Erica Swanson graduated from FHC in 2014, and now attends University of Missouri-Kansas City, majoring in Chemistry/ MD. Although she is in her last year of medical school, she is still a student, and therefore is not allowed to work in hospitals at this time. However, Swanson knows that this decision is best for the health of the students. She herself even experienced the fear of being exposed to the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
“I had a scare initially in early March when I found out one of my patients was being tested for COVID. I was fortunate that it came back negative but for those five days I had to take my temperature twice daily,” Swanson said. “Our clinical rotations were moved to online on March 17th, after the AAMC (American academy of medical colleges) strongly suggested that medical schools move the rotations to online. This move was both for our safety and also because the hospitals are short on personal protective equipment, so there’s not enough to go around for staff, much less students.”
Despite not being to aid patients at the hospital, Swanson has looked to her community as a way to provide all of the help she can. She was especially touched by how much everyone was willing to come together in order to make aid possible.
I’m involved with medical students in the Kansas City area with helping to do our part during this pandemic. We may not be able to help in the traditional way or the way we hoped to, but we hope it can make some impact. I’m involved with two main projects: getting personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and organizing childcare,” Swanson said. “ For the PPE collection, we have worked with local businesses to collect masks, hand sanitizers, and other materials. It’s been amazing to see the community response. One of my favorite stories was when we had a local distillery willing to donate gallons of hand sanitizer but they were one hour away and needed containers. A chemical company donated containers for the cause and a local trucking company helped to retrieve and deliver the hand sanitizer. It had so many pieces and people involved. It’s also been rewarding to help organize childcare because there are a lot of college kids back home that need the money and healthcare workers that have children now at home and being able to connect the two populations together has been great.”