Dozens of Alfred State College (ASC) nursing students recently rolled up some sleeves and got to work helping out at several Allegany County Department of Health COVID-19 vaccination clinics.
Held at the old Kmart Plaza in Wellsville, the clinics took place Thursday, March 25 through Sunday, March 28. Two different sets of ASC nursing students assisted with the clinics and had various roles and responsibilities.
For example, Alfred State nursing 4 students (those who are set to graduate in May) were able to draw up the vaccines and administer them to patients. Meanwhile, Alfred State nursing 2 students (those who are scheduled to graduate in May 2022) were able to help screen people for health risks, sanitize work stations, educate the community members about the vaccine, and check on those who had been vaccinated and were waiting the required 15 minutes.
Anne McCormick, a lecturer in the Alfred State Nursing Department, said, “The Health Department team and the community were very welcoming and kind with the students. Our students were really glad to be able to participate and see how an event like this actually happens. It was such a great learning experience.”
Allegany County Deputy Public Health Director Jami D’Arcy said the Department of Health believes that the clinics were a huge success, noting that 2,700 first-dose vaccinations and nearly 500 second-dose vaccinations were administered.
“We are extremely thankful to Alfred State, particularly Professor Jess Lippa for helping to arrange the volunteers from the nursing program. We hope that the students got a taste of public health and some may choose to take their careers in that direction. They were a huge help and we extend our thanks and appreciation.”
The students noted how happy they were to be able to step up and offer their assistance. Haley Mikus, a nursing student from Syracuse, said, “I love helping out the community.”
Donne Donald, a nursing student from Rosedale, said, “I am tired but feel appreciated.”
In addition to the students, several Alfred State faculty and staff also assisted at the clinics, whether it was registering students with New York State to be approved vaccinators, or helping students draw up medications and ensure the correct technique for administering the vaccines. They also helped students to understand their roles, educated the students and public when needed, and helped keep the vaccination stations running by collecting a new vaccine vial and other supplies.
Nursing faculty that were on hand included Department Chair Jess Lippa, Associate Professor KathyAnn Sager, Assistant Professor Marilyn Oggeri, Adjunct Instructor Jean Gonska, Associate Professor Laurie Dunn, Lecturer Breanna Willson, and Lecturer Anne McCormick. Assistant Director of Health and Wellness Services Daniel Woolston also assisted.
The Alfred State Nursing Department would like to thank President Dr. Skip Sullivan, Provost Dr. Kristin Poppo, and Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Gregory Sammons for supporting and helping to coordinate this effort.
The department also thanks those that provided transportation to and from the clinics, including Alfred State Director of Civic Engagement Jonathan Hilsher, Senior Director of Residential Services Matt Ryan, and Head Women’s Soccer Coach Anne Holmok, as well as Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Spencer Peavey, who was on call to assist with transporting if needed.