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Nursing department Cobbers administer flu shots on campus

Three registration tables, six stations and a handful of senior level nursing students spaced out in a large area.

The nursing department at Concordia paired with Sanford Health to host a flu shot clinic on October 16 this year, which left some people wondering why they should get a flu shot in the first place. 

Stephen Stapleton, the department chair of the nursing department at Concordia, stressed the importance of getting a flu shot. 

“As a society we need to build up immunity and the flu virus changes every year,” said Stapleton.  “By having a vaccine, you build up immunity, so if you are exposed to the virus you can fight it off relatively easier than if you did not have a vaccine.”

Stapleton stated that these vaccines work by injecting tiny particles of the dead virus in the shot. Then your body recognizes that the dead virus should not be there and “will gather up all its resources to help you fight off that potential infection.” Therefore, it is easier to fight off the flu after getting a flu shot, which is especially important in the time of COVID-19. 

“If you happen to get sick by the flu and COVID is still around, you can get really sick with COVID on top of that,” said Stapleton. “You want to be preventing any kind of viruses that are transmitted, and you want to make sure that you are immune to those as much as possible. So yes, it’s very important this year that you get a flu shot.”

Stapleton mentioned that these nursing students first learn how to give a shot in the “Nursing Fundamentals” course. The nursing department also has fake arms available for students to practice with.

Amy Warren, a senior level nursing student, helped administer flu shots at the flu shot clinic. She also had some experience outside of the classroom when learning how to give vaccines.

A senior nursing student administers a flu shot | Concordia College

“I learned to give shots during my internship this summer and during clinicals throughout the school year,” said Warren. “I have given many shots to actual people throughout my internship and clinical experiences.”

Not only is this a beneficial event for Concordia’s campus to vaccinate as many students, faculty and staff as possible to protect against the flu, but it is also a valuable experience for the senior level nursing students. 

“By the time they give 500 shots at the clinic, they’re masters at it,” said Stapleton. “It’s an opportunity to gain experience and gain confidence.”

Katie Nystuen, the Health Services Coordinator at Concordia, agreed that it is important for students to get their flu shot. She also discussed other options for students besides the flu shot clinic sponsored by the nursing department and Sanford Health.

“There are many other places in the community that offer flu shots, including our local healthcare providers and some pharmacies,” said Nystuen. “If you have questions about where to go, or if you don’t have insurance or cannot afford a flu shot, students should call or email me, and I can assist them in finding a clinic and assist with financial or other barriers.”

Even with these other options within the Fargo-Moorhead area, the on-campus flu shot clinic provided students, faculty and staff with a convenient option for getting their flu shot this year.

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