My name is Melissa and I’m a first year Global-Epidemiology student. I decided to apply for SORT because of the opportunities that were offered. This includes access to certain trainings, presentations from public health professionals, and chances to nerd out (ex: the first meeting’s icebreaker was to name a favorite disease or ailment. Awesome.).
In addition to all of those great opportunities SORT members are required to volunteer for 2 “responses” per semester. This semester there has already been an emergency drill at Emory University Hospital and a flu immunization clinic held at Emory Midtown Hospital. I decided to volunteer for the flu clinic.
The hospital was offering free flu immunizations for all employees and their families from 1:30~5:00pm and it was a big and busy event. The flu clinic took place both in- and outside the hospital. Inside there was a flu vaccine celebration! After receiving vaccine families were able to grab snacks and enjoy the afternoon listening to music, taking pictures, or taking part in various activities. There was a bouncy house, a man walking on stilts and spider-man doing backflips. There was also a spray paint tattoo station and a place to get balloon animals (where creations like Leonardo from TMNT were the standard).
Outside people drove through to receive their vaccinations. During the rush periods there were as many as three rows of cars about seven cars long lined up in front of the hospital. As cars pulled in volunteers provided them with the required forms to fill out and as they pulled forward nurses reviewed paperwork and administered the proper vaccines (nasal mist or injection) over at the car. For the most part nobody had to leave the car making it quick and convenient.
The flu clinic was way beyond anything I expected. A lot of organization and effort went into planning the event and as a result allowed a large number of people to get vaccinated, and have a fun and positive experience. It was great to volunteer at such an event and see so many people turn out to get their family and themselves vaccinated against the flu!