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Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers Serve and Connect

Medical Reserve Corps Volunteers Serve and Connect

John Rossheim / Monster Senior Contributing Writer

What Do MRC Volunteers Do?

In addition to giving vaccinations, MRC volunteers may be called upon to triage and educate patients, perform medical evaluations and distribute medication.

MRC units are hosted by a variety of organizations, including local government agencies like the police or health department, or nongovernmental or faith-based organizations, such as hospitals.

According to the national MRC, its units are all composed differently in order to meet varied local needs. In practice, volunteer staffing of some units appears to be a matter of circumstance. The Sacred Heart Hospital’s MRC in Allentown, Pennsylvania, has 41 physicians and 32 registered nurses among its volunteers, while the ratio at the MRC in Shreveport, Louisiana, is very different: 19 physicians to 105 RNs.

Even highly qualified healthcare workers will need training in emergency response. “We ask that everyone completes some common training that adds up to eight to 10 hours over a few weeks,” says Scott Ingram, a unit director with the Medical Reserve Corps of Southern Arizona in Tucson. After that, typical volunteer service is a few hours a month.

Local MRCs need healthcare workers in many specialties. “In some units, we’re coming up short on mental health professionals, respiratory therapists and pharmacists,” says Tosatto. Other healthcare volunteers at MRCs can include physician assistants, nurse practitioners, licensed practical nurses, paramedics, dentists and veterinarians.

Those who consider registering with an MRC unit need to know that their service in a crisis, though voluntary, will be critical to the community. “We ask that volunteers commit to serve throughout the event for all the time slots we would need them to cover,” says Anne Rinchiuso, MRC coordinator at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

How Can MRC Service Boost Healthcare Careers? >>>

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