RRC nursing students will run this year’s free immunization clinics

By: Caitlyn Gowriluk

An employee demonstrates administering a vaccine at a WRHA neighbourhood outreach flu shot clinic on Oct. 25, 2017./CAITLYN GOWRILUK

Every flu season, Jessica Mistelbacher makes sure she gets her influenza vaccine. This year, the second-year Red River College (RRC) nursing student will also be administering them at the college’s annual flu shot clinics.

“It’s kind of exciting, with our clinical placements we don’t always get that opportunity,” said Mistelbacher.

Mistelbacher is part of a group of nursing students who have partnered with RRC to administer vaccines in the college’s flu shot clinics. This is the first year RRC has used its own students to run the clinics.

Mistelbacher says she thinks the new partnership with RRC students is long overdue.

“We have our own nursing students who are qualified and capable,” she said. “It’s a good opportunity for students to get that experience.”

Heather Temple, manager of Health Services at RRC, said the college’s flu shot clinics have been popular among students and staff.

“We usually get a good turnout when we do the flu clinics,” said Temple. “I think the message is getting out more in the public about how it’s good to get the flu shot.”

Since the provincial health authority expanded its guidelines to allow pharmacists to administer seasonal influenza vaccines to people seven years of age and older, Temple said she’s seen an increase in people getting vaccinated to protect themselves against the flu.

“It’s available more in the community and it’s more convenient,” said Temple. “People have a lot more options now to get the flu shot.”

Taylor Hirmann and Craig Fisher, second-year Business Administration students at RRC, are both planning to get their flu shots this year.

“It’s important,” said Fisher. “You just kind of endanger the rest of the population if you don’t get it.”

Last year, Hirmann and Fisher said they skipped getting vaccinated. They both got the flu.

“I’m normally pretty good about getting [the flu shot],” said Fisher. “After getting the flu last year, I’ll never miss it again.”

This year’s RRC flu shot clinics will be held on Nov. 1 and 2 at the Language Training Centre (123 Main Street) in the basement lunchroom from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and on Nov. 8 and 9 at the Notre Dame Campus (2055 Notre Dame Avenue) in room E308 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.