Nursing students stripped of access

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By Tanya Bahnesli

When it’s time to study, most students can crack open their books, flip up their laptops and get cozy in the library. First-year nursing students have to unbutton their shirts, whip out their stethoscopes and practise their examination skills.

But nursing students get kicked out when they practise in the library.

Discussions a few years ago lead to a policy banning the practical studying from the library. Since the department’s cramped lounge leaves students with a lack of options, nursing students keep trying the library.

“The labs are limited, the lounge isn’t good enough, and they get kicked out of the library. They have nowhere else to go,” said Kateryna Aksenchuk, president of the Nursing Course Union Students have access to an off-campus lab, but there are only 11 in-patient areas and students must sign up 48 hours before they want to study.

“I really feel for those nursing students because I know that nursing space is at a premium,” says Madeline Lefebvre, chief librarian.

Extensive examinations are mandatory for first-year nursing students at Ryerson. In order to practise for the final exam, the nursing students need to dress like real patients, which means removing clothes.

“Security sees our studying as inappropriate behaviour, because the female students are required to wear bikini tops and short shorts,” said Aksenchuk.

Ryerson is concerned with students covering library study room windows for their privacy because it compromises their safety, said security supervisor Imre Juurlink.

“I was checking blood pressure, and we just got kicked out. We didn’t even get a chance to explain what we were doing,” said David Villar, a second-year nursing student.

While Meaghen Glover, third-year nursing student understands their practising might look odd, she wishes Ryerson was more understanding.

“We have to study,” she said. “We have to do this somewhere.”

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