According to a report from WBAL, Governor Larry Hogan is calling on colleges and universities to speed up the process of getting all types of graduating medical professionals into hospitals and onto the front lines of the COVID-19 fight.
At the news conference on Tuesday, Maryland health officials said the state will need as many as 3,000 additional health care workers.
Hogan said the additional staff could be used at hospitals, nursing homes, testing sites, and vaccination clinics.
Hospitalizations in Maryland have increased by 51 percent over the past two weeks, and the state expects to reach a record high in the coming days.
Ari Goldstein, a fourth year University of Maryland (UM) medical student who is set to graduate in May, said his rounds at the UM Medical Center have been away from COVID-19 patients, but he’s had an up-close look at the daily physical and mental difficulties health care workers deal with.
It’s been hard, he says, having the education during a health crisis and not being to help out more.
However, on Tuesday afternoon, Hogan encouraged colleges and universities to allow health care students such as Goldstein to step into the field early.
Hogan stated he wants the following:
- Health care students in their final semester who have satisfied graduation requirements.
- Eligible for an early exit.
- Expedited testing and licensing requirements.
Since the spring, Goldstein and other UM and Johns Hopkins University medical students have been working with the Baltimore Health Professionals Mutual Aid Cooperative to collect personal protective equipment from the community and help with child care and other at-home needs for health care workers who are currently working long hours at hospitals.
Goldstein said he is hopeful about having an even greater impact.
To learn more, the state of Maryland has created a web site to help in this mobilization. For more information, click here.