The Mt. San Jacinto College (MSJC) Eagle MakerSpace began manufacturing face shields this week to help local hospitals that have requested them as extra protection for their healthcare professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many healthcare workers are using personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks more regularly than prescribed and the face shields will provide them an additional critical layer of defense.
Hospitals requesting the shields from MSJC include Hemet Global and Menifee Global medical centers, Providence Health, Riverside Community Hospital and Temecula Valley Hospital.
The Eagle MakerSpace, housed on the college’s Menifee Valley Campus, features 3D printers and a laser cutter that students use throughout the academic year to create various projects at MSJC.
It’s funded by the California Strong Workforce Program, which is designed to spur Career Education in the California Community Colleges system in order to increase social mobility and fuel regional economies with skilled workers.
“I’m excited and grateful to be a part of the MSJC and statewide MakerSpace support of my healthcare colleagues on the front lines of this COVID-19 pandemic,” said Hal Edghill, MakerSpace Specialist. “The proportions of this challenge are daunting, and keeping doctors, nurses, and all other professionals as safe as possible is the goal.”
The college, which has a robust Allied Health program, also donated gurneys, N95 masks, non-N95 masks, nitrile gloves and other equipment that are in high-demand to protect medical professionals during the crisis.
“We were honored to be able to help our medical partners who indicated they had a need for these types of items,” said Joyce Johnson, MSJC’s Executive Dean of Instruction and a registered nurse. “The school closures mean our students cannot use this equipment at this time. We wanted to make sure we did our part to help protect medical professionals and patients alike during this pandemic.”
To make the face shields, the MakerSpace uses polylactic acid (PLA) plastic in MakerBot 3D printers to build the visor component, Edghill said.
The face shield is made from commercially available transparency sheets that instructors have more commonly used with overhead projectors. The connector at the back of the visor is a No. 33 rubber band.
For less than a dollar, you can save a life. To help contribute to MSJC’s efforts during the coronavirus crisis, whether monetarily or through supply donations, please visit www.msjc.edu/foundation.