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Wow what a pleasure this has been for many! The whole idea that non-medical people could be trained up to vaccinate, to facilitate mass vaccination. Who would have thought we would be doing that!

In reality for many it has saved the day and enabled the opening of more vaccination sites. Throughout the pandemic nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, and doctors have all been stretched beyond belief. There would not have been enough people to vaccinate the numbers we had to do.

On the other side of it, we had so many people furloughed who were desperate to help in the pandemic, the appetite for non-medical people to become involved and trained up to vaccinate was huge. They wanted to do their part, be useful.

A beauty therapist who trained as a vaccinator

Most of our non-registered vaccinators, who we trained at the beginning, are still with us now. In our site we have a real mixture of people, from retired senior police officers, to photographers, retired vets and gardeners, to name a few. This mix of wisdom and life experience has actually been very useful in terms of resilience, skills and managing people and sometimes difficult situations.

Our nurse led site is a high-volume centre and we have created a very positive and able team of assessors, vaccinators, administrators, and volunteers. We have had challenges along the way with the rollercoaster of cohorts coming and going, but we have maintained a happy, efficient, and safe centre.

Our registered healthcare professionals are providing continuous overview and supervision of the service and the level of skill developed amongst the non-registered team is impressive and certainly safe.

This ‘thinking outside the box’ way of working could open up future opportunities within healthcare, especially when it comes to high volume vaccinating. Will we see more of this in the future? I hope so!

Written by Jane Lambert CEO, ECG Training, Friday 14th January 2022.