The halls of Longview-area hospitals were a bit more crowded Wednesday as University of Texas at Tyler nursing students took time to thank their mentors.

“As a nursing student, we spend a lot of time here doing clinicals,” student Averi Botter said. “Without (nurses), we wouldn’t be able to be here. They teach us, they help us and we learn so much from them.”

The students visited Christus Good Shepherd Medical Centers in Longview and Marshall, Longview Regional Medical Center and Everest Rehab Hospital Longview.

The students went to different nursing stations at Christus Good Shepherd in Longview to hand out bags with information about the nursing program, hand-written thank you notes, UT Tyler badge clips, stress balls, pens and snacks.

“I just want the nurses to know how much we appreciate them and how thankful we are for all their hard work,” Botter said.

Two of the emergency room nurses at Christus Good Shepherd Longview went to UT Tyler, and they said the gesture was appreciated.

“It’s very thoughtful for them to think of us. Oftentimes we get lost in the mix,” ER nurse Jessica Fisher said. “At first we had lots of support, and then as time goes on the support has dwindled down through COVID season.”

ER Charge Nurse China Jackson said it is nice to be appreciated, as patients with COVID-19 still are seen every day.

Jackson also said she enjoys working with the students in their clinicals.

“It’s fun teaching people, sharing your knowledge that you’ve acquired and seeing potential nurses that could work down here someday as well,” she said.

Fisher said the extra help the student nurses provide makes their jobs easier, too.

“It’s helpful to have an extra set of hands, especially those that are well-trained,” she said. “UT Tyler’s an amazing school, so they send us a lot of really prepared, well-educated nursing students.”