PIQUA – Feb. 25 marked a monumental day at Edison State Community College as approximately 400 community members ages 65 and older received their first round of COVID-19 vaccines.
Edison State nursing students had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience administering vaccines. Participating students included Faith Apple, of Russia, Nathan Alspaugh, of Tipp City, Robin Blackstone of Troy, Paige Graham, of Sidney, Megan Leckey, of Springfield, Jena Mangen, of Versailles, Alexis Monnin, of Russia, Nicole Murphy, of Troy, Alysha Oda, of Lewisburg, Kelsey Ruschau, of Versailles, Maggie Wilcoxon, of Bellefontaine, Olivia Wright, of Greenville, and Kelsey Wyatt, of Troy.
“This clinic was an exciting opportunity because, in nursing school, we learn so many new things,” nursing student Paige Graham said. “With COVID, we are learning and experiencing history along with medical professionals all over the world. Medicine and science are evolving, and there is no better proof than how we are learning to manage and handle COVID on the fly. There is no better education than experience, and Edison State offered that to me.”
In addition to administering the vaccine, nursing students provided critical teaching about the vaccine and calmed fears.
“This is one of the most amazing teaching opportunities that I have had the pleasure of being involved with in my 20 years at Edison State,” said Jill Bobb, program administrator of nursing and interim dean of professional and technical programs. “I have never been more proud of the students in how they handle themselves as nursing professionals. They not only had to master the art of giving injections and filling out the paperwork but also had to learn how to interact with clients who ranged from excited to terrified.
“The students received endless praise from the clients and Miami County Public Health staff, which contributed to an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction. As the program director, I could not have asked for a more perfect learning opportunity for our students.”
This was the first clinic held at Edison State in partnership with Miami County Public Health.
“We’re really excited to be able to partner with Edison State to make sure that we’re out in the community, giving people options,” Dennis Propes, health commissioner for Miami County Public Health, said. “The facility is excellent, and the support we’ve received from students and staff has been outstanding.
“We’re giving about 400 vaccines today, which sounds like a lot, but we’re aiming to give 1,000 per day. We want to be sure a facility is able to handle that number, and this facility could handle that number. We look forward to being able to do this again in the future.”
A number of Edison State alumni also contributed to the day’s events. One graduate, Chintan Thakkar, who is now a pharmacist, administered vaccines as part of the Medical Reserve Corps volunteer group. Another Edison State alumna giving shots was Melette Bailey, a registered nurse at Miami County Public Health.
“Miami County Public Health only has so many nurses on staff, so, having the volunteers and students here today is just invaluable to this process,” Bailey said.
A second follow-up clinic will be held in a month for the same set of people to receive their second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. For more information on COVID-19 vaccination sites in Miami County, visit www.miamicountyhealth.net.