Campus News

Nursing students to assist with meningococcal vaccinations

The SERF is expected to close permanently late this summer before being torn down and replaced.

Image By: Nithin Charlly

After two UW-Madison students contracted meningococcal disease, more than 80 nursing students will volunteer to administer vaccinations beginning Thursday at the SERF.

According to Dr. Pam McGranahan, an assistant clinical professor at the UW-Madison School of Nursing, first-year students will be conducting screenings and managing crowd control while second-year students will be the immunizers.

“It’s a great opportunity to walk the talk and show people what nurses really do which is, we step up,” McGranahan said. “When the community’s at risk, we step up.”

The vaccination will be for meningococcal serogroup B, which can lead to meningitis—an inflammation or swelling of the brain tissue lining and spinal cord. Meningitis is rare, but if contracted it can be fatal.

Kyrstin Wickman, a first-year student who plans on volunteering, thinks this opportunity will provide very good experience.

“This is what we do as nurses, we go into the community, we help people, we serve who needs to be served and jump in as first response,” Wickman said.

McGranahan said most of the students who volunteered to be immunizers are from the nursing school and that she has little fear they’ll be able to manage the situation. All of the students administering shots have prior experience doing so.

“The real skill in nursing is thinking like a nurse,” said McGranahan.

The first opportunity to receive vaccines will be Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the SERF. The remainder of the schedule can be found here.

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