The Coronavirus pandemic has been an overwhelming part of our lives for over a year now. Fortunately, there is a light at the end of this tunnel. We now have FDA-approved vaccines to help slow the spread of the disease, and our own Immaculata nursing students have stepped up to help.
Twenty-seven students from the senior nursing class helped administer vaccines to senior citizens as part of their Concepts of Public Health Nursing class. The students took part in a vaccine clinic operated by Tower Health’s Pottstown Hospital. The goal of the clinic is to help vaccinate more elderly people and healthcare workers, with more than 400 senior citizens received their doses during the time the students helped. By the end of the clinic, nearly 2,500 people received the vaccine.
Susan Norris, Ph.D., RN, assistant professor in Immaculata’s Division of Nursing, credited the students for their outstanding work and eagerness to jump right in. “Their verve and energy throughout the process was amazing,” Dr. Norris proclaimed. “The days were long, but they did phenomenal work and they learned so much throughout the experience.” Dr. Norris and five students go to each appointment session; four of the students administer the vaccines while the other observes and monitors for any adverse reactions.
Lynn Krieger, ’21, is one of the five senior students who participated at the start of the clinic and her experience left her with only positive thoughts. “It meant so much to me to have a hand in fighting the pandemic directly,” Lynn explains. “The atmosphere there was so hopeful, the opportunity was historic, and I will never forget it. Helping to vaccinate senior citizens inspired me to never stop fighting,” she adds.
The students are constantly learning on the job, both from experience and from the employees, something Dr. Norris is thrilled to witness. “These students are going to graduate in a few months and become nurses, and we will be the lucky ones for it,” she says.