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EKU nursing students work in mass vaccination sites as part of clinical rotation training

Published: Mar. 31, 2021 at 10:16 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - Nursing students at Eastern Kentucky University are getting a once in a lifetime kind of training as the School of Nursing partners with some of the state’s mass vaccination clinics for students’ clinical rotations.

“We were faced with a Herculean effort,” VP and Chief Nursing Officer at Baptist Health Richmond Mendy Blair said.

Once the COVID-19 vaccines started shipping around the world, it was up to the vaccine clinics to figure out how to distribute those to the community as quickly as possible.

Baptist Health Richmond turned to EKU School of Nursing for help.

“They said, ‘what do you need’ and we said, ‘we need extra hands that can put shots in arms’,” Blair said.

That’s where the seventh semester seniors stepped in, completing part of their clinical rotation training by working in vaccination clinics across the region, doing everything from registering patients to actually giving the COVID-19 shots.

“This is a once in a century experience for our healthcare system,” EKU’s Dr. Melanie Adams-Johnson said. “It’s a very humbling experience and a very unique opportunity for us as nurses to be able to interact with the public and individual clients at this time.”

With the students’ help, the Baptist Health Richmond clinic has given more than 5,500 Pfizer doses, and they’ve just opened up to Phase 3 which is anyone 16 and older.

It’s hands on experience unlike any other EKU nursing students have had.

“We’re moving along in education with the virus, with the pandemic going on and it allows us to learn from what’s occurring,” student Cameron Ross said.

And for Ross, it’s about so much more than practicing how to give a vaccine.

“All the people that have suffered heartache, family that’s close to them have been infected by this virus, being able to be part of the process to help limit that, it’s a wonderful experience and I love everything about it,” Ross said.

Now that the Baptist Health Richmond clinic has opened up to everyone 16 years old and older, they’re especially pushing for EKU students to sign up for the shot.

The link to schedule those appointments is here.

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