More than 100 Belmont School of Nursing faculty and students and approximately 50 College of Pharmacy students and faculty staffed what Nashville Mayor John Cooper called a “watershed moment” for the city as it hosted a mass vaccination event on March 20 at Nissan Stadium.
Joining forces with city health officials and volunteers, Belmont representatives aided in 10,000 people receiving their Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination by the end of the event.
College of Health Sciences and Nursing Dean Cathy Taylor said, “This was an extraordinary opportunity to serve and learn alongside our public health colleagues and community volunteers. Our students demonstrated skill and caring typically expected of more seasoned professionals, and I couldn’t be more proud or inspired by their work.”
Nursing Instructor Martha Ezell recognized that Belmont students made great contributions to the event including putting patients at ease, taking time to offer assurance and careful explanations and even signing for a deaf patient. Beginning in the cold and dark at 5 a.m. and staying long past the last scheduled appointment when it was once again cold and dark, students and faculty stayed the course to see that every patient was served.
Mackenzie Race, P3 pharmacy student working toward her PharmD, said the day was a humbling and emotional experience. “After seeing our community lose so much over the past year, Saturday felt like a real step to making progress towards healing our city. Witnessing so many healthcare professionals come together and work as a team for the benefit of our community was astounding and something I will never forget,” she said. “I am so thankful that I got to serve the residents of Nashville alongside my colleagues at Belmont. I’d like to thank Dean Gregory for extending pharmacy students the opportunity to serve Nashville; it was an experience I will treasure for the rest of my life and carry forward with me in my professional career.”
Caroline Worley, P4 pharmacy student and Pharm.D. candidate, also enjoyed working alongside other healthcare professionals from different fields, knowing they all had a common goal- keeping patients healthy and helping each other through this pandemic. She said, “I learned how passionate the city of Nashville is about our own health and the health of those around us, even those we don’t know. Nashville is truly an amazing place to live with inspiring people in it.”
Dr. Lucyellen Dahlgren, assistant professor of nursing, commented on the students’ ability to interact with a diverse general public and emotions ranging from fear and trepidation to excitement and joy. With gratitude, she noted Belmont’s ability to participate in this historic event during the crisis of a pandemic, stating it was “a great learning event, time to share tasks as a team, and just an overall positive feeling of goodness.”
Varallo Public Relations also took several photos of Belmont students and faculty staffing the event, featured below.
Madison Thorn Photography provided several shots that illustrate the hard work put in by Belmont students and faculty, seen below.