By DEVON SMITH
Don’t get caught without your shot.
With flu season coming up fast, Conestoga’s Health Services department is offering free flu clinics to help keep students in school and out of bed.
The clinics have been taking place over the past two weeks at the Waterloo, Cambridge and Doon campuses.
Though the clinics are run by Health Services, it’s Conestoga’s nursing students who are wielding the needles. Select students from both the practical nursing program and the BScN degree program are giving the shots.
Second-year practical nursing student Shella Sheldrick was grateful for the experience. “It’s kind of nice to practise on a real person,” she said.
For someone who is not a fan of needles, it might not be all that comforting to hear that they are being “practised” on. But those attending the clinic on Nov. 4 had very few complaints.
In fact, even those who were nervous about getting pricked found that the nursing students had steady hands and a soft touch. Some didn’t even feel a thing … really.
Teresa Mcquillin is a health promotion nurse who works for Health Services and has been running the flu clinics on Doon campus. Mcquillin thinks it’s important for students to get the vaccine.
“It can take you out for a week or more if you get the real flu and, as a student, being sick for a week would be almost devastating,” she said. “So to have a sore arm, maybe, for a day or so, is nothing in comparison to getting the actual flu.”
Mcquillin is glad that students have flu clinics available to them on campus.
“It’s more accessible and the likeliness of getting the shot is much higher,” she said. “They can come, get their shot and go back to class or go back to work.”
Graham Moore did just that. The fourth-year mechanical systems engineering student, said, “I’m getting the shot so that hopefully I’ll stay well during exam time, that kind of stuff, and keep my edge.”
Mcquillin has been running the flu clinics for a few years now and says there are normally about 500 to 1,000 students who get the shot. With the additional clinic on the Cambridge campus this year, she is hoping for an even better turnout.
For those who want their shot but haven’t been able to make it out, it’s not too late.
There will be clinics at Doon campus today from noon until 4 p.m., and on Nov. 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., both in Room 2E04.
There will also be a clinic on the Cambridge campus on Nov. 29 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., in Room A3131, and one on the Guelph campus on Nov. 28, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., in Room C-6.