Yakima vaccination site celebrates National Nurses Week

YAKIMA, Wash. — The Yakima Health District is celebrating National Nurses Week by highlighting nurses working to vaccinate community members at State Fair Park.

“We also want to highlight all the nurses that we have throughout the county and throughout the nation too — and thank them for their dedication,” said Stephanie Badillo-Sanchez, Communications Specialist with the Yakima Health District.

The U.S. Department of Defense nurses help to register patients for their vaccine appointment, answer questions and administer vaccines at the community vaccination center.

“They make the operations here at the CVC a lot easier and better for everyone,” Badillo-Sanchez said.

Capt. Brittany Lynn, who works as the Assistant Chief Nurse at the vaccine site, said the nurses she supervises, “have been phenomenal.”

“They’ve really taken the role as their own, so they’re out there talking to patients, answering questions, empowering the medics to be able to do the same,” Lynn said. “That, to me, makes them invaluable.”

Lynn said her favorite part of the job is getting to talk to patients waiting in line to be vaccinated.

“It’s been really cool to get to know people’s stories: why they’re here, why they’re getting the vaccine and helping to ease those nerves when people come into the line and making this process a little bit easier for them,” Lynn said.

Lynn remembered one woman who was getting ready to be vaccinated and told her she hadn’t been able to see her mother during the pandemic.

“She kind of broke down a little bit and started crying tears of joy that this was gonna give her the opportunity to go see her mom in the nursing home and give her that hug she’s been waiting for,” Lynn said. “That was really touching for me.”

James Conley has been working as a registered nurse for almost three years and has been working at the community vaccination center for the past three weeks. He said he’s known for a long time that nursing is his calling.

“I knew that I wanted to have an impact on people’s lives,” Conley said. “I feel like the best way for me to do that is through providing excellent care for patients.”

Conley said this is his first time in Washington state, but he loves the area and is happy to be helping people.

“I love the Washingtonians here and talking to them,” Conley said. “I’d say that that’s the most fulfilling part of the vaccination is knowing that I’m helping this community.”

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