March 7, 2021
FMU Nursing students pitch in to help with COVID-19 vaccinations
Francis Marion University Nursing students are doing their part in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students from FMU’s Department of Nursing are helping to administer vaccines in conjunction with MUSC Health-Florence Medical Center. They were at MUSC-Florence’s drive-through vaccination event at the Florence Center recently, and will be working at clinics around the region in the weeks and months to come, including the big clinic scheduled for March 5 at Darlington Raceway.
The students can give vaccines if they work under the supervision of FMU faculty members. That’s what is required by the South Carolina Board of Nursing. Their participation is part of a nationwide effort to mobilize more help in distributing the vaccines. At the same time it gives the students a real world taste of their chosen profession.
Senior Nursing student Lauren Knight of Florence called her first volunteer shift “an incredible opportunity,” and said it reminded her of why she decided to become a nurse.
“I saw hope in the eyes (of thousands) of people that day,” Knight says. “That’s something I haven’t seen in a long time and something I will never forget. … I feel honored that we, as FMU students, were able to be a part of such a huge initiative to fight COVID-19,” she says. “I’m honored to have been a part of making our community safer.”
Faculty members from FMU’s School of Health Sciences are pitching in, too. They’re providing guidance for their students, but they’re delivering vaccines, too.
Karen Gittings, the dean of FMU’s School of Health Sciences and a nursing professor, says the ability to take part in the fight against COVID-19 is a privilege for all involved
“It is truly an honor for our students and faculty to be involved in the vaccination efforts in the Pee Dee region,” Gittings says. “It gives the Department of Nursing at Francis Marion University the opportunity to serve our community and more than anything, we’re proud to be a part of this important moment in the fight against COVID-19.”
The MUSC clinic is part of a larger campaign that involves mass vaccination events and clinics across the Pee Dee. FMU students have been working at other sites and will continue to do throughout the spring. So far, the students have administered more than 2,000 COVID-19 vaccines in Florence, Marion, and Marlboro counties since mid-January.