Dental Students Bolster Area Supply of Trained Vaccinators

The School of Dentistry last week added 119 third- and fourth-year dental students to the UMKC pool of trained vaccinators.

The students were trained the week of April 5 by Meghan Wendland, D.D.S., M.P.H., an assistant professor in the dental school, with help from faculty at the School of Nursing and Health Studies.

Those students will go into the database of students from all four UMKC health sciences schools who are trained to give the COVID vaccines, said Wendland, who oversees public health and interprofessional education efforts at the School of Dentistry.

The pool of student vaccinators is a great asset for a variety of vaccine providers, including Truman Medical Centers, the UMKC Health Equity Institute’s partnerships with area churches, and recent UMKC-wide vaccination events.

Students at one of the recent training sessions noted that the “stick and quick” vaccine technique is different from slow, steady dental anesthesia injections.

“The instruction was very clear, and I hope I get to help with the vaccinations,” said Andrew White, a third- year student. “It’s a little bit of time that could save lives.”

Another student, Riley Herr, said, “It’s good to learn another technique. This is simple and straightforward, and the instructors made it easy.”