A person receives a COVID-19 vaccination.

Brenau nursing students receive vaccine to help community

Jan 25, 2021
Kathryne Davis

Demi Jean-Baptiste learns how to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.Brenau held the first of several COVID-19 vaccination clinics for students in the Ivester College of Health Sciences’ Mary Inez School of Nursing on Tuesday, Jan. 19, to train those who are willing to volunteer their time to help vaccinate the larger community.

At the clinic on Brenau’s Norcross campus, students volunteered to be vaccinated and learned how to administer the vaccine. According to Brenau Nurse Practitioner Sarah Davis, the students will vaccinate over 1,300 community members the week of Jan. 25.

“We want to help those affected by the worldwide pandemic and stop the spread of COVID,” Davis said. “Teaching our students how to administer the vaccine and allowing them to go into the community will help the nation as a whole.”

Davis was recently certified to administer the COVID-19 vaccine and helped students during the clinics. She said it has been an emotional experience.

“For 10 months, my life has been dedicated to keeping us safe on campus and keeping our community, family and loved ones healthy,” Davis said. “And we can help do that with this vaccination. So for me, it’s an emotional experience as well as a professional experience. That makes me smile on the inside.”

Sarah Davis watches a student with a COVID-19 vaccine.Demi Jean-Baptiste, who started Brenau’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in fall 2020, says the clinics provided a valuable hands-on opportunity that she had yet to experience due to the classroom changes with COVID-19.

“I know a lot of other schools were having difficulty finding clinical hours,” she said. “Fortunately for us, Brenau has been able to provide us with the different clinical hours that we needed. This is just a different setting where we could get the extra experience volunteering at a facility, administering vaccines and dealing with the patient firsthand. We’ve all been enduring this pandemic, so I wanted to do my part and help out in any way.”

Jean-Baptiste also wanted to participate because she hopes it will give her family members the confidence to get the vaccine.

“This is what’s going to help us all move forward,” she said. “I’m proud to be a part of the group getting the first set of vaccines. I wanted to show my family that I’m OK, and it’s going to be OK for them to get the vaccine when it becomes available to them.”

Family was one of the many reasons Cappreese Crawley, who is in her second year of the ABSN program, decided to get the vaccine. Her mother has health issues, and Crawley knows multiple people who have died after being infected with COVID-19.

Ernestina Ayamba learns how to administer vaccines.“I’m African American and have seen how this virus has wreaked havoc in my community,” she said. “I’m so concerned about bringing the virus home to my mother. I just felt like this was a great opportunity to serve the members of my community, but it was personal as well. I want us to get better.”

Crawley said it’s an honor to be able to sign up and learn how to administer the vaccine for the virus that has impacted everyone around the world.

Laura Hart, interim undergraduate chair of nursing, said that nursing exists to serve the community and the clinics give students hands-on experience that will show them what nursing is all about.

“The students are in the midst of their clinicals and classes,” Hart said. “That’s already very stressful, and we’re asking them to go out and spend hours of their time helping to fight COVID and get the community vaccinated. I am very proud that they’ve offered to step up and help out.”