IRVINE, Calif. – As some hospitals run short on supplies of personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks, a group of SoCal future doctors are stepping up to help out. That includes first year medical students at UC Irvine who have started collecting equipment to help their mentors and teachers who are busy working on the frontlines of this pandemic.
If doctors need it, medical students like UC Irvine School of Medicine’s Jaspal Bassi hope to get their hands on it through a collection drive going on nearly all week.
- Interactive Map: Where Has COVID-19 Spread?
- USNS Mercy Ready to Take Patients From Area Hospitals
- Coronavirus: The Fight to Breathe
“Everything from masks, face shields, gloves, disposable gowns, N95s, everything,” Bassi said.
The students posted a sign listing all the items they need near a tent and bins set up in the parking lot of the UCI Health Gavin Herbert Eye Institute in Irvine.
Bassi said his fellow first year medical students were motivated to organize this collection drive because, “for healthcare workers who are battling on the front lines, each and every day, it’s really important to protect them, so that they can protect the population as a whole.”
To help, is the reason Bassi decided to become a doctor. And since he’s still a student – and not quite a doctor – he says, “It’s a tough middle ground. Because you’re kind of close to there, but you’re not equipped with the information to actually do the work that our mentors (doctors) are doing. So, this is the way that we can give back and help out.”
If you want to donate, the students have set up bins where you can drive up and drop off – or carry it over – and drop the donations in the bins.
While some hospitals are experiencing shortages of personal protective equipment, Bassi says, “We’re not really experiencing shortages here at UCI yet, but we want to prevent that from actually happening.” This was also confirmed by UCI Health.
Collecting equipment is just one of the ways these students are trying to help their mentors and teachers – the doctors and health care professionals working in hospitals during this pandemic
Bassi says the list includes, “childcare, to grocery shopping, anything. There’s a bunch of efforts going on, this is just one way we’re trying to help.”
On their first day, Monday, March 30th, the UCI School of Medicine students collected:
- 372 N95 masks
- 900 surgical masks
- 40 boxes of gloves
- 30 face shields
- 100 goggles
Bassi says he hopes this effort catches on with other medical students. He says he hopes students at medical schools across the country and around the world, get inspired and start their own collection drives and other efforts to help doctors.
For more information about the donations the students have set up the following email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find information here: ucihealth.org/giving/covid-19
The students will be at the UCI Health Gavin Herbert Eye Institute every day through this Thursday (April 2) from 8 a.m. until noon. They’ll also be collecting donations during the same hours this Saturday, April 4.
The UCI Gavin Herbert Eye Institute is located at 850 Health Sciences Rd, Irvine, CA 92697