Warning: call_user_func_array() expects parameter 1 to be a valid callback, function 'ss_custom_login_module' not found or invalid function name in /home/brianf11/public_html/news.hofstra.edu/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php on line 287

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /home/brianf11/public_html/news.hofstra.edu/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php:287) in /home/brianf11/public_html/news.hofstra.edu/wp-content/plugins/wp-cassify/classes/wp_cassify_plugin.php on line 225

Warning: session_start(): Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home/brianf11/public_html/news.hofstra.edu/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php:287) in /home/brianf11/public_html/news.hofstra.edu/wp-content/plugins/wp-cassify/classes/wp_cassify_plugin.php on line 225
Physician Assistant Studies Archives | News | Hofstra University, New York

PA Student Serves during Pandemic

Savannah Potter ’20, a second year Physician Assistant Studies student, assisted respiratory therapists at Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson, New York, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She wrote about the experience for the American Academy of Physician Assistants website:

“I was finishing up my internal medicine rotation when the COVID-19 pandemic began to worsen on Long Island. I saw firsthand how the virus was affecting the staff and patients at the hospital where I had my rotations and knew I had to help. I reached out to my preceptor and was connected to the department of respiratory therapy. I was immediately asked to come in and assist as respiratory therapy was being inundated with patients.

I began performing ABGs [arterial blood gases], ventilator checks, transports, and anything the therapists needed me to do while they cared for their critical patients. I knew my help was needed as the number of patients being admitted began to increase. Non-ICU units were being converted to accommodate the increasing patient load. Patients were being transferred in from other facilities. Eventually seeing a non-COVID patient in the hospital was a rarity.

Even with the situation escalating, the staff spirit never wavered. The respiratory therapists took time to teach me about the different types of ventilators and always expressed their gratitude for my help. I came to know the patients and seeing their improvements reinforced my love for medicine. There was no greater joy than seeing a patient go from relying on a ventilator, to being able to breathe on their own, to being transferred out of the ICU. The skills I acquired in PA school allowed me to help care for these critically ill patients and that is an experience I will never forget.

As a student it is easy to feel anxious or overwhelmed during this time. It’s easy to think if you are not in a clinical setting that you are not helping, but even actions that you think are small, such as staying at home, help in the long run. Some of us have been displaced from rotations and others are having to transition to online learning. Being able to adapt is a quality that all of us have as PA students and these circumstances highlight that ability. This pandemic  helps to show how integral PAs are to the healthcare team and how our vast knowledge can be utilized to care for patients. Supporting one another is the most important thing we can do right now. This is a unique time to be in medicine, with many of us uncertain of what the future holds, but we are all experiencing this together.” Reprinted with permission.


Savannah and other students and faculty from the Department of Physician Assistant Studies were also featured in the “Hofstra Helpers, Hofstra Strong” video:

Physician Assistant Studies

Summer of Service

Final-year students in the Physician Assistant Studies program spent the summer volunteering and giving back to local charities as they painted with...

Living On

A student and professor are teaming up to host a daylong organ donor registration drive that supports a statewide initiative encouraging people to...

Prepping for Professional Life

More than 200 physician assistant studies students from across New York state recently gathered at Hofstra University for the annual Professional...

Steps for a Cure

Students in the Physician Assistant Studies program participated in the annual Take Steps walk on Long Island to raise funds for Crohn’s disease and...

Perfect Health

The 2016 graduating class of Physician Assistant Studies students at the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies...

Hofstra in the News

More In The News
Hofviews - See More Photos

Hofstra Weather

° F
Heat Index ° F / Wind Chill ° F
Humidity %
Wind mph / Direction °
Rain in
See More from the Project WX Weather Stations

Recent Faculty News