Once again Central Peninsula Hospital (CPH) administered nearly 400 flu vaccinations during their Drive-Through Free Flu Shot clinic Sept. 23. According to Dana McDonald, CPH Infection Preventionist, it was a great turnout on a perfect autumn day, “The best way to prevent influenza is to get vaccinated and that’s why for many years now CPH has sponsored the free flu shot drive-through clinic. We gave over 400 flu shots last year to anyone 6-months-of-age and older, and feel it helps the overall wellness of our community,” said McDonald. The success of the drive-through clinic being able to administer that many vaccinations in a short period of time is aided by the participation of the Kenai Peninsula College (KPC) nursing students.
“We are thankful that they are here. We really could not do this without them. They are the ones that give all the vaccines and do a fantastic job keeping the line moving quickly while being sure the simple one page form is filled out,” said McDonald.
Diana Honkola had only been studying nursing for a month and already was issuing pain free shots, “This is good experience, but before we can be here we have to pass a series of tests or check list that shows you have the skills to properly give a vaccination. I decided to go into nursing because I live here and the courses are offered at KPC (Kenai Peninsula College),” said Honkola. Robin Mayer is also a KPC student and was administering flu shots.
“This is an exciting opportunity for us and feels great knowing we are helping people stay healthy and avoid getting sick,” she said. One of Robin’s fellow KPC students and the only guy giving shots was former U.S. Marine Brian Stocks, “After doing combat medicine for five years in the Marine Corps, I figured nursing was a career I wanted. Sure I have more experience giving shots, but that was with Marines and we have to treat them tough, right?” laughed Stocks. The students did such a professional job that many who weren’t looking didn’t even know they had been vaccinated when it was over.