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Md. 'early exit' nursing students volunteer taking care of COVID patients amid pandemic

Manfred Scott, left, and Eymmy Jimenez, right (Brad Bell/ABC7){ }{p}{/p}
Manfred Scott, left, and Eymmy Jimenez, right (Brad Bell/ABC7)

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJLA) — With hospitalizations in Maryland hovering just under all-time highs and fears of another holiday surge coming Eymmy Jimenez, Manny Scott and Deborah Madu are hurrying to be ready to care for the pandemic’s next round of victims. “There is a sense of urgency,” says Scott.

Jimenez, Scott, and Madu were students at the University of Maryland School of Medicine who under a November order from Governor Larry Hogan did an early exit from their studies to start working and bolster a strained health care system.

ALSO READ: DC region surpasses 10,000 confirmed deaths related to COVID-19 since pandemic began

Each has been volunteering and working on the COVID front lines. Jimenez says, “For me, it means I have more time to volunteer.” Madu says of her time caring for COVID patients, “It was scary at first but then I realized I’m making a difference. I’m safe. The hospital has done their part and given me what will protect me and as long as I use it I’ll be okay.” Scott adds, “It seems just the right thing to do for me.”

In the weeks ahead they must still pass a licensing exam to be considered Registered Nurses, but today they were honored during a virtual graduation ceremony for their accomplishments and ongoing contributions during a time of need.

ALSO READ: DMV leaders address record-breaking new COVID cases, hospitalizations

Speaking to the grads, University of Maryland School of Nursing Dean Jane Kirschling said, “You have my deepest respect and thank all of you for your efforts and hard work.”

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Eymme Jimenez says simply, “We like interacting with patients and just the ability to use all the skills that we’ve learned I think we’re very eager to do that.”

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