Partners In Prevention
College of Nursing student Kevin Hemauer immunizes Taylor Ramzey during a March clinic at the Oshkosh Public Health Department.
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh senior nursing students deliver a big dose of community healthcare across the region each semester.
Working in teams, the students administered flu vaccinations, provided nutrition education, hosted a health fair and developed a wide variety of other projects in fall 2009.
“The students use what they’ve learned in the classroom about the nursing process and provide nursing care that reflects sensitivity to cultural, social, political, ethical, financial and environmental factors affecting health,” said Rosann Geiser, College of Nursing senior I level facilitator.
The family and community nursing clinical offered each semester differs from the one-on-one patient care the students provide during their hospital clinical.
“The students do a major project during the semester. It helps them understand patterns of health risk and population-level interventions that contribute to the improved health of families and communities,” Geiser explained. “Students work together in groups to assess, diagnose, plan and implement specific population-focused health projects that meet identified needs of a defined community group.”
These projects make a positive difference for the healthcare of the clients, families and communities served, she added.
UW Oshkosh College of Nursing students, front from the left, Jessica Griswold, Mathew Predick and Laycie Krepline and, back row, Scott Revoir, Krissy Pekarek, Melissa Sommer and Justin Polenska, helped more than 200 families during the Happy Holidays Health Fair.
One team of students, under the direction of clinical instructor Paula McNiel, presented a Happy Holidays Health Fair in November with free blood pressure checks and cholesterol screenings, during the Salvation Army-Fox Cities’ 2009 Christmas assistance registration event for families.
“Our goal was to positively impact the health of a significant number of people in the Fox Valley,” senior Laycie Krepline said.
The team served 225 families, completed 175 cholesterol tests, distributed 250 books to children to encourage reading and handed out 200 apples to encourage healthy eating. About 20 undiagnosed cases of high cholesterol and high blood pressure were discovered.
Results from a survey distributed follow-ing the fair showed that 88 percent of respondents indicated they would make one lifestyle change, such as improving diet, increasing physical activity or attempting to quit smoking, as a result of their participation.
Robb Waugus, the local Salvation Army’s development director, called the project an “excellent and very worthwhile initiative.”
“The UW Oshkosh nursing students interacted with clients of the Salvation Army-Fox Cities to help them better understand a healthy lifestyle,” Waurug said.
Led by clinical instructor Denise Turnmeyer, another team of UWO students designed daily educational lesson plans about health, safety and life skills with weekly themes, such as the Food Pyramid, the five senses and hygiene, for the Haven of Hope Daycare in Little Chute.
The daycare provides care for children ages 2–22 who have special needs and whose needs cannot be met in a traditional daycare setting.
UW Oshkosh students involved in the Oshkosh Student Nurses Association (OSNA) made about 45 blankets for Project Linus, which will donate the blankets to area hospitals to give to children.
To help create a social network for the children’s parents and families, the team also planned a bowling event.
In another project, a team of students led by clinical instructor Terri Blakeslee educated Calumet County Women, Infants and Children (WIC) clinic clients about preventing baby bottle tooth decay (BBTD).
The students asked the clients at the clinic to fill out a short pre-informational quiz and listen to a five-minute presen-tation about BBTD awareness, prevention strategies and resources. Then they asked the clients to retake the same quiz to measure knowledge gain.
“Prior to the education, we asked the participants if they had ever been previously educated about BBTD,” senior Amy Fields said. “The results showed that more than half of the participants had never been educated on this topic.”
One parent said, “Wow, I had no idea that my little girl’s teeth could look like that just because I put juice in her sippy cup.”
“This project showed us how a community nursing diagnosis is both formed and implemented,” Fields said. “We definitely understand that a nursing care plan is not only used at an individual level but also can be used for aggregate populations as well.”
Natalie Johnson, Alumni Communications manager
OTHER COMMUNITY CLINICAL PROJECTS
- Breast Feeding: Necessary Knowledge for Practitioners
- Car Seat Safety Among Fox Cities’ Hmong Population
- Handwashing with Indian Children
- Mental/Social/Spiritual Health in Indian Children
- Oral Healthcare in India
- Prenatal Care Coordination in Menasha
- Safety Topics for Indian Children
- Seymour Alcohol Tobacco & Other Drug Abuse Prevention
- 2009 H1N1 Pandemic
- Waushara County Illness Surveillance Program