Nursing students get firsthand experience working at COVID-19 vaccine center
Learning during the pandemic has been different for many college students. But for those in the Rutgers-Camden nursing program, it is providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“So far, I’ve been helping administer vaccines, and I’ve also been observing people who have already gotten their vaccine,” says student Sarah Lemasney.
Lemasney is one of many Rutgers-Camden nursing students who is volunteering to staff the vaccine center at Camden County College. She is doing everything from checking people in, to administering the shots.
“This definitely helps you get to talk to patients, learn how to speak to patients. Giving vaccines is really great, great learning experience. We did learn how to do it, but this is nice doing it on real people,” says student Lauren Passero.
"We really focus on putting students into the community where people spend most of their time so this was a nice transition for our group of students because they already had a population focus in their nursing curriculum,” says associate dean Dr. Kevin Emmons.
The students say that besides the invaluable experience they're getting at the clinic, they also say that it is a chance to be a part of history.
“This is my first time giving vaccines, so knowing that my first time was giving the COVID vaccine, I definitely think that’s something I’ll always be able to remember,” Lemasney says.
Lemasney says that the pandemic has made her even more eager to be a nurse.
"My goal is to help people in whatever way that I'm capable of, and the pandemic kind of I guess made me more excited to be able to help the community in ways that I may not have been able to before,” she says.
The vaccination site has the capacity to vaccinate up to 1,000 people per day, depending on availability.