As the COVID-19 numbers spiked in Pinellas County, testing centers were in need of nurse volunteers to swab the long lines of people seeking tests. So when the Pinellas County Urban League reached out to St. Petersburg College’s Nursing program, Gina McCabe, a Level IV Clinical SPC Nursing Adjunct at, jumped on the chance to be a helper.
“The sweet lady at the Urban League was so excited, because they really needed someone,” McCabe said.
McCabe was swiftly trained, outfitted in protective gear and positioned in the drive-through testing site at the Ridgecrest YMCA in Largo. She swabbed 63 people that day.
“I just greeted people with a smile and tried to calm them,” she said.
The volunteer work was in addition to teaching her two senior-level classes at St. Petersburg College and her full-time position as a nursing supervisor at Mease-Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor. McCabe believes the desire to help people just comes with the profession.
“It sounds mundane, but it’s true,” she said. “There’s something about nursing – you just always want to help people and give back to your community.”
McCabe often volunteers locally, and sometimes even internationally, on mission trips to Haiti. As a clinical instructor, McCabe said she feels it is important to try to instill in her students the desire to give back to the community through volunteer work.
“Once they get their feet wet and figure out their jobs, I think it’s vital for them to volunteer in their own communities and abroad,” McCabe said. “It’s truly fulfilling personally, and it helps the community, as well.”
Anyone interested in volunteering can contact the Pinellas County Urban League at 727-327-2081. Would you like to pursue a nursing career or take your current certification to a higher level? Check out SPC’s flexible and affordable programs.