Some students in Pitt-Greensburg’s nursing program received the COVID-19 vaccine through Excela Health, as they are on the front lines during the pandemic.
Kierin Sullivan, a junior nursing student and community assistant, received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Excela Health and shared her experience with The Insider.
“The hospital that we go to clinicals for, Excela, fortunately gave us the option to give us the vaccine. I got my first dose and get my second dose in a few weeks,” Sullivan said. “The process was really smooth. I went in with my signed paper, and only had a sore arm after.”
To try and understand how many of the nursing students have been vaccinated, The Insider interviewed Pitt-Greensburg’s Director of Nursing, Dr. Marie Fioravanti.
“I do not have the number of students yet. I would guess about half of the students. Once they complete their series of two shots, they are expected to upload the documentation of the vaccinations into a nursing online database called Project Concert. They know by first-hand experience how important it is to receive the vaccine to protect themselves, their families, and their patients,” Dr. Fioravanti said.
Other Pitt-Greensburg students have yet to be vaccinated. During the last week of January, the Pitt COVID-19 Medical Response Office (CMRO) sent out a survey to students asking them if they wanted to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. The survey included questions such as, “Have you received a COVID-19 vaccine already?” and “Do you want to receive a COVID-19 vaccine through Pitt?”
According to Jodi Kraisinger, who was appointed to the Resilience Steering Committee (RSC), a subdivision of the CMRO, to keep the Pitt-Greensburg regional campus in the loop of Oakland’s future plans, we may have a long way to go before other students receive vaccinations.
“Pitt is waiting for approvals from the state. Preparation, like the survey, is being done now so that when Pitt becomes approved and vaccines become available, there can be a seamless transition into vaccinating individuals,” Kraisinger said.
While this planning is taking place, the Pitt-Greensburg nursing department continues to prepare for when the vaccines are on hand.
“71 students in sophomore, junior and senior year are trained to administer vaccinations. They were also expected to do the online COVID training module prior to going to clinicals,” Dr. Fioravanti said.
However, who would get the vaccine first is unclear at this moment.
“It is my understanding that we will be expected to follow the state’s guidelines on administering the vaccines, once it becomes available,” Kraisinger said.
Students that are interested in getting vaccinated by Pitt should keep an eye on their emails and what the CMRO sends out. Regardless of their vaccination status, all students should continue to wear their masks, social distance, and only leave their house when they absolutely have to.