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Idaho college students help healthcare workers administer COVID-19 vaccine

“Nursing students are kind of a source of untapped potential," one student said. "we are waiting hands, ready to jump in and help."

BOISE, Idaho — Many university medical students all over the country have experienced a decrease in clinical hours because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

But the release of the COVID-19 vaccine has created opportunities for students to get hands-on experience.

In Idaho, universities have teamed up with hospitals and health groups throughout the state to allow students to help in the vaccination process.

Dr. David Peterman, CEO of Primary Health Medical Group, noted that now more than ever nurses in the Boise area are very difficult to find. 

Because of the shortage, Primary Health's director of nursing worked with Boise State University to put a call out to all nursing students willing to step up to help out with vaccinations.

“We are in the process of vaccinating healthcare providers, and there are literally thousands in the Treasure Valley that need vaccinations,” Peterman said.

Boise State nursing student Shayla Worcester told KTVB that she just wanted to help out.

“Nursing students are kind of a source of untapped potential," Worcester said. "we are waiting hands, ready to jump in and help. We see nurses and doctors on the front lines battling this alone and we can’t really do anything but we have the knowledge, we have some of the skills, and we are learning alongside, it’s so important to be able to put that to use."

On Tuesday, 15 students from Boise State University underwent a second day of new employee orientation at the Primary Health clinic in Garden City. After five days of training, most will be ready to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. All students have completed immunization or injection training.

Boise State students are not alone in their efforts to be part of the solution to COVID-19. Idaho State University pharmacy students have also paired up with hospitals throughout the state to administer vaccines.

“Honestly, it is truly amazing that we can really make an impact as a student, which, a lot of the times you don’t get a chance to make that impact, and it's just an amazing opportunity where we can gain clinical skills,” said ISU pharmacy student Elise Capson.

Added Worcester: “We are going to go into it ready we are going to go into it prepared and well-versed in what we are doing so I think that people should not be wary of it and just go for it."

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