Nursing students administer flu shots

Anna Jackson, Staff Writer

FMU’s nursing department and Student Health Services partnered to host a flu shot clinic, giving students and faculty the opportunity to get their annual flu shot from current nursing students.

The flu clinic was on Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Lee Nursing Building lobby. Students, faculty and staff received their flu shots for $15.

Junior nursing student Andrew Rewis explained the typical procedure followed by the nursing students at the flu clinic.

“The first thing the student nurse does is to verify they have the right patient and that they do not have any allergies or adverse effects that may result,” Rewis said. “Make sure that everything is prepared ahead of time, such as having the Band-Aid ready so you don’t have to do any extra steps that would increase the chance of a needle stick in someone else. It is a half a mil of solution that you draw up. You inject it in the patient, and then you’re done.”

According to nursing students who were administering shots at the flu clinic, the students prepared for giving shots to FMU faculty and students by practicing on oranges and hotdogs. Then, as an extra round of practice, nursing students administered flu shots to fellow nursing students who paid to receive flu shots.

As the nursing students administered flu shots to each other, their supervising clinical instructors continued to teach them how to most effectively and safely deliver the vaccine. The students learned how to best set up their work station in order to ensure that they did not forget any steps, such as placing an alcohol pad on the top of the vial to guarantee the vial is clean before the vaccine is measured out. They also went over how delivering vaccines, such as the flu shot, would be in a hospital setting.

“It is great practice for when they go into a hospital,” Ester Thomas, a part-time nursing instructor, said. “They will have experience with giving [intramuscular] injections.”

From the students who received flu shots, the general consensus was that the shot was not painful.

“I would encourage students that it is just a little pinch,” Jenae Lopez, junior nursing student, said. “It doesn’t hurt. I was a little nervous because they are not actual nurses or doctors, but it worked out good.”

“It was a learning experience, but I wasn’t in any pain,” Rewis said.

The nursing students participating in the flu clinic said they thought that the clinic was beneficial for those receiving the shots and for themselves.

“One, it protects people from influenza, which is why it’s important that we all get our vaccines,” Rewis said. “Two, it gives student nurses the chance to administer vaccine to someone and that is something that is hard to come by.”

The flu clinic also included a table with information regarding the Zika virus. The handouts included information about what is known about the virus, how traveling affects your chances of getting Zika, and prevention steps that can be taken to guard yourself and your family from mosquito bites that could potentially pass Zika.