and operations ran smoothly.

How would you describe the overall mood or attitude of those who lined up for a COVID-19 test? Were they upbeat? Nervous? Uneasy? Just happy to be able to get a test?

In my experience, people who came to get tested were very appreciative, yet fearful, nervous, and had many questions. Helping people and their families navigate the pandemic fear and providing the human connection they needed reminded me of why I decided to become a nurse many years ago.

How does the addition of these sites help in the overall COVID-19 response and eventual reopening?

The addition of these testing sites are critical for us to understand this pandemic and how it is spreading. Performing tests also allows us to identify infected individuals so they can get the proper medical treatment, tracing and quarantining their contacts, and reinforcing the importance of isolation so they can protect against infecting others. Also, knowing how many are infected helps with the allocation of health care staff and resources.

Any other thoughts you’d like to share?

Life has changed dramatically for Americans in this battle against COVID-19. It’s very important to stay safe and isolate, but it is just as important to our health to maintain a connection to people. I encourage everyone to use technology to reach out to your family and friends regularly during this challenging time. Spend time talking to each other about what you are experiencing and how you are feeling. If you have questions related to your health, please reach out to your health care provider for answers. We are here to help you.

USF College of Nursing’s Melanie Stroup, left, and Marc Rosales, right, volunteer at one of the three new COVID-19 testing sites in Hillsborough County.

Story by Elizabeth L. Brown, USF College of Nursing

Hear from other faculty and alumni featured on Nursing Leadership: Fortitude from the Front Lines:

Dr. Tiffany Gwartney

Dr. Erik Rauch

Victoria Mejia