Students gain practical experience at flu shot clinic

School of Health and Wellness learners volunteer during this year’s flu immunization season.

Classroom learning shows a student one side of education. Putting that learning into practice in the real world adds another dimension to their wisdom and knowledge. Just a few weeks ago, 30 of our health care aide certificate and practical nurse diploma students went outside of the classroom and helped with the operation of a flu shot clinic to add to their medical knowledge. 

On October 17, 23, and 24, Imagine Health Centre, in partnership with Alberta Health Services and Bow Valley College, put on a free flu shot clinic. During these days, patients could come to ATB Hall in our South Campus and receive a flu shot for free. Our health care aide and practical nurse students who volunteered engaged with clients, prepared syringes, and helped physicians with what they needed. 

Although the students did not actually administer the vaccines, there were substantial learning opportunities for them. 

Practical Nurse Diploma learner Rajshre Malik was one of the student participants in the clinic. “Before, in my exams, I was just shaking when I was filling up the syringes,” she shares of the experience. “Now, after volunteering, I can fill them up no problem. I loved helping clients. It was the coolest experience because it’s what I want to do with my future.”

It is these types of experiences that Bow Valley College’s clinical coordinator Doreen Stewart and Imagine Health Centre manager Kat McKay are trying to curate through Bow Valley College’s involvement in the annual flu shot clinic. 

Doreen says that students’ involvement in these clinics helps build communication skills, confidence, and experience and gives them a networking opportunity to get their name known with a potential employer post-graduation.  “The learners will receive co-curricular credits to their portfolio upon completing this which will benefit them in employability options once they graduate,” she says. 

Imagine Health Clinic manager Kat is thankful to have some of Bow Valley College’s students to help the days go smoothly. “It really helped us. The students absolutely loved it. They like to be involved and it gives them that little bit of experience of the medical side of what we do in a flu clinic. I really appreciated them.” 

Are you interested in getting an experience like Rajshre’s as you train for a career in health care? For information on how you can kickstart that kind of career, visit our website.

Posted on November 8, 2018

Story by Chad Baird, photos by Chris Bolin

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