SAN MATEO, Calif., November 20, 2020—Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts’ Vocational Nursing (VN) students and staff from the San Mateo Campus participated in community service, providing Flu shots at free clinics, Friday, November 13.
VN Clinical Coordinator Sashi Bir and eight of her students collectively administered immunizations at Samaritan House locations in Redwood City and San Mateo. The volunteer group delivered 70 free flu shots. The 2.5-hour service window provided VN-time management, working within the nursing process, potential Side Effects (SE), documentation reinforcement, and safe Intramuscular (IM) administration during the outreach, said Krystie Matthews, VN Didactic Instructor.
During a routine clinical site visit to Samaritan House, Bir met with Rob Mabe, Samaritan’s Associate Director of Clinic Operations. When he mentioned to Bir that Samaritan was looking for volunteers for an upcoming clinic, Bir considered her students’ opportunity and experience and offered help. Mabe then connected her with Jenny Saba, Samaritan House’s Associate Director of Volunteers and Engagement. Within a short time, Bir, who received overwhelming responses—had all the volunteers needed.
“Engaging in community service provides students with the opportunity to become active members of their community and has a lasting, positive impact on society at large,” said Bir. “Community service or volunteerism enables students to acquire life skills and knowledge, as well as provide a service to those who need it most.” Bir cites expected outcomes for students participating in community service programs, including comprehensive benefits in three main areas: psychological, social, and cognitive. Psychological because volunteerism adds to overall life satisfaction and helps one feel good about oneself. Social because they form strong bonds with the populations served. Cognitive because students enhance their knowledge, grow from new experiences, and develop better interpersonal communication skills.
Of the volunteer effort, Fred Faridian, San Mateo Campus Director at Gurnick Academy, said, “We have established a strong working relationship with the medical community. When the county approached us for volunteers to help with the COVID-19 outbreak at a local facility, our students rose to the occasion and provided much-needed help. This event led to the county recommending us to other medical facilities when looking for help and volunteers. I truly admire their focus to help the community during these challenging times.”
Burke Malin, Gurnick’s Chief Operating Officer, adds, “Our connection and support of San Mateo County Health is important to us especially because their focus is on the county’s underserved population. I also happen to sit on the Board of the San Mateo County Health Foundation, so I know how important support from institutions like ours is to the overall quality of life in the communities we serve.”
And as a follow-up, Bir said ten of her students would be volunteering again this week in Samaritan’s Thanksgiving Annual Food Drive, Thurs., November 19, from 1–4 PM, at 812 Fifth Ave., Redwood City. Additionally, Bir’s students have already signed up to help in other Samaritan House clinics, planned for November 20 and December 4, 11, and 18. Gurnick Academy believes in giving back and is excited to find more opportunities to serve the local communities with their talents and time.
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Gurnick Academy is a private academy offering quality allied-health and nursing programs operating six (six) campuses in California with locations in San Mateo, Modesto, Fresno, Concord, Sacramento, and Van Nuys. Gurnick offers allied healthcare, nursing, and medical imaging programs, including vocational nursing, to over 2,500 students each year.
Contact: Cindy Chamberlin
Content Specialist Gurnick Academy