Mercedes nurses administer 3,000 COVID-19 vaccines
MERCEDES – Warriors in the battle against COVID-19, Mercedes Independent School District nurses have vaccinated more than 3,000 individuals since February at vaccination clinics held in the mid-Valley.
The 10 MISD school nurses, two Mercedes High School nurse instructors, three MISD substitute nurses and two MISD nurse volunteers began administering COVID-19 vaccines on Feb. 2 at the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show Grounds in Mercedes. There they vaccinated 800 people who needed their second dose of the vaccine. They returned to the livestock show grounds again on March 9 where they vaccinated 550 individuals who needed their first dose.
The nurses even worked during their Spring Break holiday on March 16 at Knapp Medical Center in Weslaco; the MISD nurses, along with the Weslaco Independent School District nurses, vaccinated 1,500 individuals who needed their first or second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. On April 6, the medical heroes went back to the livestock show grounds and gave 562 first-dose vaccines.
Though the nurses have been working extra duty in recent months, the nurses have no complaints.
“As frontline workers, we want to help as much as we can,” said MISD lead nurse Veronica Bustamante, R.N. “Part of our job is not just to treat the sick but help keep people from getting sick.”
Superintendent Carolyn Mendiola, M.Ed., is proud of the district “nurse-force” and their efforts to vaccinate both employees and members of the community.
“To date, 90 percent of district employees are vaccinated thanks to the efforts of our nurses,” Mendiola said. “Our nurses also took the initiative and asked to help the residents of Mercedes and mid-Valley.”
According to Bustamante, the nursing team partnered with the Mercedes Police Department, Mercedes Fire Department, Hidalgo County Health Department, Hidalgo County Precinct 1 and other agencies to vaccinate as many people as possible at the clinics.
Members of the MISD nursing team are: MHS Health Science instructor Fernando Almaguer, RN- CTE;
MISD lead nurse Veronica Bustamante, R.N.; MISD substitute nurse Brooke Cantu, LVN; MISD health care volunteer Norma Cantu, APRN, FNP-BC; MHS nurse Vanessa Fuentes, R.N.; Taylor Elementary School nurse Gloria Galvan, LVN; MISD substitute nurse Damaris Garza, LVN; Harrell Middle School nurse Elizabeth Hernandez, LVN; MISD health care volunteer Ashley Lozano, PA-C; Travis Elementary School nurse Irma Martinez, LVN; MHS Nursing Assistant director/instructor Marlene Molina, R.N.; MISD health aide Jocelyn Perez, M.A.; Kennedy Elementary School nurse Delia Quiroz, R.N.; MISD substitute nurse Kristy Rodriguez, LVN; Chacon Middle School nurse Rosaura Sierra, LVN; Ruben Hinojosa Elementary nurse Frances Villanueva, LVN; and Mercedes Academic Academy nurse Shirley Vogel, LVN.