Answering the Call

Stock image of a gloved hand holding a test tube with the label "COVID-19" on it


When it comes to public service, USD graduate nursing student Tiffany Duong stands ready to answer the call.

Over the summer, Duong completed training offered by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Service on the latest science and tools to fight COVID-19 with contact tracing. Along with identifying people with the virus and whom they’ve had contact with, the training includes information about how best for contact tracers to ask them to isolate and quarantine at home.

While convincing those testing positive to provide such information is not always easy, the training focused “on how to work with different people, all of whom may have a different experience or understanding of COVID-19,” she says. “We learned to ask open-ended questions in a variety of ways.”

The six-hour online training emphasizes building confidence and rapport and was “extremely valuable and practical.”

Duong will put her new skills to use this fall at USD, when her team will work directly with the county to identify, notify, trace and support any community members with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, and those who may need to quarantine due to contact. She says the training will put her in good stead for the future when she graduates in 2021. USD’s nursing school is one of a few in the country whose graduates in the master’s entry program in nursing (MEPN) like Duong earn a public health credential.

“I would love to be a part of the effort to identify and contain any outbreak,” if necessary, Duong says. She worked in hospital administration before entering the master’s program for those with bachelor’s degrees in non-nursing fields.

“I am grateful for this opportunity through our school as it came at such a crucial time and puts us at the forefront of service during this public health crisis.” — Liz Harman

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