FARGO, N.D. – More than 20 North Dakota State University nursing and pharmacy students are volunteering to help Protect the Herd during the COVID-19 vaccination clinic on campus for students, faculty and staff receiving the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine on March 31 and April 14.
“I made the choice to get my COVID-19 vaccine to protect myself and others, and I chose to volunteer administering COVID-19 vaccines at NDSU because I want to be able to assist others on campus in protecting themselves and others as well,” said NDSU nursing student Aaron Dwyer who will graduate in 2021. He has accepted a job to work in an oncology unit at a Fargo hospital when he graduates.
“I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to serve my community in this way. I want to do my part to help end this horrible pandemic, and I am so excited to help get my fellow NDSU community members vaccinated,” said Erin Beauclair, a pharmacy student who will graduate in 2022. She plans to pursue a hospital pharmacy residency when she graduates.
Students are trained in vaccination techniques, according to Dr. Amy Werremeyer, chair of NDSU School of Pharmacy and a preceptor for the events.
“Students get to combine skills they’ve learned in the classroom such as vaccine administration technique, infection control, public health principles, process management and improvement….Not only do they get to combine those skills, they get to see them applied in action, which is invaluable as a learning opportunity.
“Furthermore, students get to have the rewarding experience of knowing they are serving the health needs of their community in the pandemic–carrying out disease-prevention efforts, potentially saving lives in a time that none of us, healthcare provider or not, will ever forget. That’s an experience that will impact students throughout their future careers,” said Werremeyer.
“It is critical to offer these vaccinations on campus and include students in the administration to decrease barriers (such as transportation) to vaccination and diminish vaccine hesitancy,” said nursing faculty member Dr. Molly Secor-Turner, who also is serving as a preceptor during vaccine clinics.
Additional preceptors supervising students include Drs. Heidi Eukel and Elizabeth Skoy from the School of Pharmacy; along with Clinical Coordinator Nancy Turrubiates from the School of Nursing. NDSU is coordinating the clinic with Sanford Health.
Nursing student Abigail Likness has a specific reason to participate in the clinics offered at NDSU. “I volunteered for vaccinations in hopes of eventually returning to a normal college experience for NDSU students,” she said. Likness graduates in 2021 and will be working in an ICU at a Fargo hospital