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Behind the face mask at Gabhart Clinic: freshman nursing student Rebecca Moler

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

If you get regular COVID-19 tests at Belmont, chances are you’ve met Rebecca Moler.

Moler, a freshman nursing student, has been involved with Belmont’s sentinel COVID-19 testing program since February and spends many Mondays and Thursdays administering tests to students and faculty. As hands-on learning experience, it can’t be beat, and it’s work that helps Moler toward a future career.

“I’ve learned a lot about COVID through the job, but I’ve also learned how to interact with people in a health care setting,” said Moler.

Moler finished high school as a certified nursing assistant and began studying nursing at Belmont last fall. When the university started offering sentinel COVID-19 testing this spring, Moler got involved right away.

She joined the program in early February and continues to take time out of her week to assist with tests.

“Rebecca has shown she communicates well with the students, staff and faculty who participate in our surveillance testing program on campus,” said Krystal Huesmann, director of Health Services at Belmont, in an email.

“She has been a great help to us in implementing our COVID-19 response plan.”

As it turns out, COVID-19 testing helps Moler, too.

Whether she’s swabbing nostrils or making conversation with patients, Moler gains real-world experience with social and technical aspects of the medical field, both of which are essential skills for nurses.

Moler’s interest in nursing sparked toward the end of her time in high school, when she participated in a vocational health services program and became a CNA before graduation. It was then that she discovered a “calling” to help people and decided to pursue a career in nursing.

“I started researching nursing and I just kind of felt like that was what I was supposed to do,” said Moler. “Doing the CNA after that really just validated that I could do it.”

One of Moler’s high school instructors, Dena Eakins, saw Moler’s potential throughout her time in high school. As a student, Moler never cut corners, Eakins said, commending her conscientiousness and work ethic.

“I could tell just from her attention to detail and her desire to learn to do things correctly that she would make an excellent nurse,” said Eakins.

So far, it looks like Moler’s doing everything she can to live up to that potential, and she’s doing it right here in Nashville. For Moler, Belmont is the place to be — she knew after her first visit.

“They were one of the only nursing schools that told me they would try to help me find what I wanted to do,” remembered Moler. “I could just tell when I was here that this was where I wanted to be.”

This article was written by Vivi Smilgius.

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