Amidst music and classmates, the Concordia College nursing students will take “hands-on” to a whole new level on Oct. 17 and 18 as they administer flu shots for a community health project.
From 3:30 to 6:30 on Monday, Oct. 17 and from 1:30 to 4:30 on Tuesday, Oct. 18, faculty, students and staff will have the opportunity to receive their flu shot in the Centrum for $20 when they provide their Concordia ID. Students have the choice to pay with cash or charge it to their tuition.
Customers will first register and pay and then fill out a form that will describe the type of shot they will be receiving. The vaccine will cover seasonal flu along with H1N1. After waiting in line, they will receive a shot from either a junior or senior nursing student. Food and door prizes will be provided.
Alison Peine, a senior nursing student in charge of advertising, said that it was a lot more work than she had initially thought.
“We had to start from scratch and prepare everything,” Peine said. “It was pretty chaotic but it all came together in the end.”
This is different from previous years when the nursing students worked under much more direction and supervision. This year the flu clinic was worked into the curriculum for one of the required courses for nursing majors. The community health nursing class takes on a different project every year, depending on the community needs, and this year it is flu vaccination.
The students have had plenty of opportunities to prepare in administering the shots. Peine explained that they practiced by learning the movement and became familiar with the muscle where the shot will be given. The seniors also had practice when they gave each other the flu vaccine last year.
Ellen Raaen, a senior, plans on getting a flu shot this season.
“It’s more accessible to get one here on campus,” said Raaen. “I would rather use our health services than go somewhere else. It’s another way to show support.”
Linda Scott, who is an associate professor in the nursing department, supervised the planning of the event. She saw this as a great opportunity for nursing student to see what it would be like working for public health.
“Nurses will always be called upon in a community,” said Scott. “They should know what to do.”
For the flu clinic, knowing what to do includes organizing the event, budgeting, marketing and working in subcommittees to ensure the success of the event.
Scott also saw the positive implications of having students advertise and create the event independent of faculty.
“Having the students’ creativity is way more helpful in getting their peers interested over faculty advertising,” Scott said.
Health Care Administrator Kathy Benson, who has organized the event for the past 15 years, thought this was a great way to give nursing students experience to work in public health from start to finish. And because influenza and H1N1 have been major health issues over the past couple of years, she encourages Concordia’s campus to take responsibility to invest in their health.
“We have a responsibility to ourselves and to the person sitting next to us,” Benson said. “Be mindful that not everybody here is dealing with full health. I wouldn’t want to be the one putting someone at risk. We only want to share the good things.”