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UCF Nursing Students Are on the Frontline of the Vaccination Effort in Central Florida

Photo: Delainey and Kate at the AdventHealth vaccine site on Feb. 5.
Photo: Delainey and Kate at the AdventHealth vaccine site on Feb. 5.

UCF has almost 200 student nurses from UCF’s main, Cocoa and Daytona Beach campuses who are serving at community vaccination sites. 

WMFE spoke with UCF Nursing Internship Coordinator Kate Dorminy and Nursing student Delainey Dietz about joining the vaccination effort.

Read the full interview below. 

Danielle: So Kate, what safety precautions are in place at the sites?

Kate: All of the sites that we've participated with are invoking the CDC guidelines by way of making sure obviously, no one is ill that is participating in those events. Everyone is wearing a mask and social distancing. There are plenty of equipment available by way of safety with gloves, hand sanitizer, washing of hands. Masks as I had mentioned, as well wipes, very safe all the things.

Danielle: What kind of screening do you perform before people can actually get inoculated?

Kate: The partners themselves perform screening to determine eligibility, eligibility set forth by the CDC, and the state on who is acceptable within that tier to receive a vaccine. Then there's additional questions that are also inquired by way of making sure the person is not currently ill with a fever, making sure that they haven't had a recent vaccination, any type of vaccination within the past few weeks, haven't received any antibodies or other convalescent infusions within the past 90 days. All of that detail is a part of the registration process.

Danielle:  What's been the response so far from people after they get their shot?

Kate: The response at large is gratefulness, tears of joy. I had one client who came through just last week, who was saying maybe this means I'm one step closer to seeing her daughter in Denver.

Delainey: Yeah going off of that there were so many more people than I expected that, you know, have been inside since quarantine started. And I didn't realize you know, how they've been inside all this time trying to protect themselves. And this gives them hope that they'll be able to return to life as normal again, there was one or several people who were recording themselves while they got the shot or asked for pictures. And it was, their excitement was just so palpable, it was a really great experience.

Danielle: How will this shape you as as a nurse, and what's it like starting your healthcare career during this pandemic?

Delainey: It's, it's crazy a year ago, I never would have expected it to be like this. And to be a nursing student during this time and have the opportunity to administer these vaccines. It's, it's making a huge impact on my, you know, my nursing outlook and everything. I feel like I want to go into the field, realizing the impact that we can have, just by seeing all the people that we've given hope to by helping administering these vaccines.

Danielle: And I guess for both of you, ladies, let's just wrap it up by talking about what's it been like to be part of this historic effort to reach herd immunity in this country?

Delainey: I didn't know that we would have this opportunity when we first started this semester, and then it came about and it was just so exciting to be a part of it.

It's definitely unforgettable. And this is a very awesome opportunity.

Kate: Every day, every day that we are able to give vaccines by the thousands. And as we hear future potential opportunities that are being planned. It's all great news because it's just impacting, you know, so many and we can't wait till it impacts the majority of us.
If you'd like to listen to the full conversation, click on the clip at the top of the page.

Danielle Prieur covers education in Central Florida.