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Facing Isolation as a Nursing Student

*Original post released 4/2/2020

With a large part of the nation’s volunteer demographic (retired citizens) either ill or self quarantining for their own safety, the US is in need of assistance now more than ever. Suddenly nursing and medical students find themselves with a lot of spare time and inability to engage in clinical activities within healthcare facilities. There may be some solutions for you during this pandemic if your willing and able to donate your time…

It is imperative to keep in mind that you should not attempt to volunteer your time to help others unless you are in good health without significant comorbidities such as asthma/HTN/DM, asymptomatic, and can secure some form of PPE to use. Also be aware of your local state of emergency legislation so that you are not in violation of any new ordinances. Please call ahead about an opportunity prior to leaving your home (quarantine until your volunteer position is secured and you are deemed essential). Some opportunities to consider are:

  • Screening sites for the virus (patients, community members, first responders)
  • Handing out food and resources (food banks, resource centers)- Homeless shelters
  • Call center/information hotline operator
  • Hospital volunteers
  • Screening individuals entering healthcare facilities (nurses, doctors, other staff)
  • Animal shelters
  • Clerical assistance
  • Triage volunteer
  • Donate blood if able
  • If you’re crafty make some masks (two sided with different patterns!)

Yes, you may not be gaining clinical hours towards your degree. No, this may not get you that license faster. But you will gain incredible experience during a pandemic, be able to selflessly assist your community at their most vulnerable, be a helping hand to the medical professionals on the frontlines, and be able to look back years from now without regret knowing you were a part of the COVID-19 pandemic solution. With this PPE crisis, it’s only a matter of time before a massive number of healthcare professionals are sidelined by this virus themselves. It’s going to take a community of medical/nursing retirees, students, medical professionals, techs, etc. to step up and be THAT difference for our patients. It’s controversial in so many ways; however, the only way we defeat this is if we come together and fight back stronger than ever as a team.

If none of these are options for you, don’t worry! I’ll be making another post about things to do at home to combat quarantine boredom while maintaining safe social distancing

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