The UCLA Arthur Ashe Student Health & Wellness Center launched a series of free flu shots for five days on campus beginning Nov. 8. Students pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing-Masters Entry Clinical Nurse (MSN-MECN) at the UCLA School of Nursing administered shots to participating Bruins.
We didn’t know who would be more anxious about the shots — the patient or the nurse (for many of the nursing students it was their first time giving a shot to a living…err… cringing entity).
We caught up with nursing students Kiley Gunter, Taguhi Avetisyan and Natalie Sanaee to see what a hands-on experience was really like.
Mojo: Why a flu shot fair?
Kiley: The fair is important because it’s one of our first real experiences practicing what we learn in lab. It’s also important for people to be protected from the flu.
Mojo: How did your first “shoot” go?
Kiley: We were all a little nervous for our first flu shot clinic.
Taguhi: I was really excited but the first (day) was definitely nerve-wracking. Now I’m feeling confident.
Mojo: I heard you guys practiced on a hot dog. Is this true?
Natalie: Yeah, we practiced on hot dogs because they’re the most similar to human skin. The (sausages) come in a casing so when puncturing the casing it is like puncturing the subcutaneous layer of the skin. We even did the TB test and saw the bubble of fluid come out of the hot dog.
Kiley: It smelled a little weird in lab, but we were all able to take it seriously. We know that even though that it’s a hot dog, the next time will be on a person. And we want to be fully prepared as possible.
Mojo: What does puncturing skin feel like?
Taguhi: It honestly feels like nothing. The needles are super thin so you can’t even tell if they’re in (the skin).
Kiley: Puncturing skin feels weird. It strangely doesn’t feel like anything, the needle just kind of slips in.
Mojo: What other
victims objects did you guys practice on?
Natalie: We used dummies, fake arms, hand models and mannequins which were a bit tougher to inject into.
Mojo: How experienced do you have to be until you can start administering your own shoots? What’s the process like?
Gunter: They have us practice in our skills lab for three hours the week before, and the instructor goes around to make sure you’re using correct technique and not making any errors. And then we practice, practice, practice on these squishy pads they provide. We also had our TAs and faculty members overlooking us. We’re not being “tested” per se, but they are there to make sure everything moves smoothly, and to offer tips to students if they could improve their technique.
The last two flu shots will be held this Thursday, Nov. 29 at the Bradley International Center from 2:30 to 5 p.m. and on Friday, Nov. 30 at Anderson School of Management from 12 p.m. to 2:45 p.m., so get there because flu free is the way to be!
P.S. There is also a flu shot poster contest that graphic enthusiasts can enter.