One vaccine at a time, Hawaii is beating back COVID-19.
And Chaminade University is proud to be part of the effort.
Working with community healthcare partners, the University has deployed senior Nursing students to clinics on O‘ahu to administer COVID-19 vaccines.
Dr. Lynn Babington, Chaminade President, said the project underscores the University’s public service mission and its commitment to build a healthier Hawai‘i. “Being part of the community and being able to serve our community is part of our mission,” she said, adding that the vaccines are a “light at the end of a long tunnel” and offer hope that many of the activities we used to consider normal will soon be resumed. She said it’s heartening to see students play a key role in “helping to bring the pandemic under control.”
Dr. Lorin Ramocki, Chaminade University School of Nursing and Health Professions Assistant Professor and clinical/academic partnership coordinator, said the students giving vaccinations are seniors in their Public Health Nursing rotation. To prepare for the challenge, they participated in mock clinics on campus, studied CDC and facility training modules, and attended on-site orientations.
The students will be administering vaccines through the duration of vaccination efforts.
Nursing senior, Serina Lipman, is among those serving as vaccinators. She said she feels incredibly fortunate to participate in a vaccination clinic and do her part to stop the spread of COVID-19. “It felt humbling knowing that we were out in the community making a difference,” she said.
Lipman added her training and preparation at Chaminade helped her feel up to the challenge.
“Through this experience, I have learned about how much effort and planning it takes to set up a massive vaccination clinic,” she said. “This experience was one of the best I have had throughout school and I hope that I get the opportunity to continue to vaccinate even after graduation.”
Dr. Rhoberta Haley, School of Nursing and Health Professions Dean, said the vaccination project highlights the importance of experiential learning and strong partnerships in the community. “For our nursing students to play a role in the State’s vaccination efforts not only strengthens our partnerships with healthcare organizations, it gives our students additional first-hand experience,” Haley said.
Ramocki said the vaccination clinics are powerful educational experiences, offering students a strong appreciation of the value of focusing on population health, and of the role of community education and disaster response during periods of disease outbreak. “By participating in these efforts, they will be able to make the connection between what they are learning in the classroom and the importance of these topics,” Ramocki said. “They get to be a part of these efforts during one of the greatest public health crises in our lifetime. This is what public health nursing is all about, responding to and meeting the needs of the community.”