Coronavirus Chicago: Loyola University medical student joins front lines as registered nurse

CHICAGO (WLS) -- With classes canceled indefinitely, a Loyola University medical student has joined the front lines of Chicago's fight against coronavirus as a registered nurse.

Adaeze Onah, a third-year medical student who suddenly found herself with idle time on her hands, decided to put her background as a registered nurse to work during the COVID-19 crisis.

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"When I was watching the news coverage and seeing how crazy everything was, and a need for healthcare providers, I wouldn't let me do anything else. I don't regret a minute of it," she said.

Onah signed on to help the city of Chicago's COVID-19 team, working at one of their isolation facilities. The city has contracted with several downtown hotels where some floors are now housing coronavirus patients.

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"These are patients where their illnesses are not severe enough where they warrant staying at the hospital, but they need to recover and be cleared to return safely, so they stay with us until that time," she explained.

Onah said her role is to monitor symptoms. In terms of safety, she is confident she is being given enough protective equipment.

Onah said the rooms are full and the patients keep coming. While she knows she's putting her own health at risk, she said she would do it all over again.

"This is in my blood, this is what I was called to do," she said. "Even though there are some days that are scarier than the others, at the end of the day I feel very fulfilled in what I'm doing."

Onah said her COVID-19 experience will only make her a better doctor. When she completes medical school, she is now hoping to join the front lines and work in an emergency room.
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