The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the Fall and Winter months. Annual vaccination is important because influenza is unpredictable, can cause serious health complications, flu viruses are constantly changing, and immunity from vaccination declines over time. The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority recommends an annual flu vaccine as the first and best way to protect against influenza, which can cause serious illness especially in those who are at higher risk for these complications. In order to promote health and wellness of the community, our Nursing students took a proactive approach and participated in the Red River College Flu Clinic last November.
Second year BN students, in partnership with the Red River College Health Centre, administered the 2017 Flu Vaccine to 303 students and 150 staff, for a total of 453 flu vaccinations over the course of four days. The Flu Clinic was held at both the Notre Dame Campus and the Language Training Centre.
Participation in the Flu Clinics was part of the BN Older Adult Health Theory course, specifically related to the Community Clinical Practice component. Each day, one group of students (4-6 students per group), from the four groups in Community Clinical practice, were responsible for a clinic. They were supervised by course leader Tammy Moran, their clinical instructor (either Tanya Cole, Diane Ammeter, Janet Spence, or Teri-Lyn Healy), and either Heather or Ian from the Health Center. Not only were students responsible for the safe administration of the vaccine, they were directly involved in the set up and organization of the clinic throughout the day.
The Community Clinical Practice component of the Older Adult Health course focuses on the clinical application of concepts, processes, practices, and research associated with promoting health and maintaining wellness in middle-aged and older adults as well as their families in community settings. Emphasis is placed on the development of the nurse-client relational partnership in the context of health teaching for the promotion of health and the maintenance of wellness. The Flu Clinic gave students the opportunity to recognize the importance of an interprofessional / multidisciplinary team approach when caring for the older adult, participate in a wellness health event focused on health promotion with adults in the community, as well as organize and deliver a public education event focused on adults.
By administering vaccinations, students were also able to practice drawing up medication as well as the proper techniques of an IM injection. The Flu Clinic gave real world practice to the techniques learned in the Techniques One course. In addition, students were able to learn and practice relational nursing skills, cultural competence and cultural safety with adults in community-based settings, documentation, as well as health teaching and promotion.
Although the students were nervous to begin the day, they quickly adapted to their role. Students shared with their instructors how the clinic was fun, and they felt very much like “nurses” as they carried out their duties for the day.
The Nursing Department would like to thank Heather Temple, from the Health Center, for her expertise and commitment to helping our students be successful in promoting health and wellness for Red River College faculty and students. It was a great partnership for our Nursing students to experience, and we look forward to participating again next year.
Written by Tammy Moran – Nursing Instructor
Organized by Meagen Chorney – Nursing Instructor