This time in 2020, Spring Hill College was monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and making possible preparations for online learning in case students needed to be sent home to stay healthy. Fast forward one year and now those same students are at the forefront of the fight against the virus right here in our community. Students in the Nursing program are volunteering in the fight against the pandemic and are committed to help administer COVID vaccinations for those 75 years and older and high-risk individuals in the community.
Nineteen students in this year’s Senior class were at Mobile Infirmary Medical Center on Wednesday, January 20. They documented patient info, administered shots and monitored patients for any potential adverse reactions. Dr. Kelli Boots, Associate Nursing Professor says this historic initiative is beneficial to Spring Hill’s students, Mobile Infirmary; and the community. “The Alabama Board of Nursing has encouraged nursing students and schools to participate as part of an overall effort to get our community vaccinated. We are so proud to be a part of this initiative and so proud of our students. They are eager, they are prepared and they are ready for this.”
Being able to participate in giving COVID-19 vaccinations held a special significance for these students. Hannah Ford, a senior from Columbus, Miss. recognized that this was a historic event. She was excited to be a part of this turnaround. For her, the fight against this virus was personal: “I lost my grandfather to COVID-19 back in June. Now I’m especially glad to be able to deliver vaccines to that high-risk age group in particular.”
Seniors Emilee Sprinkle and Taylor Guy are both from Mobile, Ala. and they also participated in the vaccinations. Sprinkle said, “I’m honored to be a part of something so important that is going to help so many people.”
These seniors feel staying in the local area after graduation is part of their purpose as nursing professionals. Sprinkle wants to be close to her family and work in the field of dermatology. Guy wants to focus on improving access to care for those in the Mobile community.
Next week, Juniors from the program will participate at Mobile Infirmary for another round of vaccinations. The College of Nursing has worked hard to prepare these students and has been proud to work with Mobile Infirmary and the community.
Dr. Kathy Sheppard, Chair of the Nursing Division said, “It was a privilege for our nursing faculty and students to be involved in our community through the administration of COVID vaccines. The students were so happy to be there serving and enjoying the extra benefit of deepening their nursing education.”