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RCC nursing students serve community

During the Spring 2013 semester, Rappahannock Community College’s associate-degree nursing (ADN) students participated in a number of events that fostered their awareness of community needs. One of these was the 5K run at Gloucester County’s Daffodil Festival on April 7. RCC nursing faculty members used the occasion to “challenge students to get moving,” and several faculty members participated themselves.

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On April 27, ADN students partnered with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office to observe National Drug Take Back Day. A booth to collect unneeded or out-of-date drugs from community members was set up at a convenient drive-up location near the front entrance of the Warsaw Campus; the purpose of the event was to deter drug thefts and to prevent contamination of water and food sources. Also participating was the Richmond County Rescue Squad.

In addition, students earned part of their grade for the course “Community-Based Nursing in a Multicultural Environment” by organizing community teaching projects throughout the semester. They first completed a community assessment based on visual observation, resident interviews, and statistics from local, state, and national sources, then analyzed the data they collected to determine what topics of education were most needed. The result of their efforts was nearly a dozen teaching projects.

At Poroporone Baptist Church in King and Queen County, a “Heart Disease Education” program included blood pressure screenings, diet and exercise tips, and a summary of risk factors. At St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Westmoreland County, students presented a “Tobacco Risk Factor Education” program. At RCC’s Glenns Campus, in Gloucester County, they taught community members to recognize, prevent, and reduce the spread of pertussis (whooping cough). At Mathews County’s Family YMCA they spoke about maintaining a healthy diet. At the King George Family YMCA, they checked blood pressures, and spoke about hypertension risks and management. At West Point Elementary School and Middlesex County Elementary School, they taught first graders about washing their hands to reduce the spread of germs. At the Richmond County Family YMCA, the program explained “Emergency Preparedness for Seniors.” In Lancaster County, ADN students visited the Wal-Mart to check employees’ blood pressure, and to inform them of the risk factors for obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. And at the Active Life Fitness Center in New Kent County, they gave another “Heart Disease Education” program.

In addition, these students attended the Warsaw-Richmond County Triad Health Fair at Cobham Park Baptist Church on May 21 in order to distribute information about Medical Advance Directives (living wills—please visit http://www.vda.virginia.gov/advmedir.asp for more information) and organ donation (https://www.donatelifevirginia.org/).

“Nursing is a lifelong opportunity to impact people in all facets of our community,” says ADN program coordinator Ellen Koehler. “This program, our profession, our faculty, and our students all consider it a privilege to embrace this responsibility. Being a nurse says something about who you are as a person, and these students learn this from the first day in our program.”

Students who participated in some or all of the events were: Kelsi Allen, Caroline County; Deborah Jackson and Kelly Jewell, Colonial Beach; Charlotte Bundy, Ashley Burton, Alice Gilber, Angela Overstreet, and Amber Umphlette, all of Essex County; Summer Adams, Amanda Brown, Angela Cannon, Angela Griggs, Christine Heller, Katharine Hughes, Janet Mehler, Barbara Pence, Sharon Shoener, Cherie Sutty, Alison Temple, and Brandi Williams, all of Gloucester County; Chelsea Call, Henrico County; Scharron Yelverton, Isle of Wight County; Angela Knight, King and Queen County; Michael Jagielski, King George County; Angela Holt, King William County; Kirstin Schlutow and Martha Smith, Lancaster County; Nichole Callis Byrd, Rachel Dehoux, Kristin Deptola, Stephanie Gillenwater, Genevieve Hahn, Aryah Hudgins, Peggy Jeffers, and Nikki Pierson, all of Mathews County; Rachel Bowker, Robin Burford, Stacy Corbin, Ashley Hansin, and Victoria Yates, all of Middlesex County; Jessica Seebeck, Northumberland County; Wendy Atkins, city of Richmond; Mary Delano, Adrienne Lewis Rachel McClure, and Ashley Plushko, all of Richmond County; Amanda Acree and William Vest, West Point; Jennifer Taylor, Westmoreland County; and Joe Mueller, York County.

 

Photo: Left to right: RCC nursing students Michael Jagielski, Martha Smith, Jennifer Taylor, and Angela Holt check blood pressure and distribute information about living wills and organ donation at the Warsaw-Richmond County Triad Health Fair.

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