This past summer, three groups of registered nurses from our Summer Community/Public Health nursing undergraduate course worked with undeserved communities. The course provides a foundation of community and public health nursing concepts and interventions for individuals, families and communities.
Students integrate health promotion and disease prevention concepts into multidimensional, population-focused, community-oriented nursing practice. Learners explore specific issues and societal concerns that affect public health, including health care needs of populations at risk, and a reflection on nursing care of communities as social justice is explored. Using assigned activities, learners assessed community health needs, planned health promotion and disease and injury prevention interventions through the application of selected behavioral change theories. The students were required to spend four hours at their clinical site and assessed the population’s health and environment.
One group spent time at the Redlands Christian Migrant Association (RCMA) in Florida City. RCMA provides quality child care and early education for children of migrant farm workers and rural, low-income families throughout Florida. The largest non-profit child care provider in Florida, RCMA is a leader in high-quality early childhood services. Barry nursing students were assessing children, families and staff within the migrant farmworkers population. They gave a staff presentation about mosquito infestations and focused on Zika Virus prevention. The students also toured all the RCMA sites in Florida City and assessed for any safety concerns at child day care centers.
The second group of nursing students spent time at the Jubilee Center Soup Kitchen, which serves nutritious lunches to approximately 150 people each day. The kitchen is staffed by volunteers from several area churches and many other groups. Barry nursing students provided blood pressure and glucose monitoring and individual health education. Their presentation focused on how to adapt to stress, with specific techniques to reduce stress. They used the format of a Bingo game to get their message across and provided gifts to those with the correct answer to win the educational Bingo game.
The last group spent their time at LifeNet4Families in Lauderhill. LifeNet4Families offers daily, hot, nutritious meals in a community kitchen. While mainly serving Broward's ever-expanding homeless population, the dining room is also the place where hungry families can visit during the summer when no school meals are available. The students monitored the clients for hypertension and diabetes. There presentation was on health education (primarily hypertension and diabetes) via a Jeopardy game with prizes.
All these student presentations received a wonderful response from the clients. The agencies are looking forward for the new group of students in the fall semester.