NEMCC Nursing Students Get Hands On Experience With COVID-19 Vaccine

BOONEVILLE, MISS. (WCBI) – Senior citizens across the state are getting their Covid 19 vaccinations.  Appointments have filled up quickly, and at one hospital, future nurses are helping meet the demand.

Seventy-nine-year-old Truman Duncan arrived early for his appointment at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Booneville for his Covid 19 vaccine.

Giving Duncan the vaccine, Olivia Bullock, a first-year student in the associate degree nursing program at Northeast Mississippi Community College.

The retired truck driver says he was eager to get the vaccine and thinks it’s a great learning experience for future nurses.

“The students did wonderful, I didn’t know I got a shot it was so easy,” Duncan said.

Every afternoon, four students from NEMCC’s nursing program, along with faculty members, help administer the Covid 19 vaccine at BMH Booneville.  The hospital’s chief nursing officer says the students are a big help to the staff. They not only give the shots, but also monitor the patient to make sure there are no side effects, and they educate patients about the follow-up dose.

“We couldn’t do as many as we do without the students because they help to fill in the gap where the staff are trying to take care of other patients that are here, this allows us the opportunity to be able to give more vaccines with help of the students,” said Jana Crittenden, BMH-Booneville’s Chief Nursing Officer.

Nursing Instructor Melissa Morgan says the partnership has many benefits for students.

“It gives them an opportunity to serve, first of all, their community, nursing is looked at as a called profession, so it gives them a chance to do service projects, we count these hours also, not only as clinic but as service project hours as well, and it gives them a chance to get out there and learn how to take care of patients how to interact and learning how to give injections, which is very important,” Morgan said.

Nursing students say they are honored to play a role in an unprecedented effort to battle a pandemic.

“It makes me happy that we’re getting Covid behind us, makes me happy to help everybody out,” said Nursing Student Olivia Bullock.

“It’s a big deal, it’s awesome for the community to stay safe and it gives us some experience, like clinical wise,” said Nursing Student Kate Hall.

There are 78 nursing students at NEMCC and eventually, every one of them will have a chance to administer the vaccine.

Next week, vaccinations will be given to people 65 years and older.

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