WKU Nursing student, instructor help administer COVID-19 vaccine
- WKU News
- Thursday, December 17th, 2020
WKU Nursing student Andi Barefoot (left) and instructor Dr. Tracy Jenkins helped administer COVID-19 vaccines to Med Center Health employees.
WKU Nursing student Andi Barefoot had a front row seat for a historic moment this week as she administered some of first COVID-19 vaccines to Med Center Health employees.
“The kind of thing we signed up to do is helping other people. What better way to do that than administering this vaccine,” said Barefoot, a Bowling Green senior and third-semester nursing student. “One of the main reasons I chose this career was the opportunity to get out in the field and help people.”
Dr. Tracy Jenkins, WKU Nursing instructor, said that several weeks ago, in preparation for the COVID vaccine, Director of Employee Health Vicki Weaver asked if WKU Nursing students would be willing to help administer the vaccines. “An email was sent out to all nursing students in all WKU's nursing programs,” Dr. Jenkins said. “Several nursing students from each of the programs expressed interest in volunteering their time including Andi Barefoot.”
Dr. Jenkins has spent the past few weeks reading nearly 75 articles about the disease, mask protection and vaccine preparation. “I also watched a video prepared by Med Center Health Director of Pharmacy Dr. Melinda Joyce and the Med Center Health Education Department. The video explained how the vaccine was created and several misconceptions and myths about the vaccine,” she said.
Dr. Jenkins then had a Zoom meeting with Barefoot to explain what she had learned about the vaccine, the procedures to administer it, the groups that would be receiving the first injections and to answer her questions. “Andi and I are so excited to be participating in administering a preventive cure to this terrible virus,” she said.
“I think it’s really neat they allowed us to participate in that,” Barefoot said. “And I think WKU was looking for ways to let us be involved and learn first-hand.”
Dr. Jenkins said several students are signing up for opportunities to administer the vaccine.
“The hospitals and pharmacies are requesting nursing students to help get the vaccines to the public since most vaccines will require two administrations 21 to 28 days apart. Throughout this pandemic most of our nursing students have participated in hospital clinicals and many also work in the hospital/healthcare setting. The students are eager to learn more about how these vaccines will protect many at-risk people. We are so proud of our nursing students and how they are giving their time, free of charge to help others in the community.”
Barefoot said she was excited to see doctors and other frontline healthcare workers receiving the first vaccines. “It was really cool to participate,” she said. “I’ve grown up with that hospital and those doctors so it was cool to help in something to control the pandemic.”
Despite the pandemic and the pivot to online learning, Barefoot said 2020 has provided unique opportunities for WKU Nursing students. “I think it’s really been a blessing in disguise,” she said. “We became healthcare workers in the middle of a health crisis.”
- To learn more about programs in WKU's School of Nursing and Allied Health, visit https://www.wku.edu/nursing/