Boone County enlists future nurses to help run drive-thru flu clinics

Local News

BOONE COUNTY, Ill. (WTVO) — A Stateline county is looking to local students in an effort to keep the community healthy. Boone County is using nursing students to staff its flu vaccine clinics.

We spoke with health officials and students who say the opportunity is giving them an important look into their future careers.

One nursing student told us that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, she is eager to do more to help people stay healthy.

“Nursing is all about helping people out, helping the community, so I think it’s important that we’re here today,” said Bailey Houser, a senior at Saint Anthony College of Nursing.

Bailey Houser is a senior at Saint Anthony College of Nursing. She is one of several students helping administer flu vaccines at a drive-thru clinic hosted by the Boone County Health Department.

“It’s really important to get your flu shot always, but especially this year during Covid-19. We’re going to be going inside, the winter months are coming, and we’re going to be closed in, so you really want to get the flu shot,” said Sonia Eichstaedt, the Boone County Health Department’s Population Health Supervisor.

Eichstaedt says that partnering with local schools, including Saint Anthony’s and Rockford University, gives students a chance to earn hard to come by clinical hours, while also helping them lighten the load in the midst of a pandemic.

“Having the nursing students here today really helps out. They get to practice, and then we get to see what it’d be like if we need to dispense a large amount of medication or vaccine to the community in a timely fashion,” Eichstaedt added.

After she graduates, Houser is ready to be a frontline worker in the fight against COVID-19.

“Personally, that’s why I went into nursing. It doesn’t freak me out, it doesn’t scare me. I actually enjoy it. I want to be able to help people, and I think some people are afraid of Covid, and it’s nice to have people who aren’t like us students and people that want to get out there and help,” Houser said.

“I want to get in right away. I actually applied on the Covid floor at SwedishAmerican, so hopefully, I can get in there or the CCU or the ER. I want to be right in there, so I’m not afraid of it, I’m excited to start,” she added.

There will be another drive-thru clinic at the health department on Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Regular and high-dose vaccines are available.

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