Helping the Helpers: Childcare for Healthcare Providers
With schools across the country being moved online for the remainder of the academic year, healthcare workers have been put in a difficult situation. They are working on the frontline during a pandemic, while worrying about finding someone to care for their children while they are working to keep us and our patients safe. At Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), we are pairing medical student volunteers with healthcare professionals in our community who are in need of childcare while they are working. We reached out to students in each of the medical school classes via class Facebook pages to gauge interest. For students, we created a google form asking for availability, contact information, comfort level working with children, etc. For providers, we created a google form asking for contact information, their childcare needs as well as emergency contact and primary care provider information. We worked with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs to ensure appropriate waivers were in place and guidelines were being followed. Students created a website compiling all of the different opportunities available to student volunteers, which was forwarded to our three primary healthcare organizations: Eastern Virginia Medical School, Sentara, and Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters. Nurses, residents, attending physicians, and other allied health professionals have since been reaching out for help. Once being paired with providers, students are keeping track of their hours, including who they’ve worked with to ensure they are working with one family at a time and that these are individuals they won’t be evaluated by in the future.