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UNR Med Student Is Part Of COVID-19 Workforce

A medical student administers a COVID-19 swab test through the window of a car.
Brin Reynolds
University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine
UNR Med fourth-year medical student Lauran Evans assists with drive-through COVID-19 testing at both the Washoe County Health District and University Health Internal Medicine appointment-only drive-through locations.

Coverage of novel coronavirus is supported by the Mick Hitchcock, Ph.D., Project for Visualizing Science, a science reporting project from the Reynolds School of Journalism.

In mid-march, The American Association of Medical Colleges recommended that medical schools suspend clinical rotations because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Lauran Evans is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. She was in the middle of a vascular surgery rotation.

“I think all of the medical students were pretty bummed to be dismissed from clinical rotations,” Evans said,” because that's like our favorite part of medical school.”

Evans was months away from graduation when regular classes were also suspended. But after graduation, she has plans to start her residency at UCLA in June. She’s training to be an ear, nose and throat doctor.

In early April, Governor Steve Sisolak announced he was cutting red tape to help bolster Nevada’s health care workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sisolak’s directive waives certain licensing requirements and allows providers like doctors, nurses and medical students to assist with the response.

UNR’s medical school sent out a notice about volunteer opportunities.

“I thought, ‘perfect, this is a great opportunity for me to get involved and hopefully be able to relieve some of the other healthcare workers.’”

Evans wears personal protective equipment and volunteers several times a week at COVID-19 testing sites in Washoe County. More than 70 students are assisting with COVID-19 response efforts.

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Anh Gray is a former contributing editor at KUNR Public Radio.
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