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Student nurses fight flu

| Jan Adams

The College of Nursing and Health Sciences provides a variety of population health clinical experiences for nursing students through an academic/practice collaborative approach with Eau Claire City County Health Department.

Most recently, student nurses had the opportunity to learn about how mass immunization clinics are part of an emergency response effort to promote health and prevent an infectious/communicable disease, such as influenza. Influenza clinics are set up by Eau Claire City County Health Department with the goal to keep people as healthy as possible during the upcoming upper respiratory disease season especially against influenza given the surge of COVID-19 cases.

Students, Nicole Willmus, Kayla Thomas, and Brelynn Updike and Assistant Professor Pamela Guthman (pictured), along with Emily Ries, Emily Webster, Sara Heller, Elizabeth Galloway, Jenna Klemm, and Anna Larson all participated in the mass immunization flu clinic training held on Wednesday, October 21st. Nicole Willmus, Kayla Thomas, Brelynn Updike, Emily Webster, Elizabeth Galloway, and Jenna Klemm also participated with the setup and take down of the flu clinic, as well as administered flu immunization on Wednesday, October 28th, at the newly located Homeless Shelter located in the former grocery store site at the Shopko Plaza in Eau Claire. Additional students have been participating in the various walk-up and drive through clinics offered by the Eau Claire City-County Health Department.

With increasing demands on public health workers due to the pandemic, additional community volunteer help is needed to assist with flu prevention. The Eau Claire City-County Health Department initiated community organizing. As a result, UW-Eau Claire nursing faculty, Associate Professor Norah Airth-Kindree, DNP, RN responded to the call for volunteers to meet community needs. Dr. Pam Guthman also responded with her clinical nursing students, helping to meet the needs of the Health department and provide teaching together. 

The Center for Disease Control encourages the public to get a flu shot because flu vaccines reduce the risk of illness, hospitalization, and death. Getting a flu vaccine also saves healthcare resources for the care of patients with COVID-19. Dr. Guthman stated, “In addition, the flu clinics are also serving as a strategy to consider how future vaccinations may be offered against COVID-19.”

For information on future flu clinics, visit https://www.eauclairewi.gov/government/our-divisions/health-department/clinics/immunization-clinics/flu-clinics/-toggle-all/-sortn-EDate/-sortd-asc