TCU flu shot clinic to offer free vaccinations for students, faculty



FILE – In this Jan. 12, 2018, file photo, Ana Martinez, a medical assistant at the Sea Mar Community Health Center, gives a patient a flu shot in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

By Sarah Walter, Staff Writer

With flu season underway, TCU nursing will hold its annual flu shot clinic, helping to keep the TCU community healthy while providing nursing students with an opportunity to practice giving vaccines.  

The clinic will be held on Oct. 19 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Campus Recreation Center. 

Flu season begins in October and lasts through mid-May, with a peak around February, according to the CDC. Ashley Knuteson, a senior nursing major and the clinic’s plan coordinator, said the clinic’s timing will protect students who go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas break. 

Flu shots are free for all TCU students, faculty and staff. While walk-ins are welcome, registration is recommended to guarantee a shot.

To reserve a spot, students can complete this short form. Three time slots are available: 8-11 a.m., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 2-4 p.m. Registration will be open until 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

The clinic will have approximately 3,500 flu vaccines. COVID-19 boosters will also be available. 

Sharon Canclini, assistant professor of professional practice in the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, said the free shots will help keep TCU safe during what will likely be a severe flu season.

“We’re not masking now, and masking, while it protected us from COVID, also protected us from flu and RSV and all the other respiratory viruses,” Canclini said. “It’s already peaking higher at this point than it was last year at this point, so it’s going to be a big year.”

The 2022 TCU Flu Clinic flyer. (Courtesy of the TCU Flu Clinic)

Practice for students

Along with keeping TCU safe, the clinic allows nursing students to practice administering shots. 

Junior and senior nursing majors can volunteer after proving their ability to give immunizations. Knuteson said this gives students the hands-on experience they may not get during clinicals.

“Having this vaccine clinic available for nursing students to practice on humans is so important to them and their learning abilities,” Knuteson said. “I think it really allows nursing students to feel more confident in their skills.”

Even though students administer the vaccines, junior nursing major Devina Bueschel said it’s like getting a flu shot from a pharmacy or doctor’s office.

“I’ve gone for the past two years to get my flu shot at the TCU clinic,” Bueschel said. “I’m deathly afraid of needles, but they have been able to calm me and do it very quickly and I’ve had no pain there. It’s been a good experience.” 

A nursing student administers a flu shot at the 2017 clinic. (Photo by Lauren Crawford)

In August, around 20 senior nursing students began planning the clinic as a project for their public health clinical course. Canclini said planning and running the clinic shows students a different side of healthcare.

“Their job is to run the whole clinic so that they can see the big picture,” Canclini said. “It’s not just giving one vaccine to one person. It’s giving 3,500 vaccines to a community.”

To avoid catching the flu, TCU Campus Recreation & Wellness Promotion recommends frequent hand-washing, avoiding sharing drinks and staying hydrated.

But the most effective flu prevention tip: Getting a flu shot.

“In college, you’re around a lot of people and outside a lot, so you’re more susceptible to getting sick,” said Diamond Brown, a senior nursing major and the clinic’s logistics team lead. “The flu vaccine is very important, not just so you don’t get sick but also so others don’t get sick.”

Learn more about the clinic and register to get a flu shot.