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Waynesburg U. Nursing Dept. to assist WHS in COVID-19 vaccination roll out

Feb 8, 2021

Waynesburg University’s Department of Nursing will assist Washington Health System (WHS) administer COVID-19 vaccinations throughout Greene and Washington counties in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s distribution guidelines.

“As WHS began planning to expand COVID vaccine access for local residents, we knew that we would need a team of professionals to help us,” said Barb McCullough, vice president of human resources at Washington Health System.

WHS was excited to learn that the University could assist us with staffing our new vaccine clinics, and it was a natural fit based on our ongoing partnership with the University."

Barb McCullough, vice president of human resources at Washington Health System

Nursing students and faculty will help staff the vaccination sites in order to help alleviate the demand for qualified health professionals, as WHS nurses are focused on caring for COVID-19 patients.

“We are beyond grateful for the service and healthcare that WHS frontline staff has been providing throughout the coronavirus pandemic. It has been a long road for them, and we are glad our nursing students and faculty can help alleviate the additional workload of manning vaccination sites,” said Stacey Brodak, vice president for institutional advancement and university relations at Waynesburg University.

This experience will provide students with opportunities to participate in mass immunization clinics in the community under clinical faculty supervision, as well as apply principles of population health in a real-time setting. A four-person team is required to inoculate one person, and nursing students will be trained to fill each role. Students of other majors may also fill other various roles, creating an opportunity for cross disciplinary volunteer work.

In preparation, nursing students participated in a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Simulation on Friday, Feb. 5, and Monday, Feb. 8, on the campus of Waynesburg University. The overall goal of the simulation was to foster student confidence and competence in preparing for participation in the community vaccination clinic.

“Nursing programs throughout the nation have been highly encouraged by the National Council State Board of Nursing and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing to actively engage nursing students in this learning opportunity,” said Nursing Department Chair Dr. Kathy Stolfer, who developed the simulation in coordination with Dr. Sara Clutter, professor of nursing. “We are proud to step-up as an active partner in the monumental task of community-wide vaccinations, reflective of our commitment to the Waynesburg University mission.”

The partnership between Washington Health System and Waynesburg University began several months ago as WHS provided medical expertise for the University’s comprehensive health and safety plan for continued operations during the COVID-19 era.

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