The Salisbury Medical Practice contacted S6C to ask for student volunteers to help on Saturday 16th January with the Covid vaccination process. This was a very exciting opportunity for our students, particularly those who intend to progress in careers within Health and Social Care.
Our students had an amazing experience- which they have shared here:
‘On Saturday a couple of students including myself went to Salisbury cathedral to volunteer and help out with the first ever COVID vaccination clinic in Salisbury. The marshalls/volunteers went in the day before to have an induction of what roles we had to fulfil and to have a bit more knowledge of the area. We arrived early at 8 am to prepare for the first patient who was booked for 8:30 am and as we got ready a few camera men came to record the event. They provided us with hi vis vests, whistles, hand sanitisers and they had extra masks placed around the room in case we needed to change ours.
At first I was a bit nervous but after getting used to the role I got more comfortable speaking to the patients and the best part was how the patients were comfortable speaking to me about their worries, it was lovely being able to comfort them and in the end the event was very heartwarming. Mere, Sukriti and I went round giving stickers which said “I had my COVID vaccination” to the patients as the vaccination was something to be happy and proud of having, I was glad it put a smile on many faces.
Many patients had said that the Cathedral was an amazing place to hold the clinic as it was very spacious and the organ music entertained and calmed the patients down as they waited their 15 minutes before they could leave the venue. Although it was very tiring and my muscles ached after working 5 hours straight it was definitely worth it and the hours passed by so fast. Overall, I think it was an amazing experience and it was fun to be able to converse with the patients, I would certainly do it again if I had the chance’.
I volunteered at the COVID vaccination clinic in Salisbury cathedral at 1.30pm on Saturday 16th. It was very busy in the Cathedral grounds when I arrived and I was given a high vis jacket and PPE. The staff working there were all very friendly and welcoming, all patients I saw at the Cathedral were relaxed and happy to have their vaccine. Although it was non stop and very busy, everyone was calm and well organised.
My responsibilities were to keep an eye on the various vaccination stations to ensure they were never empty and to advise patients which station number to go to. I helped some less able bodied patients by pushing them in their wheelchairs to the vaccinator, and made sure any patient who was struggling with walking visited a closer station.
Also, Sky News were filming at the clinic in the afternoon. I can be seen in the live broadcast and in one of the photos they took on the day. Volunteering at the clinic really helped me learn how to work under pressure, multitask and follow instructions well as patients were constantly coming in so I had to watch all the stations to see which ones were available to keep things moving. At the end of the day I felt very happy that I had contributed to the vaccination programme.
The experience was great and it made me realise how real this global pandemic was like you see it on the news and people are losing their lives everyday and we are in a lockdown but it just opened my eyes more. On the day I was one of the people who would escort the people after they had the vaccination done to a seating area where they had to wait for 15 minutes after just as a precaution. I had to make sure they stayed the whole 15 minutes and got to speak to these people and make sure they were comfortable and simply just have conversations with them as they were old people and probably haven’t seen much of anyone. I was there for the first 5 hours and the press came in and talked to some people who had the vaccine done. I am lucky enough to say that I was a part of something like that as I could see how everything worked and how everyone made people feel as comfortable as they could additionally the fact it was held in our very own Cathedral was just incredible.