Oklahoma CareerTech nursing students help with coronavirus vaccines and testing
CKTC nursing students help administer vaccines for first responders.
Jan. 15, 2021
Oklahoma CareerTech nursing students help with COVID-19 vaccines and testing
According to the CDC, stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools we have available. In Oklahoma, one valuable tool in the fight against COVID-19 is the state’s Career and Technology Education System.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced this week it will open up additional appointments for the nearly 50,000 doses it plans to administer next week, and advanced nursing students in at least seven of the state’s 29 technology center districts have answered the call for help. These tech center students will serve in a number of roles in their local communities, including immunizing, testing and assisting with the vaccination efforts.
Red River Technology Center’s nursing students are among those who answered a call from National League of Nursing President Beverly Malone this week. Students helped with immunization efforts in Stephens County, where more than 1,300 vaccines were dispensed in seven hours last week.
“These advanced CareerTech nursing students are prepared to administer injections and observe for side effects, and they are sorely needed,” Malone said. “This also can help them satisfy requirements with credit for community service, independent study or a capstone project.”
In Altus, Southwest Technology Center’s nursing students helped with Jackson County’s COVID vaccine clinic. Their county health department appreciated the help, which also provided valuable hands-on experience for students.
“By utilizing our student nurses to assist with COVID vaccinations, professional nurses can continue their regular duties while allowing a new generation of nurses to gain important experience,” said Oklahoma CareerTech’s Lara Morris, health careers education program manager at the state agency.
Morris said she believes it is vital for students to be a part of the initiative and learn the importance of the role of the nurse in community health, health promotion and pandemic nursing.
In southeast Oklahoma, Kiamichi Tech’s nursing students will soon begin helping with intake and monitoring of clients. Northeast Technology Center’s students have also volunteered to help in their area, as well as Central Technology Center’s students in Drumright.
“The relevance of participating in the scientific solution for a problem that has affected each of these students on a personal level helps bring the real world and the classroom together,” Morris said.
In Caddo County, health officials got much-needed volunteer help from Caddo Kiowa Technology Center students who volunteered during their winter break. Students there helped vaccinate first responders and people 65 years old and older. In a two-week period, the students helped vaccinate more than 3,000 people in the community.
Other tech centers offering nursing volunteers include Pontotoc Technology Center in Ada and Northwest Technology Center in Alva, which is partnering with Great Salt Plains Health Center.
In addition to distributing the vaccine, communities also need to maintain adequate testing opportunities. In Jackson County, Canadian Valley Technology Center’s nursing students perform nasal swab testing in partnership with Grady Memorial’s community outreach.
The CDC says the combination of getting vaccinated and following their recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19. And, according to the CDC, wearing masks and social distancing will help reduce your chances of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others.
The Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education provides leadership and resources and assures standards of excellence for a comprehensive statewide system of career and technology education. The system offers programs and services in 29 technology center districts operating on 58 campuses, 399 PK-12 school districts, 13 Skills Centers campuses that include three juvenile facilities and 32 adult basic education service providers.
The agency is governed by the State Board of Career and Technology Education and works closely with the State Department of Education and the State Regents for Higher Education to provide a seamless educational system for all Oklahomans.
Connie Romans, communications and marketing coordinator