Students in the Walla Walla University School of Nursing were called into service to administer vaccination shots at the COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Walla Walla on Thursday, April 15.
Many community members and WWU students took advantage of the opportunity to get vaccinated that week and in the days that followed after the state of Washington opened vaccine accessibility to anyone 16 years of age and older. As a result, WWU nursing students had the unique opportunity to not only administer shots, but in many cases, to give vaccinations to their friends and classmates.
“I’m an RA in the dorm and I was able to vaccinate four of the guys on my hall,” said Gianni Paquini, sophomore nursing major.
Nursing student Karyme Guzmán-Rosa said, “Everyone is excited to be here so that makes giving shots easier. Most people are a little nervous, but once you break the ice, they are excited to get the vaccine and you can see the relief after they get it. It feels good to know that we can have a hand in helping things get back to normal and make this pandemic hopefully go away.”
For nursing students, this experience also provided the opportunity to observe how a mass vaccination clinic is organized and staffed during a pandemic. WWU has assisted the Walla Walla County Department of Community Health with the first vaccination clinic held in Walla Walla in January and by organizing the large number of volunteers needed to staff the clinics.
As she supervised her nursing students working with vaccine recipients, Kari Firestone, professor of nursing and associate dean of the School of Nursing, said, “Students are getting great experience, but not just clinically by giving shots. The joy in here is palpable and the students are seeing the end of this pandemic and feeling the hope. They are serving their community. All of our community members have been so gracious and excited that our students are here and that they’re here to help serve them. What the nursing profession is about is helping others, and our students are getting the chance to do that.”
To learn more about the WWU School of Nursing, visit wallawalla.edu/nursing.
Posted April 29, 2021