Pinky Kotecha, a medical student in her final year, works as both a vaccinator and alerts patients who have been allocated the jab. She said: “I wanted to feel useful to the NHS and be a part of history. Now that my final exams are finished, I’m able to dedicate my time to volunteering. I get to inform patients that they are able to get the vaccine and it’s like giving them a golden ticket.”
While the work is tiring, morale is high. Alexa says: “You can sense a lot of hope among the patients. A lot of them express how excited they are to be slowly making the steps to head out of this pandemic. I often also experience how grateful the patients are - one even offered to buy my colleague and I a coffee to show his appreciation.”
If anyone comes for a vaccination and is feeling apprehensive, Sandra hopes to be able to offer reassurance to patients and their loved ones when she begins her volunteering.
‘I want to be able to help build relationships with patients to encourage trust, while listening to and interpreting their needs and concerns, and if any patients are feeling anxious, I can support them in managing their emotions through de-escalation techniques.’