PN Grad Stresses Handwashing Following Virus Recovery

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Alison Toney

Alison Toney took all the precautions as a nurse working on the front lines in the fight against coronavirus. Still, she got sick.

Early in April, her recently acquired dream job turned nightmarish as she contracted the deadly coronavirus, which the World Health Organization says has so far infected more than 6 million people and killed hundreds of thousands in 216 countries and territories.

Toney, 25, of Noble, is thankful to now count herself as one of the millions of fortunate individuals to have recovered.

A native Canadian, Toney left picturesque Nova Scotia for the plains of Oklahoma. She said she wanted to shorten the distance in a long-distance relationship. The eastern Canadian province is 2,200 miles from Oklahoma City. West Kings District High School, where she graduated in 2013, is a short drive from the southern shore of the Bay of Fundy and a four-hour drive by road and ferry to the famed U.S. 1 highway in Maine.

Oklahoma is home now for Toney, who completed Practical Nursing at Canadian Valley Technology Center last November. She is enrolled in Registered Nurse (RN) School next fall at Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City.

Toney said she had moderate symptoms while fighting coronavirus. She is back at work but changed jobs in late April. She is a charge nurse at Holiday Heights Nursing Home, which is nowhere near a beach but is nonetheless a short drive from the west shore of Norman’s Lake Thunderbird. Charge nurses have supervisory duties, in addition to patient care.

Toney also has an associate degree in business management. She said she considered that path before deciding on a career in nursing. She plans to apply for dual citizenship when she is eligible in two years.

As for the illness, she said many questions remain unanswered.

“I contracted Covid from either a co-worker or from caring for a Covid patient while working at another facility,” she said. “It took me about three weeks to recover. I went back to work after the end of the third week. I was anxious to get back to my patients.”

Toney has strong words for people who want to avoid contracting the virus.

“Use all the proper PPE (personal protective equipment), and wash your hands,” she said.

She has equally strong words for those considering a career in the health care industry and beginning with Practical Nursing at CV Tech.

“It definitely prepared me for the job I have.”

Practical Nursing is a full-time program offered at both the Chickasha and El Reno campuses. Coursework and clinicals take about 20 months to complete. Anybody who lives within CV Tech’s district, is under age 24 and a high school graduate (or equivalent) is eligible for free tuition with the Next Step Scholarship.

Financial aid is available for others who qualify. For more information, call and ask to speak to a counselor. The Chickasha Campus can be reached at (405) 224-7220, or the El Reno Campus is at (405) 262-2629.


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