Nursing students from Grand Canyon University College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, Scottsdale, Ariz., wrapped up their summer community health course with health fairs at three senior citizens communities. The course had students make weekly visits to the La Siena community in north Phoenix and to two Scottsdale retirement communities Maravilla Community and Vi at Silverstone, according to an article on GCU Today.
The 25 students in the course taught by Karen Bond, MSN, RN, tailored their presentations at the health fairs to the needs of each community. Topics included skin care in the sun, hypertension and memory issues. They taught residents about the importance of hydration, brain games and increased flexibility to reduce the risk of falling. Among the 120 residents in attendance, some live independently and others require full-time nursing care.
None of these communities has had students there before, and the residents and staff loved having someone different to talk to and to interact with, Amy Baird, MSN, RN, director of the BSN Program at GCUs Scottsdale Healthcare Campus said in the online article. And for our students, instead of how to do meds or put in a catheter, it gave them chances to build trusting relationships with their patients.
Tim Hayden was among the students staffing eight stations at the Maravilla health fair, where they checked blood pressure, did preliminary skin-cancer examinations and, to emphasize the importance of good nutrition, served healthy foods such as lettuce wraps stuffed with chicken quinoa salad.
The experience we all took away is that there is a health education deficit, no matter the socioeconomic status, Hayden said in the article. Some are willing to take charge of their health, while others still choose to ignore it. As future nurses, it is imperative that we continue to search for educational tools that will actively engage as many people as possible to better their health.