Nine Brookdale Community College nursing students volunteered at the Monmouth County COVID-19 Vaccination Site at Brookdale on February 3 to help residents who had appointments get the vaccine.
Instead of working in a hospital setting for their clinical hours, students in the Nursing 272 class volunteered on the Brookdale campus at the vaccine distribution center. The students are Jason Concepcion, Kimberly Dicorcia, Michele Gero, Alyssa Grana, Jelani Grey, Olha Onushkanets, Noemi Ramos, Jennifer Reardon, and Danielle Zambrano.
“This is a great opportunity for the class,” said Andrew Fouchey, instructor of the nursing class. “We get to see on the government level how Monmouth County is coordinating the vaccine procedures. It’s an important part of nursing education to be a part of this,” he said.
“We are in the middle of a pandemic, and nurses as well as nursing students want to be in the community helping others,” Fouchey said. Helping at the vaccination site gave Fouchey and his students that opportunity to help their community.
“I wanted to be a nurse to help others and that is exactly what I am doing today,” Ramos said. “This gives us nursing students the opportunity to work with each other as well as other healthcare professionals. It has been a great learning experience, and now we are a part of history.”
The students performed a number of tasks while volunteering at the vaccination site. “We have been educating those who have come to get a vaccine on what to expect with post-vaccine symptoms. We are also there to answer any questions and help reduce their fears,” said Zambrano.
“I have been calmly administering the vaccine under supervision,” Reardon said. “It’s been great to get the experience of administering the shot.”
“As a nurse, you need to remain calm because your presence is soothing for patients,” Fouchey explained.
“I’ve recently spent a lot of time at the bedside of patients just talking with them and holding their hand,” Dicorcia said. “This has been so important recently since patients can’t have any visitors but they want someone with them,” she said.
“I am really proud to help my community in this way,” Ramos said.
Graduates from Brookdale Community College’s Nursing Program earn an AAS degree in Nursing and are eligible to take the National Council Licensing Exam for Registered Nursing (NCLEX-RN) to become a Registered Nurse (RN). For more information about Brookdale’s Nursing Program, please visit www.brookdalecc.edu/nursing