It isn’t every day that a person finds themselves amidst a world-wide pandemic. But what happens when a student is in nursing school during such an event? They become a part of history!
The COVID-19 vaccine became available to certain vulnerable populations in mid-January. Health care personnel were the first group to receive the vaccine, but then it was made available to qualifying members of the public.
Tasked with quickly vaccinating an entire county against a novel virus, multiple community agencies sent a call out for assistance. Students rolled up their sleeves and arrived to the Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County in Rock Springs, Castle Rock Medical Center in Green River and Carbon County Public Health in Rawlins. Over the course of eight weeks, students assisted in the vaccination of over 2,000 people. That is 2,000 individual lives which were potentially saved!
This opportunity was beneficial for all involved, from students, to clinic nursing staff to the public. Here are some comments from people involved in this experience:
“Participating in the COVID vaccine clinic was a humbling and uplifting experience.
Community members were grateful and joyous to receive the vaccine. They were hopeful
that it will bring some level of normalcy back in their lives. I am blessed to have
been taught nursing skills during this historic time in order to help contain the
spread and protect my community.” – Andrea Sanchez Walk (Fourth Semester Nursing Student)
“Western students were polite, professional, caring, got along with all the other
nurses…absolutely wonderful. Many wonderful compliments from the other nurses and
community members. Thank you for sending them to help us!” – Kristy Nielson RN, DNP,
Whether they're caring for patients at the bedside or providing vaccines during a pandemic, nurses (and nursing students) are in the business of improving and saving lives. For more information about Western’s Nursing Program, please visit the Nursing Academic page.