SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Healthcare professionals are busy on the front lines fighting coronavirus, but those just behind them are medical students nearing the end of their education, wanting to help too.
While medical students can’t be in the hospital working they are stepping up to lend a hand where they can.
Mercer university students may not be in classes right now, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t trying to use their medical knowledge to help in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Watching it play out has been really interesting it was kind of unreal at first,” Payton Prins, 3rd year medical student at Mercer.
It’s something they never could have expected. Their medical education halted because of a national pandemic, but rather than sit by and watch, Mercer medical students signed up to help.
“All of us came to medical school for the same reason and that’s to help people who are sick, people who are injured, and we want to do that in any way possible even if we’re not inside the hospital,” said Vivian Anderson, 2nd year medical student at Mercer.
Just a day after learning they couldn’t be working with patients, students quickly formed a COVID-19 Student Response Team to help bridge a gap between the community and medical professionals.
“I think that mobilization that fast was the coolest part,” said Marissa D’Souza, a 3rd year medical student. “Like seeing after the pandemic hit and what happened.”
They are doing a variety of things to help. They have a grocery delivery service for those unable to leave their home, a PPE drive for both medical grade equipment and homemade masks. The students are also using their medical knowledge helping with the Coastal Health District’s COVID-19 drive-thru testing and supporting the Red Cross at their blood drives.
“If we can handle all of the logistics outside of the hospital and work with the health department to make their life easier right now we’re giving more time for those providers to spend more time with patients,” explained Courtney Stone, a 3rd year medical student at Mercer.
While the response team keeps these medical students busy, it’s a calling they are passionate about. They ask if you need help or want to help that you reach out.
The students say they are constantly looking at ways they can expand their reach and offer additional support to our community.