I participated in the flu clinic held at Somerville Hospital on October 16, 2010. Five other KILN scholars, Sania Beckford, Djerica Lamousnery, Shiva Moshtagh, Hector Trilleras, and Anna Diane attended the event as well. The purpose of the flu clinic was to promote the significance of the influenza vaccine and vaccinate as many people in the community as possible by providing free immunization services. We worked with a variety of Somerville hospital staff nurses and other medical staff to assist people register and receive their flu vaccines. When we first got to the flu clinic, we helped draw up the vaccine into syringes as well as maintain inventory of the amount of vaccines we were using.
One of the aspects I enjoyed most was talking to each of the families. Getting to know them as well as their flu vaccination history was intriguing. It allowed me to assess the general reasoning as to why some people continue receiving the flu vaccine. Also, having the opportunity to review the health assessment forms helped me answer any of the families’ concerns and decide if they needed to seek a provider before obtaining their flu vaccine. Although we were not directly giving the vaccines, we helped with crowd control and were able to keep the hospital lobby very serene and organized. I strongly believe that our presence was instrumental on how smoothly the clinic was conducted and how quickly families were able to come in, get what they needed, and continue their day.
It was valuable to hear about each of the nurses’ individual efforts in promoting annual flu immunization to all of their patients. Aside from acquiring a greater understanding of community health and how challenging it can be to educate the public about becoming vaccinated this year, I realized how important it is to develop leadership skills in nursing to effectively educate the community.