WCU-Ontario BSN Students Help Distribute COVID-19 Vaccinations at Riverside Community Hospital

Some students don’t have to wait until graduation for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

This December, more than 20 West Coast University nursing students got to put the skills to good use by helping distribute COVID-19 vaccination shots to healthcare workers at Riverside Community Hospital.

Led by nursing instructor and WCU alumna Sheryl Pena, the bachelors of science in nursing students dispensed doses of the cutting-edge vaccination over two days as part of their clinical training.

At first, WCU-Ontario BSN student Allison Thrash thought her group was administering flu shots.

“Once I discovered we would be administering the COVID vaccine, I was excited and couldn’t wait to get started,” Thrash said. “Some of the healthcare workers were nervous because they are afraid of needles but, for the most part, they were excited. I would say nine out of 10 either recorded themselves or took a photo of themselves getting vaccinated.”

WCU-Ontario BSN student Michelle Flores — who is scheduled to graduate in January 2021 — called the experience both educational and informational. Flores said the Riverside Community Hospital staff taught her cohort both about how the vaccine works and how best to administer it.

In addition to being “a part of history,” Flores said everyone at the hospital was very friendly and “made me feel like it would be a good place to work.”

“I am proud to be a nursing student because I can be part of the change. I can help change a person’s life as well as saving their life,” Flores said. “I think it is amazing how nurses put their patients’ needs first and they will go hours without a break or food and it is all because they want to see their patients get better.”

WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.