Picayune teachers get flu shot

Published 2:40 pm Friday, October 2, 2009

About 300 staff members with the Picayune Municipal Separate School District received seasonal flu shots over the course of two days.

The shots were administered by Pearl River Community College nursing students under the supervision of Highland Community Hospital staff and PRCC nursing instructors. The shots did not cover the H1N1, swine flu, virus. The vaccines for that strain of flu, which is causing a pandemic, won’t be available until later this month.

School district Support Services Director Jerry Bounds said the shots are offered to the district’s teachers every year, free of charge.

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“This is a good program offered to the school employees,” Bounds said.

As a result, nursing students also get a chance to practice administering shots to real people. PRCC Nursing Instructor Amy Daley said the students practice on mannequin hips and practice pads prior to ever administering shots to people. Giving shots to school district staff is part of the nursing student’s clinical training. Before a student can administer a shot to a person, the student must pass a certain level of tests.

Daley estimates that between the two days the shots were offered, Wednesday and Thursday, about 300 shots would have been administered to the school district staff members. Most of the shots were given on Wednesday, or about 260.

“We stay in hospitals a lot, but it’s good to provide to the communities that we serve,” Daley said.

Another part of the nursing students’ clinicals deals with working in local hospitals, including Highland, NorthShore Regional Medical Center, Hancock Medical Center and Forrest General. Daley said the students will rotate between all of those hospitals during the course of their schooling.

“We have them all around so they get a varied experience,” Daley said.