To say the medical system needs all the help it can get may be the understatement that defines the COVID-19 pandemic. Many frontline workers are pulling Herculean shifts, and the strain is considerable. Plus, those with families have to find a way to mind their children — not an easy task while social distancing remains in place. Their usual babysitters often can’t answer the call. 

Now, students from the nursing school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison could bring recruits during this time of need. While the pandemic put a wrench in the course of their studies, it didn’t impede their desire to help others. Since they can’t report to the clinic to class, a group of students has pledged to remain on-campus and help ease the childcare burden on first responders. 

Meeting an Urgent Need Through Innovation

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, childcare is hard to find. While many daycare facilities are considered essential by state governors, and some have even urged these organizations to keep their doors open, private owners must do what they feel is best for themselves and their staff. Many have opted to shutter to protect their workers, leaving parents in the lurch. 

Health care workers feel the brunt of the closures more than most because, unlike other fields, many do not have the option to work from home. They need to go into the field, a risky enough proposition given the contagious nature of the virus. Not only do many nurses, doctors and other professionals need to work long shifts, but they also have to take additional hygiene measures when they return home. Some have isolated themselves from their families to help stop the spread. 

The students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison knew that alternatives for childcare are few and far between. They understood that, even though many people need work, their concerns for their safety take precedence. They also knew that few parents relish the thought of inviting a stranger into their homes to babysit when they may carry germs with them. 

Heroic future nurses like Marcela Hansen and Keeley Johnson-Crosby saw the need and answered it. They used social media to gather a list of volunteers who were willing to help by offering babysitting services. Once their sign-up sheet grew, they reached out to faculty and others who had to report to duty instead of the classroom. 

Their beleaguered nurse instructors and other professionals can breathe a sigh of relief now that students are stepping up to the plate to help. While they may lack their license, they are nevertheless trained in the proper precautions to prevent the spread of disease. Nurses and other professionals with young children can focus entirely on the task at hand instead of worrying if their little ones are in responsible hands. It all happened due to the ingenuity and caring of these brave future medical workers. 

Finding Opportunity Amid Crisis 

Across the country and, indeed, the globe, college students face a ton of uncertainty. Many wonder how the pandemic will impact their graduation. Others fear they will face a brutal job market given the soaring unemployment rate since the coronavirus arrived in America. Medical students, though, may find new doors open to them.

For example, some University of Maryland nursing students are joining in the COVID-19 fight by taking advantage of early graduation opportunities. Students in health-related fields across the country are now reaching out to advisors and professors to inquire about ways they can help — and create a future career path simultaneously.

85% of job offers occur through networking, and networking proves even more important in competitive fields like medicine. The heroic students who are offering to help out during this time of crisis not only benefit their communities with their aid, but are also building a strong framework for their future careers.

Volunteering Fills a Need While Creating Hope 

The University of Wisconsin-Madison students saw a need and raced to fill it. Their act of goodwill enables frontline health care professionals to do their jobs while safeguarding their families. Others can follow their lead to help with rebuilding their lives and society as a whole.

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About Author

Kate Harveston covers social justice and human rights issues. She graduated with a Bachelors in English and minored in Criminal Justice, so she enjoys writing about anything related to the intersections of law, politics and culture. For more of her writing, you can visit her blog, Only Slightly Biased.

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