Healthcare workers and administrators have been overwhelmed by the surge in patient census. A number of tasks from various departments arose that needed people familiar with the hospital system and basic clinical knowledge. Specifically, all hospital employees need to wear N95 masks when caring for COVID-19 patients under investigation. However, not all employees had up-to-date N95 fit testing prior to the outbreak. There was a great need to rapidly fit test hundreds of hospital employees.
Using the format below, a FIT testing task force was established to recruit properly trained students who could assist. Occupational Health Services reached out through the centralized request form looking for medical student volunteers who could help assist in fit testing. After project approval by the Dean of Student Affairs, the Clinical Support Liaison assigned a team of 2-3 in charge of creating a shift sign-up and recruiting volunteers to the project. These Project Leaders took over ongoing communication with Occupational Health Services about fit testing and collaborated to help train new volunteers and update volunteer schedules to reflect fit testing needs. Administrative Request. A centralized request form is submitted by the clinical team (i.e. faculty or administrator) with a description of the task, the estimated number of hours, and the estimated number of students requested. Vetting. The request is received by the Office of Student Affairs, which reviews the request and decides whether it is appropriate for student volunteering based on a number of factors, including usefulness, risks to students, and clinical expertise required. Those opportunities that are deemed inappropriate are sent back to requester. Triage. The Office of Student Affairs determines the level of clinical expertise needed to staff the request - eg, whether MS2s or MS3s with clinical rotation experience are needed, vs. MS1s. The request is then forwarded to Clinical Support Liaison on the student level. Student Assignment. Based on the type of work requested, the Clinical Support Liaison assigns the task to one of several Task Forces responsible for coordinating all clinical requests related to a certain domain (e.g. Workplace Safety, Remote Clinical Work, etc.). Recruitment. Each Task Force leader recruits volunteers and ensures position requests are filled.