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Students volunteer at Redwood City senior care facility to help during coronavirus crisis

KRON4 Heroes

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., (KRON) — Local students from Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts are stepping in to help a residential care facility for seniors in Redwood City to help stop the spread of the coronavirus. Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts students are stepping in to help alleviate staffing shortages at a local residential care facility for seniors as part of the San Mateo County Health Department’s Medical Task Force.

More than 20 vocational nurses and medical assistant students from campuses across the state of California are helping to free up emergency medical personnel so they can focus on areas of greater need.

“I am so proud of our students to answer the call and rise to the occasion for as along as it is needed,” San Mateo campus director Fred Faridian said.

The San Mateo County Health Department reached out to Faridian on Apr. 17 asking for assistance in providing critically needed volunteers to help in facilitate proper protocols for safety against COVID-19.

Gurnick Academy of Medical Art students

“We truly appreciate the partnership and support Gurnick is offering to our ongoing effort to
respond to the vulnerable populations in our community,” said Travis Kusman, Director of
Emergency Medical Services at San Mateo County Health.

The collaboration with the county gives students real world experiences alongside registered nurses, physicians, nurse practitioner and other healthcare professionals from across the United States as they continue tp pursue a medical degree.

“It is an amazing experience,” San Mateo student volunteer Obah Ali Nurses said. “The nurses are
teaching us the dynamics of ‘hot’ and ‘cool spots,’ the steps in donning and doffing PPE, and
how to help patients understand what is happening.”

Students are helping to supporting healthcare workers to correctly wear, remove and dispose of their Personal Protective Equipment. The students are also disinfecting P.P.E. including goggles, face shields and more.

On average students volunteer two or three days a week for eight hours while also continuing to attend medical school online. Students receive an hour of clinical experience credit for every hour they volunteer.

“Gurnick students are showing their dedication to healthcare by the lengths they’re willing to go
to help,” Concord campus director Joe Kheuasida said. “I am proud of our future nurses
willing to go into locations harder hit by COVID-19.”

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