TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Health care providers are trying to use as many resources as possible to help administer the COVID-19 vaccine. One resource that health care providers in East Texas are using is pharmacy students at the University of Texas at Tyler. These students are already making an impact.
In the fight against COVID-19, heroes have been created. As the vaccine continues to roll out, more of them are needed. At UT Tyler’s School of Pharmacy, those heroes are stepping up to the occasion well before they step up to the podium for graduation.
“As the needs of the community have evolved and shifted throughout the pandemic, our interns have been there in various ways to help support that need,” said Dr. Pamella Ochoa, UT Tyler’s Associate Dean of Experiential Education.
One of those ways is assisting pharmacies that are in dire need of help with day-to-day operations, like Cody Drug in Sulphur Springs.
“When some of our employees got quarantined, whether they were sick or quarantined because of their family members, we were short employees, and that helped fill that void when we were out,” said Cody Drug Pharmacy Manager Randy White.
Another is administering vaccinations all across East Texas, something first-year pharmacy student Amanda Ruesewald says is an invaluable experience for her career.
“I have learned more over Christmas break doing these vaccine clinics than I would have experienced otherwise in my year of rounding,” said Ruesewald.
The program is giving their students fast and real experience that is saving lives while making them better job candidates after graduation.
“Students like myself, we are getting experience that other students prior to this weren’t getting. I think we are going to come out stronger as a result, because we are having to adapt to a new way of playing these roles,” said Ruesewald.
The students have been helping vaccinate patients at three different sites in East Texas.