Student nurses take their first shots at giving others flu shots

Amber Wade

Samantha Horvath administers a flu shot to fellow student Tara Kahn during a flu clinic in the Student Center. Glennis Siegfried | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

For some people, getting a shot is a frightening experience, and giving someone a shot for the first time can be just as intimidating.

“I was extremely nervous when I went to give my patient my first shot,” junior nursing major Ceara Bozikis said. “I was practically shaking. I am not really sure why, but I was.”

Bozikis was not alone in feeling jittery before giving a patient a shot for the first time.

“I was a little nervous,” said senior nursing major Chelsea Cohen. “But we have great clinical preceptors and professors who are very supportive. I felt very prepared, but I knew I just needed to get the first one out of the way to ease my anxiety.”

Students were able to move past that nervousness and easily step into a nursing role at the seasonal flu clinics.

“They had so much confidence because of what they’d already done,” nurse Mary Calabro said.

Calabro volunteered to work with the students at the clinics on campus and said with 10 to 15 minutes of training, the student nurses were ready to step right into their roles.

“All the instructors and the nurses from the (university) health center were really helpful and informative,” junior nursing major Anna Heser said. “I learned a lot, and now I’m fully comfortable with giving flu shot injections.”

The seasonal flu clinics offered the students a chance to practice skills they had previously learned.

“I did not feel like I was given enough practice in clinical and that is actually why I did the flu clinics,” Bozikis said. “It was a great way to get more practice in and become very comfortable with giving injections.”

The students were mostly juniors and seniors. Normally, sophomores would be involved with administering the seasonal flu vaccinations. The clinics were earlier than previous flu seasons, and the students were not yet ready to participate; therefore the opportunity was given to the older students.

“It was fast paced,” Cohen said. “But we were all very pleased that so many students and faculty were taking initiative to protect themselves and others during this flu season.”

The sophomore nursing students are expected to be involved with clinics for the H1N1 vaccine once they become available, Calabro said. The clinics are expected to be sometime this month.

“I think it was an excellent opportunity,” Bozikis said. “And I wish more nursing students would have gotten the chance to participate in it.”

Contact health reporter Amber Wade at [email protected]