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Day in the life: Training to help treat coronavirus patients

The Medical Reserve Corps is open to medical and non-medical volunteers over the age of 18 who agree to undergo training and then be available as needed.

WASHINGTON — Under the tungsten spotlights of the D.C. Armory, a cadre of med students, doctors and nurses prepared to face pandemic in the nation’s capital, completing one last round of training before answering the call to serve.

They are members of the D.C. Medical Reserve Corps – a group of volunteers who provide medical support and screenings in mass care settings.

“To see everyone putting in as much work as they can, for the end goal of making sure everyone is safe, that inspires a bit of hope in me,” said D.C. MRC volunteer Meg Keswani in an interview Thursday. “I'm a firm believer that in times of crisis like this, if I can help, I'm all for it.”

Keswani is a second-year medical student at the George Washington University. She finished final preparations on Monday to be dispatched to a coronavirus testing or treatment site.

The Corps is open to medical and non-medical volunteers 18-years-old and over, who undergo free training and are then asked to be available as needed.

“I feel grateful and proud to see my future career and my peers and colleagues out there, doing the very best that they can,” Keswani said. “We’re all in one place for the very real reason of being there when people need us.”

Mayor Bowser issued a clarion call for more Corps volunteers Saturday. The city says more than 1,600 people have signed up since then.

“We know our residents look out for their neighbors, and this emergency is no different,” Bowser said. “The DC Medical Reserve Corps needs volunteers – especially those with medical experience – to sign up today.”

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