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NDSU pharmacy students play role in vaccinating patients

Photo of Erin Beauclair

Erin Beauclair

Photo of Jarod Burnside

Jarod Burnside

Photo of Eva Byerley

Eva Byerley

The COVID-19 pandemic has given NDSU pharmacy students experience with patients in real time in ways they could not have envisioned when they began their pharmacy studies. More than 70 pharmacy students have administered COVID-19 vaccinations at community centers, clinics, and at mass vaccination sites on the NDSU campus. They also were among the groups trained to assist in vaccinating healthcare professionals as soon as vaccines became available.

"I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to serve my community in this way. I want to do my part to help end this horrible pandemic," said Erin Beauclair, a pharmacy student who will graduate in 2022. “I learned how to quickly and efficiently prepare vaccines and paperwork, and educate the patient. We had to be quick; we vaccinated 600 people.”

Beauclair said helping with vaccine clinics will make her more confident in her rotations and in practice.

Students are trained in vaccination techniques, according to Amy Werremeyer, chair of NDSU School of Pharmacy and a preceptor for the events.

"Students get to combine skills they've learned in the classroom such as vaccine administration technique, infection control, public health principles, process management and improvement. Not only do they get to combine those skills, they get to see them applied in action, which is invaluable as a learning opportunity. That's an experience that will impact students throughout their future careers," said Werremeyer.

Pharmacy student Jarod Burnside said interacting with people seeking vaccinations had many benefits.

“They had a lot of confusion and questions regarding the vaccine’s immunogenicity, dosing schedule and COVID-19 in general. I was surprised at the amount of patient education I provided in addition to administering vaccinations. This clinic also helped prepare me to address vaccine-related questions in a limited time appointment,” Burnside said.

The experience also taught students how to manage the unexpected. “I had two patients who developed acute syncopal episodes due to their hesitancy/fear of needles. These were my first experiences with this type of scenario; however, our experienced vaccination team was able to successfully assist and keep our patients comfortable,” said Burnside.

“I wanted to volunteer to give vaccines to do my part in making an impact in the fight against COVID and to represent the pharmacy profession as versatile members of the healthcare team,” said pharmacy student Eva Byerley. “I got vaccinated to protect the patients that I serve in my hospital internship, and so that I could spend more time with my grandparents.”

In addition to Werremeyer, NDSU School of Pharmacy faculty members Heidi Eukel, Elizabeth Skoy, Natasha Petry, Elizabeth Monson and Amy Drummond were preceptors for vaccination events.

As a student-focused, land-grant, research university, we serve our citizens.

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North Dakota State University
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Last Updated: Friday, May 13, 2022 4:03:55 PM
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