A vaccine clinic located in the main lobby of the University of Guelph-Humber (UofGH) building is bringing Humber College and Guelph-Humber students closer to the community in its time of need.
William Osler Health System partnered with Humber and Guelph-Humber to administer COVID-19 vaccines to residents of North Etobicoke.
Bachelor of Nursing students were tapped to administer vaccines at the clinic, which provides unique and valuable work-integrated learning experiences for students from several healthcare and business-related programs at Humber College.
UofGH Kinesiology students are performing clerical duties alongside their Humber peers, asking screening questions and helping patients check in and out.
“The University of Guelph-Humber is very proud to partner with Osler and Humber to provide a community vaccination clinic in Etobicoke for eligible residents,” said Interim Vice-provost and Chief Academic Officer George Bragues.
“It’s a great opportunity for UofGH to support the community and contribute to the overall vaccine rollout in Ontario in our efforts to overcome COVID-19.”
The clinic demonstrates Humber’s commitment to polytechnic education and career-ready grads who mill make a difference.
"Many students will benefit from practical, real-world experience administering vaccines at the clinic and be able to gain required work-integrated learning experience for their programs," said Humber president and CEO Chris Whitaker.
"This partnership also provides the community with access to COVID-19 vaccine shots in a safe, convenient place."
The sense of community at Humber College set its Bachelor of Nursing program apart from other colleges and universities for student Caitlin Troughton. She is one of the students working at the vaccination clinic as part of their clinical experience.
Troughton’s instincts were right. She also appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with her peers on practical assignments.
“At Humber, we’re always working with each other rather than being on your own in a competitive environment. I also kept hearing that Humber students were getting hired because they graduated from the college, so the community supports the program, too,” said Troughton.
She went into nursing in part because of her own roller coaster healthcare experiences. Troughton felt that she would be able to offer the kind of care she would like to receive.
As she heads into her third year of the degree program, she’s practicing skills she learned in the classroom and picking up new techniques at the clinic.
“The Osler Humber Vaccine clinic has provided our second-year Bachelor of Nursing students valuable experiential learning. Students have embraced multiple learning opportunities,” said Associate Dean and Director of the Office of Experiential Learning, Sandra Filice.
"In particular the opportunity to work collaboratively with Vaccine Clinic Team members supports the role of the Registered Nurse now and in the future.”
Troughton vaccinates, documents and asks screening questions. After patients are vaccinated, they must stay at the location for 15 minutes for observation. Troughton and her peers use that time for healthcare promotion and wellness check-ins. They’ve even helped draw up the vaccine with pharmacy professionals.
The students also consult with physicians to ensure the patient is cleared for vaccination.
“From an educational point of view, it’s been very exciting. We learn so much that way,” said Troughton.
“The profession is incredibly versatile.”
She and her peers in the program receive extensive orientation, but she was still a little nervous when she stepped into the clinic for the first time.
Soon, those feelings were replaced by a sense of accomplishment. She knew she was building a strong foundation for a meaningful career.
Alumni on the frontlines
Humber students and alumni are fighting COVID-19 and aiding in the rollout across the healthcare sector. Pharmacy Technician grad Jennifer Antunes was among the first pharmacy technicians to administer a vaccine in Ontario since the Ontario College of Pharmacists added vaccination to technicians’ scope of practice.
“I was a little nervous because I was vaccinating one of the nephrologists at Sunnybrook Hospital. Of all the people to vaccinate, it was not only a doctor but a specialist!” she said.
Antunes has a running tally of well over a thousand patients vaccinated. She enjoys the process, including educating those who may be vaccine hesitant.
She remains involved with the Humber Pharmacy Technician program as part of the Program Advisory Committee.
“I hope the government and the Ontario College of Pharmacists realize that technicians are a great resource, and the vaccinations may open up our scope in the future,” she said.
For more information about the Osler-Humber College COVID-19 vaccination clinic located in the Guelph-Humber building, click here.