Throughout the ongoing pandemic, contact tracers have been key in the fight against COVID-19.
KX spoke with college students who have been on the frontlines.
Both North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota have students calling those who test positive for coronavirus, giving them a a look into what it’s like to be in the medical field.
“To have this first-hand experience into public health has just been like none other,” explained Katarina Domitrovich, a COVID-19 Case Manager for UND.
“It’s been a great learning experience. A lot of hands-on learning, but definitely busy,” said Amelia Metcalf, a contact tracer for NDSU.
“You talk to people all across the state. So being a student you get to see, I mean obviously what’s happening your college town, but then calling people and talking to everybody kind of helps you see the whole state side of everything,” explained Kailee Leingang, a contact tracer for UND.
All three say no case is like the other making their experience very versatile.
“You have them terrified or you have their families terrified. And they don’t know where to go and you sit sometimes on the phone with them for 30 minutes. I’ve had cases that will call me in the middle of the day and I’ll have like– I won’t be working that day but they’re– They just need to cry,” shared Leingang.
“It definitely depends on the person. Some people have a lot of questions and some people don’t have any,” said Metcalf.
“There’s days I get a message from a caseworker and they’re just like, ‘I’m struggling,'” said Domitrovich.
While doing their part battling the virus, somehow they find a balance between personal life and school work.
“I actually got a little calendar that has hour by hour. So I can kind of schedule myself in, even though I am working from home. But it’s still good for me to visually see what is school time, what is work time and what is life time,” shared Metcalf.
“As you go you kind of learn, ‘No, I need a night to just relax,'” shared Leingang.
The COVID-19 case manager for UND says the No. 1 priority is, of course, case investigation and the second is support for caseworkers.