Community Nursing Volunteers at VIM

This is flu season and the signs are everywhere – Get Your Flu Shot Today!  Since prevention is the best policy, VIM Berkshires ran two free flu shot clinics for patients in October, with help from two local school nurses. This is flu season and the signs are everywhere – Get Your Flu Shot Today!  Since prevention is the best policy, VIM Berkshires ran two free flu shot clinics for patients in October, with help from two local school nurses.

Carolee Harrigan, RN and Evelyn Vallianos, RN are both students at the Elms College in Chicopee, studying for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

“As part of our class on Community Nursing, we’re helping VIM with the flu clinic.  We’ll be making a presentation to our classmates at the end of this semester,” said Evelyn Vallianos, RN.  “This is part of the 30 hours of community service we’ve done since August.”

Vallianos and Harrigan spent time at VIM to learn about the way the clinic runs before helping to staff the two flu clinics. They worked closely with staff Medical Assistant Gladis Rave, who was key in organizing the flu clinics and solved any problems that came up on site.

Both nurses work in the area as well as study for their degree.

“I work half-time as a school nurse in the Southern Berkshire Regional School District,” says Vallianos, a resident of Monterey.  Harrigan works full time at The Berkshire School and part-time at Fairview Commons.

Vallianos said the nurses also conducted what she called a “windshield survey” of Great Barrington, taking note of the community and its resources.  They concluded that transportation is a challenge for many of VIM’s patients.

“Community nursing covers many aspects of public health delivery, not just the clinic work,” says Vallianos.

“Carolee and I have enjoyed working with the dedicated staff and diverse clientele at VIM,” said Vallianos.  “We hope to be involved with VIM in the future, volunteering as time allows.”