Nursing students complete global community health course in St. Croix
USF College of Nursing students traveled to St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands this summer to complete their global community health experience. Students spent two weeks on the Island making a difference in the local community through various health services.
Students, led by Elizabeth “Betty” T. Jordan, DNSc, RNC, FAAN, associate professor and senior assistant dean of the undergraduate nursing program at USF College of Nursing, taught middle school students, attended a community health fair for seniors, and worked day and evening shifts in a local hospital emergency room, a prenatal clinic, a nursing home, and more.
“It was such a great opportunity to provide blood pressure screenings and education for seniors at the community health fair where we screened about 80 people,” said nursing student Samantha Ewing. “We also went to a local farmer’s market to offer blood pressure screenings as well as stroke and nutrition education to market visitors. It was a great experience.”
Students also gave a “Healthy Snacking” presentation for about 30 residents at the Lutheran Services in St. Croix. In addition, they presented on reproductive health puberty to a large group of middle school students. For many students, these experiences were life-changing.
But for one student, Claudia Alcius, visiting the Frederiksted Prenatal Clinic was an unforgettable experience. “Being in the clinic with the midwife was one of the best experiences on the Island,” she said. “We assisted the midwife with various tests and check ups for women. We also had the opportunity to see pregnant women and palpate the position of the fetus, listen to the baby’s heartbeat, and measure the length of the baby. It was a truly rewarding experience.”
This global community health experience fulfills students’ six-credit requirement for their community health didactic and clinical courses, an initiative developed through the College’s POWER with Nursing: Partnership Opportunities for Wellness, Education and Research.
“It was a privilege to facilitate these students’ learning and watch them grow in this trip,” Dr. Jordan said. “I hope they take fond memories, lessons learned, and an appreciation for a new culture. They worked hard, putting in 12-14 hour days in warm conditions. They bonded as a group, had fun, and left an imprint on the island.”
To read more from their experience in St. Croix visit their blog: http://usfnurseinstcroix2014.wordpress.com/.
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