The Central Texas College (CTC) Department of Health Sciences announced its nursing students will join forces with students from other area nursing programs to help staff the COVID-19 vaccination teams. CTC nursing students will start assisting the Texas Emergency Management System’s efforts in administering the COVID-19 vaccine from February 2 through April 27 at the Killeen site. Students will contribute in all three main phases of the operations - patient intake, vaccine administration and patient observation.

CTC along with nursing students from Temple College, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and Texas A&M-Central Texas are joining together upon the request of David Shaw, district coordinator II - 23 of the Texas Division Emergency Management in Killeen. “We are currently finalizing staffing plans specific to each of our program’s clinical rotation days” said Tammy Samarripa, department chairperson – CTC Department of Health Sciences. “Five to seven CTC nursing students and one faculty member will work four- to eight-hour increments each Tuesday. All CTC nursing students will be under the supervision of faculty instructors each shift as they would during clinic rotations.”

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic initially altered the traditional hands-on learning portion of nursing programs for CTC and other schools. “We adjusted rather quickly to adhere to COVID safety protocols and precautions to enable our students to maintain that vital hands-on component of our nursing program,” said Samarripa. “We have been able to continue with clinical rotations and the use of our simulation labs by adhering to these protocols. Thus, our students are very prepared to assist the vaccination sites as needed.”

Photo cutline: During the fall 2018 semester, a Central Texas College nursing student prepares a blood draw on a mannequin arm during a mock mass casualty drill.