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Nursing students from NMCC and UMFK have had the opportunity to help at the COVID-19 vaccine clinics and share experience

Published: Mar. 12, 2021 at 7:05 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -It’s been a few months since hospitals set up COVID-19 vaccine clinics. Students from NMCC and UMFK have had the opportunity to help at the clinics. Here’s Megan Cole with what the experience has been like for the students.

The lines of people receiving their covid 19 vaccine has been steady over the last few months and hospital staff and nursing student have been very busy administering it. .

“So the students were a group that through the last year really not always got to have the great clinical experiences that they’ve had in the past because of the fact that some hospitals in the state wouldn’t even let students in we never stopped that we let students come in and we tried to give them the best education that we could but we thought this would be a great way to at least get them some experience with the patients and be able to work with them and chat with them and it has been a fantastic endeavor,” Said Tammy Beaulier-Fuller, associate vice president of nursing for Northern Light AR Gould hospital.

Jessica Lahey is a level 1 nursing instructor at Northern Maine Community College and says that this has been a great opportunity for students to not only get more experience administering vaccines, but to also gain some confidence.

“Having the students in the vaccine clinic gives them the opportunity to build and foster their confidence that they don’t usually get when they’re going into a clinical site because they’re usually only able to give vaccines to 1 or 2 clients in a clinical rotation when at a vaccine clinic, they’re able to give 60 or so vaccines a day building up that practice that they need to build those confidence.”

“We’re proud to give back to our community to help with these efforts in addition to that like we’re sort of giving back but the facility is giving to our students to get practice to start to feel confident with their skills,” said Larry Nadeau, nursing resource center manager and lab instructor for UMFK.

Nursing students from both NMCC and UMFK say that they’re happy to have this opportunity.

“The biggest part for me is the direct patient contact because this past year a lot of what we’ve done has been simulation it’s been online or it’s been here in the sim center and we haven’t always gotten as much direct patient contact as we would have liked to have had,” said Rene Chalou, a second year nursing student at NMCC.

“To go into the community with community members and have such a receptive experience and group it’s very reassuring to know that you’re appreciated especially at these clinics and especially at these as a future health care and healthcare worker it was a really wonderful experience to have,” said Kathryn Jakubowski, a junior in UMFK’s nursing program.

“I’m not from here so it was nice to get to know the community a little bit more and kind of engage and all the staff there were super friendly and super supportive very very willing to teach you and let you learn on your own a little bit,” said John Devlin, a junior in UMFK’s nursing program.

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