Mount Saint Mary Nursing Students Get Hands-On Experience Giving COVID-19 Vaccines in Hospitals

Tags: Currents Catholic College, Catholic Education, COVID, covid testing, COVID VACCINE, Crux, Inspiration, Mount Saint Mary College, Nursing Students, vaccines

By Emily Drooby

They might still be students, but Alexana Gadaleto and Gianna Lamarca are fighting COVID-19 from the frontlines: they’re administering vaccines.

“Once we heard word of being able to be a part of these vaccination clinics, I said yes eight million times. And I thought it was just great to be a part of this, and to be a part of history,” Gianna told Currents News.

Back in December, a hospital group approached Lynette DeBellis, a nursing instructor at Mount Saint Mary College. They asked if she had anyone who could help them out.

Lynette’s students jumped at the challenge. Half of the senior class, over 60 students, signed up to staff three hospitals, five days a week.

“It was uplifting to see that much interest and that much willingness to serve,” Lynette told Currents News.

As New York State continues to vaccinate its residents as fast as they can, many hospitals are turning towards students, using them to help free up hospital health care workers to take care of their patients.

“It’s so important that we vaccinate as many people as possible,” Lynette told Currents News. “So, we need the manpower in order to complete that, in order to achieve that.”

The Catholic school students had already learned how to administer vaccines. They also had to get certified by the CDC. They gave up their own time and risked their health to help others.

Gianna said the community was grateful. “We had very positive feedback from anybody who came in and they were like, ‘Wow you guys are students, and you’re doing this on your free time? And it’s amazing that you guys are here,'” she said.

Gianna has given out about 350 shots. She and Alexana say the time they’ve put in has been more than worth it.

“One person said that they were getting the vaccine on his sister’s birthday. And his sister died from COVID, and I was the one to administer the vaccine to him and that was when it hit me: I’m actually changing people’s lives and helping them get through this. And I’m so grateful to be a part of that,” said Alexana.

It’s also a way for them to continue to get hands-on experience.

The college started by working with just one hospital system, and now they’re working with three. They’re planning to continue the program as long as there is a need.