COVID-19: Meet the Queen Mary law student working on the frontline

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By CJ McKinney on

Megan Evers puts healthcare experience to good use during pandemic

A Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) law student has spoken about her decision to head home to work for the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic.

Megan Evers, who worked in healthcare before starting her legal studies, has gone back to the front line with support from her uni.

Despite now juggling work on the wards around her first year exams, she says “I wouldn’t have it any other way”.

The LLB student used to work as a healthcare assistant while completing a nursing apprenticeship course before switching to a law degree at Queen Mary.

But as the crisis escalated, her legal studies took a back seat. Evers went back to her family home in Cambridgeshire at the beginning of March and is now working shifts at the renowned Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Her work involves helping patients with their basic needs, from making a cup of tea to helping them roll over to ward off pressure ulcers.

Evers reckons there’s “something addictive” about being able to give something back — despite the well-publicised safety concerns for NHS staff.

“Due to how often we have to change our PPE, the shortage still remains a concern”, Evers warns. “We are putting ourselves at risk every time we arrive to start a shift”. But donated scrubs, visors and other personal protective equipment have helped fill the gaps, and Evers says that, overall, she’s “impressed with how well the NHS has adapted”.

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Remarkably, Evers is still on the books at Queen Mary and is studying for her LLB exams in June. She tells Legal Cheek that “the teaching we had left between March and April moved to a digital network so it was manageable catching up on lectures/tutorials when I got the chance, either on my days off or on my breaks whilst on shift”.

But she admits that it’s getting more challenging with exams now starting up. Earlier this week, she even completed part of an open book exam on site in Addenbrooke’s.

“Whilst it’s impractical completing the first year of my LLB between shifts and partially at the hospital, I wouldn’t have it any other way”, Evers says. “I don’t think I could have sat at home working towards a degree knowing I had qualifications to help people who are fighting for their lives”.

Thankfully, the law school have been “incredibly supportive”, throwing a few extensions her way as well as providing guidance on wellbeing.

Evers still aims to become a solicitor rather than a nurse, but can probably afford to take her foot off the career pedal for a few months. The first year’s LinkedIn profile reveals some quality legal CV-building, with various placements and mentoring schemes at the likes of Linklaters, Clifford Chance and DLA Piper already under her belt.

And she’s got some solid advice for those of us still stuck indoors by the ongoing lockdown.

“Lockdown is for our own safety, but don’t forget to take care of your mental and physical wellbeing too”, she points out. “If being with your own thoughts does become too much, please don’t be afraid to reach out for support”.

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