Eastern Kentucky University nursing students are helping to fight COVID-19 by administering vaccinations.

EKU School of Nursing is working closely with the Madison County Health Department and Baptist Health Richmond to decrease the numbers of coronavirus cases locally. EKU School of Nursing is willing to work with other organizations in the community. 

“With COVID-19, we have definitely stepped up to the plate to be able to help the organizations in need and to have additional personnel so that we can get these vaccines out to those who need it most,” said Sharonda Rose, clinical faculty.

The nursing students’ first day of administering COVID-19 vaccinations was on January 26, approximately giving 64 vaccines. There is not an end date in sight. All 46 EKU nursing students administering vaccines have been offered to take it first themselves. 

EKU nursing students are administering the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines, both including the required primary dose shot and the booster shot. The vaccination sites are all following the same criteria on rolling out the vaccinations according to CDC and Kentucky Department for Public Health. 

“Our community partners have been wonderful to engage with our students and faculty in this effort,” said Melanie Johnson, clinical coordinator and associate professor. “The students are able to experience first-hand interagency collaboration and interprofessional practice in a remarkable way.”

All students administering vaccines are senior-level nursing students who have completed their first skill labs, passed intramuscular injections and given various types of injections within different clinical settings. The nursing students are continuing to become more proficient with skills and techniques every day.

“We treat our patients and clients as individuals and look at the whole picture as opposed to the particles of COVID-19,” said Ive Phillips, a senior nursing major from McCreary County, KY. “We have had a really positive experience today.”

EKU nursing students are administering coronavirus vaccines within their clinical days from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at various locations that have not all been identified.

“It is a really unique environment for them,” Rose said. “Not only are they experiencing nursing care during a pandemic but the repetitive actions of being able to practice those skills and give intramuscular injections to the patients we are seeing.”

EKU School of Nursing wants to remind the entire campus community to protect themselves  and to continue to do their part to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

“We are thankful for our experiences and collaboration that we have had with our community partners and we are really happy that we are able to help the curve go down as we face this pandemic,” Rose said. “We are happy to be here and have all hands on deck.”

For more information on COVID-19 vaccinations, please see the latest update from the EKU COVID-19 Task Force at https://staywell.eku.edu/insidelook/covid-19-vaccination-update-january-13-2021.

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