You never know where you’re going to run into a West Coast University graduate.
While administering COVID-19 vaccines for Baptist Healthcare system this December, WCU-Miami instructor Vanessa Lluy looked up to see a familiar face — her former pediatrics student Marisabelle Gonzalez-Nieves.
Now an intensive care unit nurse also with Baptist Healthcare, Gonzalez-Nieves said the encounter was totally by chance. She had been waiting for her scheduled appointment but her line ran out of the vaccine, so she headed to next available station and rolled up her sleeve.
“I just sat down and when the nurse went to give it to me, she said, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s you!’" Gonzalez-Nieves said.
Relieved to get her first COVID-19 vaccination and proud to get it from a former instructor, Gonzalez-Nieves said she appreciated how West Coast University professors shared with students the skills and information the instructors used every day as working nurses.
“What I liked about this school is the professors aren’t limited to the classroom only, they're also out in the clinics,” she said. “They come with a lot of knowledge because they're still working in the field.”
An adjunct clinical instructor at WCU-Miami for the past four years, Lluy also works full-time in the hospital’s emergency department. She said she was grateful "for the support West Coast University has given me throughout this pandemic and for its ability to adapt and help our students achieve their goals of becoming nurses.”
“Having the opportunity to administer these vaccines has been such an rewarding experience. I loved that Marisabelle wanted to take a picture with me and record this history,” Lluy said. "As a working frontline nurse, this has been the most difficult year of my career, but moments like this I will treasure forever. This COVID-19 vaccine gives us hope that there is an end to this pandemic.”
Gonzalez-Nieves, who graduated in 2016, said she probably hadn’t seen Lluy since leaving WCU. Unfortunately for the pair, there wasn't any time to catch up.
"She gave me the shot and I was on my way, because there was a line," Gonzalez-Nieves said.