"The best five days in a really long time." That's how Sarah Foster, a clinical nurse educator and RN, described her first five days giving COVID-19 vaccines to team members at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center. In a year where so much has been taken from us, Foster was grateful for the few minutes she got to be face-to-face with each team member she vaccinated, including a leader Novant Health team members consider a COVID-19 hero this year.
Foster and her fellow educators signed up for Operation All In, a Novant Health internal campaign where team member sign up for extra duty to support the organization and each other as COVID-19 cases surge. This would be the first time in five years Foster would administer any kind of injection, so she was a little nervous.
That nervousness was compounded when she learned she would be giving her first vaccine to Dr. David Priest, senior vice president and chief safety and quality officer. "I'm sorry, what? Give me a moment, please," she said. Like all of us at Novant Health, Priest has been Foster's most-trusted COVID-19 resource this year.
"I have so much respect for his knowledge and his expertise. Being able to give him that first layer of protection was absolutely an honor," Foster said. It was a special moment for Priest, as well. "I was so excited to receive my vaccine, and Sarah did a great job. I barely realized I had been vaccinated. As expected, I only had some mild soreness in my arm afterward. I hope Sarah is available for my second dose," he said. Foster felt the pressure administering this vaccine, but it didn't get in the way of her doing her job. She admits with a laugh, however, "I was the color of a strawberry for an hour."
Foster eagerly awaits her opportunity to receive the vaccine. She said she will get the shots for her family, friends and health care workers, as well as to be an example. "Don't be scared of this. I'm trusting science, I'm trusting the data and I'm trusting my gut. I hope I can help encourage others to do the same."
Top photo: Sarah Foster, still blushing, with Dr. David Priest