Person getting flu shot

Nursing and Pharmacy Students Work Together to Provide Critical Flu Shots

Author
Amy Leslie

This fall approximately 60 nursing and pharmacy students are participating in the student-led flu clinics, which are part of the longstanding interprofessional Immunization Tour course.

A collaboration between the College of Pharmacy and School of Nursing, the course is offered to pharmacy and nursing students to learn about, plan and implement influenza immunization clinics. In addition to administering the shots at the flu clinics, students assess patients prior to immunization and monitor patients afterward for adverse reactions.

“The flu clinics are a wonderful interprofessional opportunity for students to have real-world hands-on experience working alongside colleagues. They get the experience of a mass immunization clinic and learn the importance of public health perspective related to immunizations,” said Robin Austin, PhD, DNP, DC, RN-BC, assistant professor of Nursing and Immunization Tour course co-director.

“Upon graduation, almost every professional student will work or interact with another profession in some capacity,” said Ann Philbrick, PharmD, associate professor of Pharmaceutical Care and Health Systems and Immunization Tour course co-director. “These interprofessional courses and experiences allow students to learn about and work with other professions. Immunization Tour in particular takes two professions that both have authority to provide immunizations, and helps them learn from each other on how they approach this situation.”

According to pharmacy student Sarah Wong, it’s important to establish interdisciplinary relationships from the very beginning of a health professional’s career.

“Implementing interprofessional courses and events for students such as the flu clinics provides the opportunity for each profession to learn more about other disciplines and the strengths they bring to the table,” said Wong. “In order to work with someone effectively, you need to get to know them first, this is the same mindset for collaborating with other professions. The more students are exposed to other professions and can have practice working as an integrated team will further strengthen interprofessional collaboration when they graduate and put these concepts into practice.”

WHAT’S NEW THIS YEAR

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this fall’s flu clinics will be run differently from previous years. Those seeking a flu shot will be required to make an appointment to be vaccinated. All flu clinics will be held in one location—the University’s Jean K. Freeman Aquatic Center— to allow for adequate room to spread out. Patients will be screened for COVID prior to entry, and everyone will be required to wear face coverings. Learn more.

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