GOLETA, Calif. -- Nursing students at California State University Channel Islands are volunteering at vaccination sites up and down the coast. The vaccination rollout is even helping them.
Hundreds of nursing students from CSUCI are lending a helping hand at Cottage Health in Goleta.
“At the clinic they are checking people in, and they are doing the injections, and they are documenting as well,” said Jaime Lapeyre, Program Director of the Nursing Program at CSUCI.
Courtney Pagel is one of the 250 nursing students at Cal State Channel Islands who is volunteering at vaccination clinics in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles counties.
“It is a great opportunity to be a part of such a big movement,” said Pagel. “It is like the next step forward to getting back to some normalcy.”
Rachel Stein is in her second year of the nursing program. She was eager to help with the vaccination process.
“I was very excited, and a little bit nervous just because it is different than the clinical setting in the hospital,” said Stein.
“The students are so eager to be out in the community and really get to utilize the things that they are taught in the nursing program,” said Lapeyre.
The pandemic made it difficult for nursing students to log clinical hours they need to graduate, but volunteering to administer vaccines is helping.
“We will be giving them some clinical hours for this, but they go above and beyond so they are here as much as they can be and so we will be giving them a little bit of credit... but they are all doing more than the credit that we give them,” said Lapeyre.
“I think that this is, hopefully, a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said Stein.