By now, almost everyone on Mercersburg Academy’s campus has most likely interacted with Ellie Williams ’22. She is one of the many diligent members of the community who is protecting us from a COVID-19 outbreak. Williams helps to test students and faculty during lunches and PGAs, taking time out of her day to assist the Health and Wellness Center staff to ensure the safety of our community and steer us away from another quarantine.
The volunteer work she puts in is not typical. Williams works with over 500 people a week to assist in COVID testing students and faculty. She has also helped with getting our community vaccinated–in more ways than one. “Last year,” Williams said, “I helped out with three COVID vaccination clinics and this year with one flu shot clinic.”
Though she normally volunteers three to four hours a week, Williams put in far more hours at the beginning of the year and during Family Weekend. “The Health and Wellness nurses and I tested about 400 parents on Family Weekend, which was brutal. I worked twelve hours on Friday and eight on Saturday,” she said.
Williams received her Certified Nurse Aide certification on September 30 of this year, which she described as being “basically the step below a nurse.” She clarified, “The only things that CNAs can’t do is give injections, fool around with tubing—like catheters or feeding tubes, or make their own decisions when it comes to a resident’s treatments.” Williams is fairly experienced in the healthcare field despite her self-proclaimed “elementary” qualifications; she currently works in long-term care facilities, caring for dementia patients and the elderly.
The Health and Wellness Center staff have also expressed their appreciation for Williams’ assistance. Director Laura Nickerson said, “She helps us with organization, setup, take down, and assistance during the testing.”
This isn’t the first year Williams has volunteered, though. “She has always been willing to pitch in. Even in ninth grade, we had her working the slack tables for the flu clinic. I think having two parents that are nurses and always being around the Health Center helps,” said Nickerson. “She is intimidated by nothing. A good trait in a future nurse.”