Teamwork makes all the difference during COVID-19 vaccine rollout

Jess Hanson and Kristen Van Scoyoc
Jessica Hanson, RN, and Kristen Van Scoyoc, MSN, RN, both joined the University of Iowa Community Clinics (UICC) team right before the global COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Jessica Hanson and Kristen Van Scoyoc experienced the beginning of the pandemic in different ways. Both joined the University of Iowa Community Clinics (UICC) team in January.

“I was an inpatient nurse at UI Health Care until 2018 and moved overseas to work with a nonprofit,” says Hanson, RN, ANM in urgent care occupational health. “I came back early because of the pandemic.” 

Van Scoyoc, MSN, RN, clinical practice leader at UICC, previously worked on UI Hospitals & Clinics’ Stem Cell Transplant and Cellular Therapies Unit.

“It’s been a long twelve months, a long pandemic,” she says. “Now, to see the vaccination process firsthand, to see it come around full circle, is really amazing.” she says.  

Both say the teamwork during UI Health Care’s roll out of Phase 1b COVID-19 vaccinations has been seamless.   

“In every conversation, staff say, ‘Yes, we can do that. Yes, we can make that happen,’” says Van Scoyoc. “Everyone does what’s needed at the vaccine clinics, from pushing a wheelchair, greeting people, or helping patients find their loved ones.”  

Different locations, same goal 

Hanson and Van Scoyoc have administered COVID-19 vaccines at many different locations.  

“It’s been such a privilege,” says Hanson. “We both feel so honored joining this team in their vaccination efforts. It’s been a really humbling experience.” 

Van Scoyoc says the behind-the scenes staff deserve a lot of credit for all they do.  

We all came into this role at such a crucial time for our community. What an honor it's been to witness the reactions and emotions from the vaccine recipients.

— Jessica Hanson, RN

Perspective: one year later, many years later

Hanson and Van Scoyoc say every patient they’ve vaccinated has been gracious and thankful.  

“Our very first patient to be vaccinated was so excited,” says Van Scoyoc. “She told us she hadn’t been out of her house in a year, and that comment still gives me chills. Other people say they haven’t seen their children or grandchildren in more than a year.” 

Another patient, an 85-year-old retired nurse, received the vaccine and recalled a time in her life when people still became infected with smallpox and polio.  

“She reinforced that we’ve faced health challenges before and overcome them,” says Hanson. “Until this pandemic is over, we look forward to administering many more COVID-19 vaccines.”