OUS nursing students give COVID-19 vaccines

Published 6:23 pm Thursday, January 28, 2021

Ohio University Southern Associate Degree Nursing students prepare for the real world of nursing by providing care to patients during clinical rotations, which becomes more complex as they progress through the program.

This spring, Southern’s ADN students in their final semester have a unique opportunity to help meet the needs of their community by participating in COVID-19 vaccination clinics in Lawrence County, Ohio.

On Friday, Jan. 22, 10 students worked with the Lawrence County Health Department to administer vaccinations to more than 325 residents age 75 and older and others who qualified under the current vaccination plan phase. The clinic took place at the South Point Board of Education offices.

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Student James Woods, of Ashland, said the experience made him “feel like a real nurse.”

“We are used to doing basic care in our clinicals, but to be in the position of asking the questions, administering the shots, answering their questions and teaching what little information we knew was just really exciting,” he said. “I, personally, probably saw at least 20-30 people, and my classmates the same. It felt like we were able to provide a little piece of relief to the people who came in.”

OHIO Southern clinical instructor Beth Barnett was on site to supervise her students and said she was proud of them for rising to the occasion to serve the community.

“It was a great experience for them to administer the vaccine and spend time caring for those who are at risk,” Barnett said. “The students were able to apply their nursing skills as well as their social skills. I watched them smile and answer questions. They were able to provide education about the vaccine and how to follow up for the second vaccination in 21 days.”

According to Mashawna Hamilton, Associate Director of Nursing at Southern, the ADN students will have additional opportunities to assist with vaccinations as the health department receives new shipments of vaccines and clinics are planned.

Dr. Nicole Pennington, Executive Dean of Regional Higher Education and Lifelong Learning and Dean of Campus and Community Relations at OHIO Southern, is also a registered nurse and has volunteered with the Lawrence County Health Department to administer vaccinations. She plans to volunteer a half day each week as time allows.

“I am happy to be able to volunteer and participate in this important public health opportunity,” Pennington said. “The faster that we can get these immunizations administered, the fewer cases we will experience, and the sooner we can get back to doing some of our favorite things.”

Southern’s Associate Degree Nursing program is a two-year selective admissions program. To learn more about how to apply, visit https://www.ohio.edu/southern/associate-nursing