Georgia State nursing students are vaccinating the campus community in cooperation with the Georgia State Student Health Clinic. When the university received its first allotment of 500 doses, the Student Health Clinic approached the School of Nursing to assist in administering hundreds of the shots to university employees and students in the 1a+ vaccination category. Careful planning made the vaccination clinic successful; Georgia State gave all 500 doses without wasting any vaccine.
Students helped pre-screen the candidates, monitored the patients after vaccination and assisted in scheduling second doses, rotating through the four stations.
Terri Hendry, clinical assistant professor, said the students gained valuable experience, building confidence as they might be intimidated by giving a vaccine to their professors or even college deans. She also said the students got to be part of a greater effort.
“It’s historical. You are making a difference,” she said. Though students vaccinate the Georgia State community against the flu annually, this is once in a lifetime experience.
“The students are so excited to give the shots and to get the human interaction as well. A simulator doesn’t say ‘ouch’ when injected, but a person does. Practicing bedside manner is as important as the technical skills,” said Hendry.
Nursing students learn to be flexible and work in healthcare teams. Due to the rapidly evolving vaccine administration plans, students practice collaborating with nursing faculty and seeing a new side of nursing, community health.
“Most clinicals are in the hospitals, so the [undergraduate] students get to see nurses in places other than hospitals,” Hendry said.