Medical day informs students during pandemic

Medical+day+informs+students+during+pandemic

Grace Beecher

Students learned about the COVID-19 vaccine and how the pandemic affected the healthcare system during a virtual Medical Day Wednesday, April 7. 

Doctors came to talk throughout the day about how their jobs changed because of COVID-19. Dr. Peter Clardy added that the whole ICU environment changed, including people wearing PPE and N95 masks all day. 

“That made the work physically demanding in a way that I had never experienced before” said Clardy.   

Because of all the COVID-19 restrictions, family and visitors were not allowed to be at their loved one’s bedside, according to Dr. Jeffrey Phillips. Hospitals had to set up iPads for elderly patients to speak with their families. 

“We felt the absences of families and caregivers at the bedside” said Clardy.

The pandemic has also brought about positive change for doctors and hospitals, like the transition to virtual visits. 

“Our patients are telling us they like this virtual visit better than coming in person,” Phillips said,  “Virtual care is here to stay and new healthcare models have emerged.”

Speaker Laurie Bittmann-Gregorio also noted that volunteer programs have changed a lot due to COVID-19. 

“More recently we did a card project. Our school volunteers and a group of NNHS students made over 750 handmade cards which thanked the staff members for all that they were doing” said Gregorio.

The day to day life of the hospital also had to change dramatically, many hospitals repurposed different areas into ICUs to meet the high occupancy of COVID-19. According to Clardy, the average length of stay in ICU is 4 days, but for COVID-19, it was 3 weeks. 

During Flex block, members of the TigerDocs club explained why it is safe and important to get vaccinated when you become eligible. They broke down how a regular vaccine works and then specifically how a COVID-19 vaccine works. 

Club members addressed a wide range of myths, including that the vaccine isn’t safe because it was developed quickly, and explained that all safety procedures and tests were followed. Junior Esther Zhang said, “I think it’s important we take the time to debunk some of these myths swirling around.”