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RIVEROAK Nursing Students Help Administer COVID Vaccinations

RIVEROAK students Kayla Jackson (left) and Alex Sullivan (right) helped administer COVID vaccinations last month in Lafayette County. -Photo: RIVEROAK Technical College

By TJ Vickers, RIVEROAK Community Relations Specialist

Live Oak, Fla., RIVEROAK Technical College (RTC) Practical Nursing students, in partnership with the Suwannee and Lafayette County Departments of Health, continue to assist in administering COVID-19 vaccinations in Lafayette and Suwannee County.
In total, the students helped administer over 2,300 vaccinations according to the Health Department in Suwannee and Lafayette.

“The partnership DOH-Suwannee shares with RIVEROAK Technical College has proven many times to be extremely beneficial,” said Kerry S. Waldron, Administrator, Department of Health for Lafayette and Suwannee Counties. “Their assistance with our COVID-19 vaccination clinics has been a leading factor in our success of effectively and efficiently vaccinating our community. Their commitment to Public Health is encouraging and the skill sets they are learning will prove beneficial in their nursing careers.”

Waldron continued to sing the praise of the students. Waldron said, “I have to commend the RIVEROAK Technical College student nurses that volunteered their time to help. They stood up and stepped out. They were awesome. From the time they arrived to the time they left, they worked. They worked hard. Not once did I see them on their phones. They were courteous, professional, and very accommodating. When there was a lull, they looked for things to do. From wiping down chairs to monitoring patients, they were Johnny on the spot. Their assistance was invaluable.”

Practical Nursing student Lacey Patterson said, “It gave you a different outlook on it. When you have a little lady that is grateful to have this vaccination.” Fellow nursing student Tara Byrd added, “It blew my mind. We think we are a small town but to see the amount of people come out is incredible.”

Nursing Instructor Susan Morgan said, “It has been a great learning experience for the students and an opportunity to get clinical hours. This opportunity has let the students feel like they are giving back to their community.”

RIVEROAK Technical College Principal Mary Keen said, “We are thankful to the Suwannee County Health Department and Mr. Kerry Waldron for providing clinical opportunities to our Practical Nursing students and appreciate their continued support of all RIVEROAK’s healthcare programs. Our Practical Nursing students worked in simulation labs for clinical experience during the fall due to the epidemic and this experience affords our students the opportunity to interact and work with the community while honing their skill training. It’s a win-win partnership!”