Trainee nurse learns from mass vaccination campaign

A trainee-nurse says participating in the December 5-6 mass vaccination programme has added to her experience of the work nurses do on a daily basis.

Vene Tauta Talolua, a 21-year-old from Afega who is currently doing her second year in the four-year programme at the National University of Samoa, said in an interview with the Samoa Observer that the two-day vaccination programme has worked out well for her.

She said she initially had reservations about joining the vaccination programme, but then noted that all nursing students were invited to become volunteers in the project.

 “This is my second year in the programme and I have to take four years to complete the programme,” she said.

“Well at first I did not want to take part in it, but when I think I am a nursing student and I should take part in it.”

Her participation enabled her to learn more about the work of nurses on a daily basis 

“Volunteering for mass vaccination campaign was a good idea for me because I have learned what nursing is all about.”

But it was not all smooth sailing on the frontlines of the measles epidemic, with Ms Talolua revealing that one challenge she came across was the abuse that families of patients subjected medical staff to.

To address the concerns that families of patients have – which often result in them abusing health workers – the trainee-nurse said public advocacy of the work of health workers including doctors and nurses would help.

The experience of participating in the Samoa government’s two-day mass vaccination program also gave her some insights on how to do better in her studies. 

“I gained some skills and knowledge from looking at how the nurses vaccinated the public and also knew who to get vaccination and not,” she added.

Getting into the nursing profession was not a mistake for Ms Talolua, who said it was her high science assessment marks that compelled her to take up the four-year study program.

“I study business studies and science but all my schools results science is the best subject for me, so I decided to take it,” she said.

“Learning how to store the vaccination liquor which is required to be stored in a cool area and how to measure the amount need to use for the patient.”

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