In a unique clinical experience during an unprecedented worldwide pandemic, 50 UMass Dartmouth junior nursing students, along with five College of Nursing & Health Sciences faculty members, are assisting the local COVID-19 vaccination teams.
Their efforts are a perfect merger of the clinical experience required for their Community Health Nursing class and the nationwide urgency to vaccinate citizens to prevent the spread of a virus that has killed more than 450,000 Americans. The nursing students are supporting the local vaccination effort, working at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, Tobey Hospital in Wareham, Charlton Memorial Hospital and St. Anne’s Hospital in Fall River, the Board of Health in Dartmouth, and on campus at UMass Dartmouth.
Students are administering the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to hospital staff in the first phase of the state vaccination effort and will move on to Phase 2 of the state vaccination plan shortly. They are being assisted by CNHS faculty members Stephanie Baranosky, Marianne McAuliffe and Jerrachmeelle Moise, Katie Pelland, and Clinical Assistant Professor Paula Walsh.
“This gives us an opportunity to help out in the community, get our nursing skills, and be part of this historic moment,” said Mark Gregg ’22.
According to Associate Professor of Nursing Dr. Maryellen Brisbois, RN, the college has received additional requests to assist with vaccination efforts that they hope to support throughout the spring semester.
“As clinical coordinator for the NUR 331 course, we had few traditional spring clinical sites due to COVID 19, so I reached out to contacts in Dartmouth, Fall River and New Bedford and we received an overwhelming response,” she said. “We are humbled to be part of a community effort in moving past this historic pandemic event and decrease the burden of COVID 19 in the SouthCoast region.”
Their efforts were recently featured on NBC 10 News, Providence’s NBC affiliate. Watch the video.