Fife’s future nurses and carers are playing a key role when it comes to delivering the Covid vaccine.
Healthcare students have learned how to give jabs and are already working on the frontline at sites across the region.
NHS Fife said their contribution to the “unprecedented” vaccination programme was proving invaluable.
The students are all members of Fife College’s care and administrative practice and health and social care courses.
Their training usually involves several mandatory placements in settings such as hospital wards or care homes.
But the pandemic has limited their availability, so helping with the jabs is giving vital experience.
All were trained by NHS professionals before they were allowed to give the vaccine.
‘Amazing to feel part of something’
Jennifer Colling from Torryburn is one of those taking part.
She said: “The training was really useful and administering the vaccine is a new experience from what I’d done before.
“It’s amazing to feel part of something that feels historic and that might provide the solution to a situation that’s changed so many lives over the past year.”
Heather Smith, from Dunfermline, is planning a career in adult nursing and welcomed the extra training.
“The training was really thorough and we learned a lot about the Pfizer and Oxford Astra Zeneca vaccines before getting the chance to go in and do clinical practice under supervision,” she said.
“It’s been great to help out with the process and everyone I’ve seen has been really grateful and appreciative.”
Kirsty Doig, a student from Dalgety Bay is enjoying being part of the fight against the virus.
“The coronavirus has had such a massive impact and I wanted to get involved in anything that could help get things back to normality,” she said.
“It’s been great to meet so many people through the process and talk people through getting their vaccine.
“Everyone has been so grateful to receive it.”
NHS Fife and Fife College have also welcomed the students’ input.
Director of nursing Janette Owens said the effect of Covid-19 on Scotland’s healthcare services was well documented.
“However, it is important to recognise the considerable challenges the pandemic has brought about for our future nurses and other healthcare professionals and the ability to gain the necessary skills and experience,” she said.
“The ongoing Covid vaccine programme is unprecedented in its size and scale and is moving at a quite incredible pace.
“With many thousands of local people getting vaccinated every week, this has provided a unique opportunity for healthcare students to gain useful practical experience in a fast-paced, clinical setting.
“In addition to supporting their learning, the students involved in the vaccination programme have made a particularly valuable contribution in the efforts to protect the local population against the effects of Covid-19.”
Hazel Brannigan from Fife College said she was proud of the students.
She said: “We’re so proud of them and are delighted to see Fife College students helping out in the community.
“I have no doubt this work will prove to be invaluable as they go on to university and for when they eventually qualify in their chosen field.”