Students administered shots in Kansas City and Columbia
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Hundreds of Missourians will avoid flu-driven sniffling and sneezing this winter, thanks to students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Schools of Pharmacy and Nursing.
Over the past several weeks, UMKC students have administered 1,379 flu shots, through the University of Missouri System’s Healthy For Life program. Flu shots were offered free for UM faculty, staff and dependents enrolled in a UM Health Care plan.
A mix of UMKC Pharmacy and Nursing students staffed seven clinics on the UMKC campus and eight clinics on the Columbia campus. The process gave students hands-on experience they’ll need in the real world.
“Immunizations are a very standard part of what pharmacists do, so this gives them experience to prepare them for graduation,” Peggy Kuehl, community pharmacy coordinator, said.
Four nursing students also received behind-the-scenes experience, as part of a 6-week clinical experience toward their Management of Community Health Nursing course.
“The clinics gave these nursing students the opportunity to gain organization and leadership skills by planning all aspects of the events, and their classmates logged community health hours for administering flu shots,” Laurie Goldstein, TE Atkins wellness program coordinator, said.
Tho Nguyen, clinical assistant professor of the school of nursing, also emphasized the importance of real world experience.
“I believe that hands-on learning is very important for students because it gives them the opportunity to directly observe, practice, and understand the techniques so they perform the procedures correctly,” Nguyen said.
But the students weren’t the only ones learning. With each flu shot, pharmacy students were correcting the misconception that a pharmacist’s job takes place solely behind a counter.
“It’s important to raise community awareness about what types of services pharmacists can provide to patients at large. We had multiple occasions where people were surprised that they were going to be administered their flu shot by a pharmacist,” Valerie Ruehter, School of Pharmacy’s director of experiential learning, said.
Over the past few years, more and more people have elected to get their flu shot at UMKC. This year marked a 43 percent increase over the past two years’ participation. Goldstein says that the increased popularity is positive for everyone involved.
“The students gain valuable practical experience while the University is assured a convenient and highly cost-effective approach to deliver flu shots,” Goldstein said.
About the University of Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City, one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 15,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience. For more information about UMKC, visit www.umkc.edu. You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and watch us on YouTube.
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