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Retired Methodist Health nurses helping administer COVID vaccine

A handful of retired nurses are putting their expertise to work at Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs
Published: Jan. 1, 2021 at 5:29 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A handful of retired nurses are putting their expertise to use at Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs; returning to help administer the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I just knew that I was free to help out in any way that I could, and I know how to give a shot, so I thought what better way,” said Doris Ballantyne, retired Methodist Health System.

Ballantyne retired last May after a 45-year career, much of it spent in the emergency department.

“It felt really kinda good to go back,” said Ballantyne.

Jennie Edmundson Hospital received 500 doses of the Moderna vaccine last week, and Ballantyne administered the very shot.

“Proud”, she said. “Proud to give that first shot and excited that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Ballantyne’s passion for the profession evident when asked if she had reservations coming back out of fear for her own safety. “Nope, no there was never a reservation,” she said. “I feel like the health care profession has done an excellent job in helping each and every nurse and physician to prevent them from getting sick,” said Ballantyne, noting it’s not possible to avoid all sickness.

“There were several of my employees that I worked with that have got COVID, but they did the best they could.”

Over the course of her career, Ballantyne treated patients born in three different centuries; never did she think come 2020 there’d be a pandemic.

“I never would have dreamed we’d have this in the 21st century,” she said, noting she’s looking forward to this New Year, and more people getting the vaccine.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to receive our injections - those of us who choose to,” said Ballantyne. “And make it a better 2021.”

So far Methodist Health System has administered more than 2,500 vaccines to their frontline workers; a combination and the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.

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