Press Releases

Nursing Students Help Create Healthier Communities


Nursing Community Program 1mg Students from left to right are: Mareena John, Santra Wilson, Jordan Rushing, Natasha Antoine, Kristen Miller, Hanna Dowers, Audra Patterson, Martha Briseno, Kiara Sanchez
By Sandra Soliz, University of St. Thomas | December 17, 2019

Nursing students from the University of St. Thomas Peavy School of Nursing participate in enhancing the community health by providing high-quality, cost-effective care. In partnership with our community partners, students commit to excellence and compassion in caring for the whole person while creating healthier communities.

Community Health Practicums

“This semester, 55, third-year students were placed at six designated settings for their community health practicum. The practicums are for nine weeks and are supervised by an adjunct faculty member who oversees and evaluates the student progress. Dr. Michael Sullivan, assistant professor in SON, serves as the Community Health Clinical Coordinator. Clinical sites included: Covenant House, Catholic Charities, Angela House, San Joe Clinic, The Brookwood Center, and Magnificat House.

“Community Health practicums awaken students to the realization that health is not merely the absence of illness or the presence of physical health,” Dr. Poldi Tschirch, dean of the Peavy School of Nursing. “Achieving a truly healthy community encompasses – or works toward – all the elements that lead to health.”

Nursing Students Assist with Nutrition Education at San Jose Clinic

Ten nursing students recently assigned at the San Jose Clinic interfaced with patients by identifying opportunities to advance medical and healthcare knowledge. In addressing this knowledge gap, students created a short video (English & Spanish) for patients and families identifying healthy foods and nutrition choices to maintain health, reduce high blood pressure and elevated glucose (diabetes) while achieving appropriate weight.

“It wasn’t difficult for us to see that there was a high incidence of patients coming into the clinic with chronic diseases such as diabetes, but after a few weeks of clinical our group determined that the patients were already receiving plenty of information,” San Jose Clinic Nursing Practicum Student Audra Patterson said.

“That raised a question in our minds: Why weren’t the clinic’s resources being utilized? We immediately saw the missing link. After researching countless articles about patient education, we thought the best way to present the resources of San Jose Clinic was through a short video that could be viewed in the clinic while waiting on providers, viewed on cell phones, and even viewed through emailed appointment reminders.”

The Making of the Video

The 10 students worked together on the video. Initially, the group had a PowerPoint presentation that included the resources they used for the video and how they determined the best way to present this information to patients.

“Three of us worked on the video portion,” Patterson said. “I created the main video, while Martha Briseño and Kiara Sanchez assisted in the final video edit and the translation of the video from English to Spanish.”

Patterson describes the experience very positive. “San Jose Clinic was an excellent clinical experience for our group,” Patterson said. It makes us feel incredible! As student nurses, we are constantly learning how to educate patients, especially through primary prevention, such as exercise and healthy eating. There is no greater feeling than truly helping others realize the value of healthy eating and to know that we are assisting patients in pursuing self-care and healthy living at every stage of life. If this helps even one patient in improving their health outcome, it was worth every second!

The 10 nursing students who worked on the San Jose Clinic project are Natasha Antoine, Martha Briseno, Hanna Dowers, Mareena John, Kristen Miller, Jordan Rushing, Santra Wilson, Kiara Sanchez and Audra Patterson.




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