Nursing students give flu shots to community

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The nursing students receive hands-on experience by working in a lab for isolation practice in addition to giving flu shots. Photo courtesy of Cambria Diehl.

Coughing, sneezing and runny noses spread rapidly on campus during this time of year. In the United State, 5 to 20 percent of the population on average gets the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from complications.

Every year, the nursing students on campus put on a free flu shot clinic for students and staff. This is not only an opportunity for students and staff to stay healthy, but also a chance for nursing students to get hands-on experience in their field.

Gabrielle Pressnall, a senior nursing major, said she benefited from this experience as well as from helping her community.

“I decided to volunteer for the flu shot clinic to get more experience with intramuscular shots and to help prevent my community from becoming sick,” she said.

Jermaine Mclean, a senior nursing major, said actually stepping in to the situation and giving the shots himself really helped.

“It was great because it allowed me to step into the role of a nurse,” he said. “You can read all the books you want, but hands-on experience is one of the best ways to learn.”

Nursing students all have different reasons for choosing the career field they did, but they all have one thing in common: they want to help people who need it. This is one of the experiences that gives them a taste of helping people in their own community.

“I wanted to do the flu drive because it was an opportunity to gain more experience giving immunizations, as well as an opportunity to take part in promoting health among the Chico State population,” said Mclean, “Nursing is a very rewarding field that allows you to have an impact on people every day.”

The support from the school toward the nursing students’ future careers was evident.

“The most exciting part of the flu clinic was having all my good friends from school come and support me by getting their flu shots from me,” Pressnall said. “It not only made me more confident in my injections, but it also showed me how much my friends support me in my studies and their confidence in me.”

Lauren Steele can be reached at [email protected] or @thrasherxlauren on Twitter.