In March, roughly 16 Curry College nursing students started new jobs to help administer COVID-19 vaccines at local mass vaccination sites, including the Gillette Mass Vaccination site and the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston.
The opportunity to get involved in the state’s vaccine rollout came as part of the College’s partnership with Transformative Healthcare, which launched a unique emergency medical technician training program at Curry last summer. Today, Transformative Healthcare is leading in the state as one of the top mobile and onsite COVID-19 testing and vaccine administration services. To help meet the need for skilled healthcare workers at the vaccination sites, the healthcare company again partnered with Curry to hire more than a dozen nursing students as vaccinators for some of the state’s largest vaccination sites. Working part-time in eight or 12-hour shifts each week, the nursing students help vaccinate as many as 100 people a day to help meet the daily goal of 5,000 vaccinations.
As Director of Strategic Operations at Transformative Healthcare, Tyler Richards ’12 was instrumental in recruiting the Curry nurses to work in the vaccine rollout and says they will be critical workers as the operation expands to a goal of 20,000 daily vaccinations. “There’s a lot of work ahead of us, and Curry’s nursing students are professional, eager and ready to contribute to the state’s response to COVID-19 mitigation and eradication.”
Curry’s students are among many medical and nursing students working at vaccination sites, including peers from the UMass system, Boston University and Northeastern University. After completing 100 or more hours working as a vaccinator, vaccine prepper or patient assessor, the Curry nursing students will become eligible to receive company sponsored certification in courses like Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), and Advanced Medical Life Support (AMLS).
Nursing student Sophia Wiernusz ’23 was eager to take on the new role to earn some income and gain valuable experience. “What I enjoy most about being a vaccinator is the atmosphere. Everyone is happy and grateful to be there, and this job allows me to have an impact and help with the pandemic.” The sophomore from Collegeville, Penn. aspires to work as a nurse aesthetician or nurse practitioner after Curry. “One thing that I’ve learned from the faculty is that all of the instructors in the nursing program had to start somewhere with their first job, and it’s motivated me to seize opportunities like this one and run with it.”
The group of Curry students will work at the vaccination sites through the end of the spring with opportunities to stay on through the summer. “We hope they stay with us until the end of the initial vaccine distribution phase,” adds Richards. “We need all the help we can get, and we’ll take as many Curry nursing students as we can.”