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News reporter Gregory does double duty at flu clinic

Volunteer Cathy Stone watches as Auburn News staff writer and certified nurse Elizabeth Gregory takes on the challenge given to her to get the last drop out of the vial of vaccine. (click for larger version)
November 21, 2010
AUBURN — In nursing school, the night before my first flu clinic, I had this nightmare that I went to inject a person and somehow in my nervousness, nailed myself to the person with the syringe.

Of course, the following day went on without a hitch and I proceeded to give many, many injections and PPDs free from any major mishaps. But, the fear always remains as I'm sure it will for the rest of my nursing career.

Saturday, Nov. 13, was the annual Flu Clinic at Auburn High School, where a total of 196 flu shots were given between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. It was also the first time that I, reporter Liz Gregory, wrote my name with the coveted "R.N." behind it that I've worked so hard for.

I'm not going to lie — it felt good.

I showed up at 9:45 a.m. sharp with my journalist's notebook, camera, and nursing scrubs — confusing many as I came through the door. I received my own shot from Public Health Nurse Cheryl Rawinski. Rawinski went over all the information with me on paper work and what they were looking for on each form.

Then, the time came to start giving injections. My first "patient" sat down in the chair and just as Rawinski told me to ask, I said,

"Hello ma'am, have you had a flu shot before?"

"I'm 93, what do you think?" she said.

"Alrighty then," I thought. Maybe next time, I'll use a little more judgment and stray from the script just a little bit.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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