What Steps Medical Students Should Take During the Corona Virus Outbreak?

The Coronavirus pandemic is affecting every walk of life, and medical schools are no exception. In the face of COVID-19, many medical schools have cancelled teaching and assessments. Many hospitals, physicians’ clinics and other health care venues have cancelled on-site training and clinical rotations for medical students.

Many teaching hospitals moved students and residents away from emergency rooms and intensive care units. They are advised to avoid interacting with patients who are suspected of being infected with the deadly coronavirus. The goal of self-isolation is to protect students, patients and doctors from getting sick and prevent the spread of this contagious virus.

Medical students are worried about their future of becoming a licensed MD as they are not getting direct patient care experience due to cancellation of clinical rotations. In this challenging time, medical students and residents are still playing their roles and interacting with patients. Here is a safety guideline you should keep in mind while interacting with patients.

Stay Calm

It’s natural to feel stressed about the current situation due to coronavirus. You should avoid panicking as getting stressed or emotional only makes thing worst. It will make it hard for you to perform at your best during this crisis and treat your patients effectively. Don’t be afraid, stay calm and stay updated on safety measures to protect yourself from the contagious viral infection.

Follow the Safety Guidelines

During this public health crisis, medical students are advised to strictly follow the sanitation rules provided by CDC. The best thing you can do to protect yourself from the contagious virus is to take care of yourself by getting a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet, adequate sleep and exercise. It’s high time for medical students to put their best efforts to follow a healthy lifestyle even during this stressful time. Inadequate sleep, poor diet and unhealthy habits can make your immune system weaken, which will eventually make you more susceptible to coronavirus.

Limit Your Exposure

Medical students should limit their exposure to COVID-19 as only a diagnostic test can determine whether a patient is suffering from this fatal respiratory disease. During the recent public health crisis, physicians and residents are advised to take one case at a time. Keep a distance of at least six feet from a COVID-patient. Guard your body with a protective barrier as you never know, the coronavirus is floating in the environment. Use gloves, respiratory mask and other safety gear to treat patients. Keep in mind that mouth and nose are the most susceptible areas where infection can easily enter. The protective equipment, such as mask will shield yourself from the respiratory droplets of infected people.

Wash Your Hands Frequently

Medical students should wash their hands frequently and avoid touching their mouth and face unnecessarily. You are advised to minimize the use of fingers and avoid touching doorknobs, buttons and other surfaces. Wear gloves and never touch your gloved hands near your nose or mouth as it will increase the chances of breathing in the coronavirus.

Volunteer Opportunities

Medical students are on a path to becoming a doctor, so at this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, their participation is highly appreciated. Medical schools and hospitals should offer volunteer opportunities to students if their assistance is critically needed. Students should also understand that their voluntary involvement and taking care of patients with suspected COVID-19 can save lives.

Though this voluntary action is not included in any medical school credit, it can serve their purpose of becoming a doctor- – to serve humanity. However, it is the responsibility of hospitals and schools to supervise their students and residents by the trained healthcare professionals to ensure their safety. They should also provide appropriate protective gear for all students volunteering in different clinical settings.

Concluding Thoughts

It is a tough time for medical schools, the temporary suspension of classes, assessments and clinical rotations is the only solution to protect their students from COVID-19. Medical schools should take some precautionary steps to ensure their students, teachers and administrative staff’s safety. Students who are volunteering in different healthcare environments during this situation should make sure that they are suitably equipped with protective clothing and the updated information to minimize the risk of transmitting this deadly, contagious coronavirus.

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