Madera Community College nursing students assisting with COVID-19 vaccination process

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Madera County Department of Public Health Department is in need of reinforcements.

A few days ago they started allowing residents 75 and older to get vaccinated, but they ran into some issues.

They needed more staff to assist with their goal of 400 immunizations per day.

A cohort of licensed vocational nurses from Madera Community College has now stepped in to help fill that gap.

"We have just been trying to help as much as possible, wherever needed," says Kimi Kato-Gee, Madera Community College Nursing Director.

Kato-Gee says students won't be administering the shot. Instead, they'll assist with patient care.

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"They can come and help with assessments and screenings as well as education and monitoring of the patients after they get their vaccinations," she said.

It's an opportunity for Rory Macmullin to get real-world experience and help protect the most vulnerable people in her community from the coronavirus.

"We get to get our clinical hours and this is something that we all enjoy doing," he said. "It is interacting with people and we get to use the skills that we are learning about."

Macmullin is one of the 12 volunteering with the Health Department.

While their assistance is a major help - Vaccination Branch Chief Susan Chudy says they need more backup - especially as they work to expand their vaccination efforts.

"We need a large team," she said. "We are looking for additional support."

Chudy says they have started a volunteer program and have already received an overwhelming amount of applications.

They'll look at expanding their clinic capacity as they get more doses of the vaccine.
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