Posted on May 11, 2016

USF nurses provide care for the homeless

USF nurses provide care for the homeless

USF Nursing students are using their healing power to bring hope to those in need.

Their dedication and commitment is transforming lives at Pinellas Catholic Charities Diocese of St. Petersburg, providing care to the homeless.

They do this every semester as part of their community health course at USF College of Nursing. Students meet with Pinellas Hope residents helping them with basic first aid and assessments, health insurance navigation and other health related issues. Students also educate residents about medication side effects, nutrition, heat strokes, smoking cessation and other health conditions.

Students at Pinellas Hope 2

Students provide basic care for Pinellas Hope resident, Roberta Bell.

Student, Patricia Korovich, said providing care at Pinellas Hope has been a gratifying experience. “We not only help and care for the residents, but we also connect with them on a personal level,” Korovich said. “We get to know their background and their stories, what they went through and how they ended up here.”

Pinellas Hope provides safe and temporary shelter for the homeless in Pinellas County – giving them a helping hand during a difficult time. The program also offers education services, food, clothing and medical services.

Students at Homeless Shelter 4

Students answer health related questions for homeless shelter residents.

Laurie Lampert, coordinator for the medical respite program at Pinellas Hope, is thankful to USF Nursing faculty and students for providing care to residents who are medically fragile to return to the streets and the community.

“Not only do our residents tremendously gain from nursing students and their care, but these future medical professionals also get a true glimpse into homelessness,” Lampert said. “Having them here is a blessing. This is a win for the residents, a win for the students and even a bigger win for Pinellas Hope.”

Students spend 80 hours at the homeless shelter every semester. Rebecca Lutz, MSN, instructor and clinical coordinator at USF Nursing, said students focus their training on health education, health promotion and health prevention.

“We’re proud to work with Pinellas Hope to help those in need,” Lutz said. “Our students not only learn health skills but also humility and compassion…a skill they can’t learn in a classroom setting.”

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Story written by Vjollca Hysenlika