Infectious Disease

Medical college students and nursing college students are stepping up their COVID-19 vaccination efforts

February 18, 2021

3 min read

Source / information

Source:
Healio interview

Disclosure:
Laperle and Potee do not report any relevant financial information.

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In the United States, medical and nursing students have stepped up to help introduce COVID-19 vaccination.

Many states have allowed these students – after additional training – to administer COVID-19 vaccines while completing their degree.

Medical students have already been deployed to ease the burden on the health system caused by the pandemic. Many institutions enable fourth-year students to graduate early and enter the world of work once they have met their graduation requirements.

Healio Primary Care spoke to students who support vaccination distribution in their communities to learn more about the impact of their education and what they learn from the experience.

Students who meet the need for vaccines

Benjamin Potee, An MD candidate in Class of 2024 at the University of Massachusetts Medical School said he was “thrilled” to learn he could give COVID-19 vaccines while a medical student.

“This year is so much about losing things that we can no longer safely do: anatomy lab, one-to-one classes, etc.,” he said. “It is exciting to be part of a unique and critical effort to end this pandemic.”

As with other clinical experiences, medical students are not compensated for their work in administering COVID-19 vaccines, and participation in vaccination efforts is on a voluntary basis.

Potee and other University of Massachusetts students received training from graduate school nursing students, including Paige Laperle, BS, RN, a student on the Graduate Entry Pathway to Doctor of Nursing Practice in the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Class of 2023.

Photo by Paige Laperle

Paige Laperle

Laperle said that she and other students on the Graduate Entry Pathway to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program are using the hours they volunteer on COVID-19 vaccination efforts for charitable causes they are expected to do under the program.

“When I selected my group in late summer 2020, we thought that the COVID-19 vaccine is still a long way off in the future. So it was originally planned that we would focus on flu shots, ”she said. “It all happened so quickly that one day we were preparing our modules and training courses for Basic [intramuscular (IM)] Injections, and next time we tried to bring the training live because the demand for COVID-19 vaccinations was overnight. “

Part of the COVID-19 vaccination training includes practicing injections on training pads and then on fellow students, according to Potee.

As a result of that training, Potee said that he can now give these injections more conveniently. He also said that his education and volunteering did not interfere with his education.

“I am grateful that all of our presentations were recorded, which makes it easy to be caught on the morning shift after a vaccination,” he said. “Medical school remains a tremendous challenge, but being able to do this job makes up for some of the time we lost in the clinic due to COVID-19, and I always leave the shift happy, a little positive To have made a difference in a massive logistical effort. ”

Relief for the workforce

Laperle said she was “overwhelmed with gratitude” when given the opportunity to “finally make a difference in this fight”.

“I think everything we can do at this point is going to take the pressure off the workforce,” said Laperle. “The more vaccines we have, the more vaccines we can give, the faster we can try to get herd immunity.”

She added that the use of clinical students in introducing vaccines will have a “trickle-down” effect on the pandemic.

“If we can ultimately increase the number of vaccines, we can reduce the number of COVID-19 patients and take the pressure off the health system,” she said.

Potee said the administrators at his staff’s vaccination centers are “glad to have our help”.

“I think we have our largest delta in supporting community vaccinations,” he added. “Even in a health-rich state like Massachusetts, public health authorities are consistently underfunded and are being asked to do significant logistical and clinical work as part of the introduction of the vaccine. It is an honor to work with them in vaccinating people who are most likely to develop and die from COVID-19. “

References:

Healio interview

UMass Med. UMass Medical School students ready to serve on the front lines of the COVID-19 vaccination. https://www.umassmed.edu/news/news-archives/2021/01/umass-medical-school-students-ready-to-serve-on-covid-19-vaccination-front-lines. Accessed February 16, 2021.

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