Health Services Wants You To Avoid the Flu

BY COLIN MURPHY // NOV. 10, 2015 // 

In October, a total of 147 flu shots were given to Curry students during Health Services’ flu shot clinics. Flu season starts in October and reaches its peak between December and February. Getting a flu shot is the best way to avoid contracting the flu.

The number of shots provided by the Health Services’ flu shot clinics increased this year. Last year, 125 shots were given.

Erin Simmons, the Director of Campus Health Services said, “The shots are a great service to the community… You are not only protecting yourself, but you are protecting the people around you.”


Individual students getting their flu shots is extremely beneficial to everyone else on campus, including those who do not get their annual flu shot.

Common reasons for people not getting a flu shot include the dislike or fear of needles, the myth that the shots can make people sick with the flu and underestimating the shot’s importance.

Simmons said that increasing advertising and explaining misconceptions are the best ways to raise awareness of how important the flu shot is.

Simmons said that Health Services has the goal of reaching “herd immunity” on campus. Having “heard immunity” to the flu would mean that everyone on campus would be immune.

First-year student Roberto Roca got his flu shot from a doctor prior to arriving on campus. Roca said, “It was my time to receive it.”

There are 2,100 traditional undergrad students at Curry and only 147 flu shots were given to students. It is likely that many students, like Roca, received their flu vaccination off-campus from a family doctor or a pharmacy like CVS or Walgreens.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter where or how you get vaccinated, just as long as you do so.

Simmons encouraged all students and faculty to get their flu shots to reduce the likelihood of illness and to learn more about the flu vaccine. More knowledge will lead to an increased chance of a fully flu-protected campus.

Things Happen for a Reason


What began as “just a job” ended up becoming Kendra Patick’s calling in life.

As a freshman in high school, Patick landed a job at the Greenwood Nursing Home in Wakefield, Mass. Patick worked as an activities coordinator, planning BINGO contests, karaoke nights, crafts projects and spa days (mainly for the ladies). In her four years working at Greenwood, Patick says she became increasingly interested in helping people, both medically and mentally. She enjoyed seeing the pleasure she brought to patients by assisting and talking to them, and decided to pursue a career in nursing.

“I loved working with the residents and truly enjoyed caring for them and making a difference in their lives,” says Patick, who later notes that the deaths of various family members in recent years strengthened her resolve to work in the health care industry. “Becoming a nurse would allow me to share my compassion and have a greater impact on many more lives.”

Patick’s mentor, Melrose High School nurse Diane Ely, encouraged her to attend Regis College, Ely’s alma mater. But Patick instead chose Curry, citing the college’s highly regarded nursing program and the “close-knit feel” of the campus.

Many students are unsure of their futures, but Kendra Patick has sought a career in health services for the better part of the past eight years. // PHOTO BY DANIELLE HAUSNER

Four years later, Patick’s undergraduate career is coming to an end, and her full-time professional career will soon launch. She hasn’t yet settled on a job, but wherever she goes she’ll come armed with loads of experience.

Patick has worked as a patient care associate at Mass General Hospital in Boston and is in her third year as a resident assistant, currently in The Suites. She’s not too shabby academically either, having earned Dean’s List recognition the past seven—most likely eight—consecutive semesters. If that weren’t enough, Patick is also a member of Curry’s Alexander Graham Bell Honors Society and Sigma Theta Tau, the international honors society of nursing, as well as the National Student Nurses of America. She is a recipient of The Promise of Nursing Scholarship.

“My day is never the same,” she says. “There is always a variety of cases and people to learn from.”

Patick says she enjoys her ever-hectic schedule, particularly when she’s caring for others, whether in a medical setting or as an RA. She defines herself as dedicated, passionate and hardworking.

Patick’s efforts, both in the classroom and out, have caught the attention of many of her peers. She’s “outgoing, willing to speak her mind and a very hard worker,” said Brita Larson, a senior nursing major who has had numerous courses with Patick.

Although she’s extremely active on campus, Patick says she is excited to move on from college and find a good nursing job in the medical/surgical field.

“I truly put everything that I have within me toward doing my best,” she says.