More than one year into the Coronavirus pandemic, Texas Lutheran University Nursing students recently administered COVID-19 vaccines to eligible residents in Seguin. Held at the Seguin Events Complex in conjunction with the city of Seguin and Guadalupe Regional Medical Center, several students in the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program were able to be part of one of the most significant events of the last century. Through the clinic, 5,000 second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were given to individuals in groups 1A and 1B.
As a health care professional and educator, TLU Nursing Director Dr. Amie Bedgood participating at the clinic was an amazing experience that students were eager to be part of. Dr. Bedgood said they actually so many students who wanted to help, they had to cap the number of volunteers.
“This pandemic and vaccine distribution process has been a wonderful learning experience for our nursing students as they have seen firsthand what a pandemic looks like and the role that nurses and health care providers play in protecting the health and safety of the community,” Dr. Bedgood said. “It was encouraging to see many community members brought to tears at the opportunity to be vaccinated, as many had been living in fear over the past 11 months of the pandemic.”
Dr. Bedgood said she also repeatedly heard how organized the event was and how easy it was for individuals to gather at the event center, get vaccinated, and be on their way safely and in a timely manner.
“Seguin first responders—including nurses, firemen, law enforcement—community leaders, volunteers, and student nurses all pulled together to make this event a huge success,” she said. “I hope that students gained a broader understanding of what it means to serve others through the utilization of nursing skills and knowledge, gained while in the TLU nursing program, to improve the overall health of our community.”
Nursing major Esmerelda Olvera said she never imagined going through nursing school under these circumstances, let alone being on the front lines of vaccine distribution. “The interruption of education from face-to-face to remote learning has brought many challenges for us that we had to learn to adapt to,” she said. “However, I believe that living through these unexpected events will also give us new skills that we will be able to utilize in the future. Although most of our courses at TLU are online, I am grateful that we still have the opportunity to attend clinicals face-to-face.”
Olvera says the way the entire community united to safely and effectively distribute vaccines was wonderful.
“Every single person was willing to help,” she said. “Whether it was to administer the vaccines or to help bring in more supplies as they ran out, everyone was helping each other. There were some individuals I interacted with who asked where we were from and expressed how thankful they were for us being there. That makes me so happy because I was able to help make an impact in the community. I’m also very thankful they allowed us as student volunteers to also receive the vaccine. Offering the vaccine free of charge at a familiar place in the city of Seguin made it easy for the community to get there and also put the most vulnerable members first."