University of Maryland School of Pharmacy students reflect on their role vaccinating patients after their first day working at the COVID-19 clinic at the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Southern Management Corporation Campus Center.
Jan. 13, 2021
Overall, the first day went very well. I went into the rotation open-minded and ready to serve the community. All the staff were very welcoming and appreciative of the help we pharmacy students were offering. After a couple vaccinations, I had a good workflow (except for forgetting to turn my light on and off when I was available or not). All my patients were honored and thankful to receive the vaccine. I believe this had a lot to do with most of them being in health care or health care students. I administered 26 vaccinations and am looking forward to doing more over the next five weeks. I’m ready for tomorrow!
Jan. 14, 2021
Today I encountered a patient with vasovagal syncope — a sudden drop in heart rate and blood pressure that leads to fainting — and a history of severe allergic reactions. She was very nervous about her possible response to this vaccine but understood the importance of getting the vaccine. She knew that the best way for her to get the vaccine was to be supine during the administration. By working with her, I was able to accommodate her needs in the clinic’s emergency reaction area where a hospital bed was provided. It was an important example of patient care and how patient comfort is a priority when administering health care. It highlights how avoiding increasing a patient’s anxiety is helpful in providing the best patient care. Also, it opened my eyes to realizing how when instituting an all-inclusive vaccine program, there will be rare cases like this that need to be planned for. The logistics required for this global undertaking simply astound me every day. Luckily, I was able to administer the vaccine and she had no negative side effects. It was a rewarding experience.
Jan. 13, 2021
Today was my first day being deployed at the COVID vaccination clinic. In the first hour, I was a bit nervous. It has been a couple of years since I administered injections, and although I have given hundreds of shots before, this felt different. I was mentally preparing for that first vaccine I would give for the day by reciting what information to ask and tell the participants and different steps to document the vaccination as well. By the end of my shift, I vaccinated 24 people, and every time someone said, “You’re so good, I didn’t feel a thing,” I smiled.
Jan. 14, 2021
There was a patient who said that she experiences vasovagal syncope when receiving vaccines. In preparation, she made sure to numb her right arm with ice before I administered the vaccine. A site lead was subsequently flagged down and a bed was prepared inside of the waiting area, after which I took all of the materials needed and administered the first dose there. Thankfully, the patient said she felt fine afterward. I then told her to continue to lie down for 30 minutes before exiting the building and left her in the care of three resource nurses. Today was definitely a rewarding experience since it was the first time that I had someone possibly having a reaction after vaccine administration. I know now what to do if such a situation occurs in the future.