As COVID-19 was tightening its grip on Southern Nevada, local medical and physician assistant students from Touro University Nevada, the state’s largest medical school, got the call.
Would they be willing to work on the front lines to conduct coronavirus screenings for the valley’s most vulnerable population—the homeless, the very people for whom isolating or quarantining is impossible, and the very population for whom preventative measures like hand-washing and cleanliness are also out of reach?
The answer was a resounding yes from dozens of students who voluntarily jumped at the chance to be helpful and to actively demonstrate their commitment to their career choice as healthcare professionals.
According to Dr. Wolfgang Gilliar, dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Touro University Nevada, more students volunteered to help than were ultimately needed, and the experience, though challenging, was rewarding for those who participated.
“There is nothing like hands-on learning, especially in a time of crisis when you understand the value of your service,” says Gilliar. “Our students, who screened more than 500 persons, working four-hour shifts each evening for nearly a week at a temporary shelter in downtown Las Vegas, were grateful for the opportunity. We couldn’t have been prouder of their lack of hesitation to jump into a situation outside of the normal hospital or medical setting—on the front line of the coronavirus battle. We stand ready to continue to help our community however we can.”
Photography by: Courtesy of Touro University Nevada