Nursing Students Administer COVID Vaccine to Local Residents

Published: February 02, 2021 | Author: Kenzie Lundberg | Read Time: 2 minutes

Nursing Students Administer COVID Vaccine to Local ResidentsSouthern Utah University nursing students are doing their part in helping fight COVID-19. In partnership with the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, SUU nursing students are administering the vaccine to the Iron County residents over 70 years of age.

“I haven’t seen an initiative like this in healthcare, ever in my lifetime. It’s a massive undertaking,” said Suzie Campbell, assistant professor of nursing and coordinator for the vaccine effort. “We are so pleased to partner with the Health Department and take care of our community. This is a unique opportunity for students to serve on the frontlines to help protect us all from COVID. We received feedback from people who have been immunized and they have been so appreciative of the service and the chance to protect themselves. It’s been a great opportunity.”

Students in the second and third semesters of the nursing program began working with the Southwest Utah Public Health Department and administering the vaccine the first week of January 2021. The Health Department began receiving shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine and distributing the vaccine in Washington, Iron, Kane, Beaver, and Garfield counties in December. Currently, they are vaccinating 500 individuals daily and are working to expand that to 700 per day. Supplies are limited and are offered to priority groups at clinics in each county, by online registration.

"Some of the individuals coming into the Health Department to get the vaccine seemed like they had been waiting so long to get it, and they were finally able to,” said Hunter Hagen, second year nursing student at SUU. “They were so excited and happy. I am so glad to be part of it."

SUU’s Nursing Department anticipates they will continue working with the Health Department throughout the year. While the focus is on adults over 70, they hope to shift to children and adolescents this summer. With the goal to eventually have the entire public immunized, the Health Department will continue to need support of the nursing students.

“I work as a home health nurse as well, and I take care of a husband and wife who live in an assisted living center,” said Campbell. “The husband has not left the facility in the past ten months and his wife only leaves for doctor appointments. They haven’t seen their grandchildren and great grandchildren in almost a year. I can’t even imagine living like that. These vulnerable individuals have been waiting so long for this vaccine and we are so excited to be part of the effort to offer it to them.”

SUU’s nursing students have spent countless hours in the past year helping students, faculty, staff, and the Cedar City community fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, including helping with the campus-wide testing effort at SUU.

The SUU Nursing program aims to prepare graduates to successfully enter nursing practice, develop technically proficient nurses, and support faculty members as health care professionals. Learn more about the SUU Department of Nursing.

Tags: College of Health Sciences Nursing

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