Faculty and students from The University of Southern Mississippi School of Nursing partnered with the Mississippi State Department of Health to provide more than 2,500 H1N1 vaccines to Pine Belt area schools during the month of November.
School of Nursing faculty members supervised nursing students in both voluntary and clinical activities alongside public health nurses and staff from the state Department of Health. The voluntary immunization effort was administered to elementary, middle and high school students.
“Nurses are on the front line of disease prevention and this gave us the chance to involve our nursing students in a mass prevention campaign,” said Dr. Karen Saucier Lundy, professor in the Southern Miss School of Nursing. “Everyone wins in such a joint effort.”
In order to coordinate the massive immunization effort, SON faculty created a Facebook site for nursing students interested in providing the swine flu vaccines. Through the use of Facebook, students could quickly determine the immunization schedule, faculty contacts and school assignments.
“Southern Miss nursing students quickly volunteered to provide vaccines for our local schools once the program was organized,” said Lundy. “They are very busy with classes and clinical schedules and yet gave of their time in order to meet the needs of the community.”
Southern Miss faculty and nursing students administered vaccines in the following area schools:
• Petal Primary, Elementary and High schools
• Sumrall Middle and High schools
• Oak Grove Lower and Upper Elementary, Middle and High schools
• Northeast Jones High School
• Purvis Upper Elementary, Middle and High schools
• Laurel Oak Park Magnet School
• Camp Shelby, Youth Challenge Program
Southern Miss faculty who supervised nursing students and administered vaccines included Lundy, Kathy Johnson, Mary Hossley, Sherry Hartman, Sharon Easterling and Alicia Ishee.
“We are proud of our nursing students,” said Hossley. “This gives them the opportunity to get involved in the community and also to communicate with other health care personnel who work in different settings for nurses.”
According to the state Department of Health there have been nearly 1,300 confirmed cases of H1N1 swine flu in Mississippi since May 15. For more information about swine flu immunization, call 1-877-222-9358 or visit www.msdh.ms.gov.
To learn more about the Southern Miss School of Nursing, call 601-266-5445 or visit http://www.nursing.usm.edu/.
University of Southern Mississippi School of Nursing students assisted the Mississippi State Department of Health in providing H1N1 vaccines to more than 2,500 area elementary, middle and high school students during the month of November. (Submitted photo).
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.