ESCONDIDO – Palomar College nursing students have helped administer the COVID-19 vaccine to San Diegans at one of North County’s vaccination sites located in the parking structure at Palomar Health’s downtown Escondido campus.
The nursing students are looking to get a certain amount of clinical hours as part of their nursing program. The chair of the Nursing Education Department, Julianne Van Houten, said in a statement to Palomar College, “that by the end of the semester all 136 students in the program will have rotated through the vaccination site.”
“To earn their nursing credentials, students must log 144 clinical hours during their first semester and 160 hours in their last three terms. Currently, only 25 to 50 percent of those hours have to be spent performing direct patient care,” the announcement also said.
San Diego County has a little over 1.1 million doses received and a little over 1 million doses administered to eligible patients, according to County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Services, Epidemiology and Immunization Services Branch.
As San Diego County continues to vaccinate eligible patients and gain more nurses to help administer vaccines, it puts the County on the right path to immunization.
Dr. Jack Kahn, the Interim Superintendent/President of Palomar College, said in an article by Palomar News, “I am really proud of the work and dedication of our nursing program faculty and leadership as they have been extremely diligent in resolving the challenges around providing clinical hours for our nursing students.”
Even before the pandemic, a lot of Palomar nursing students were able to get hands-on patient care experience. Jennifer Miller, a second-semester nursing student at Palomar College, got hospital experience last spring before the pandemic began and now has earned clinical hours at the vaccination sites and at COVID-19 screening-stations on campus.
Even though classes aren’t being held in-person, a lot of nursing students do feel this is really good experience that they are gaining.
“Aside from the fact that we want to be training in the hospital, given the situation we’ve been handed, this made it a little better,” said Miller.
According to an article published by the San Diego Union-Tribune, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced that it will allow fully vaccinated people to gather indoors with others who are fully vaccinated. Even if these people get exposed to the Coronavirus, they don’t need to quarantine if they don’t have symptoms.
As the County gets more nurses to help out at the vaccination sites and more people sign up for vaccine appointments, the better chance we see a sense of normalcy.
Schedule an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine nearest to you at one of the vaccination sites in North County.