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Nursing students present health-related projects

Wednesday, December 04, 2013   by: Mark Pare

Third-year students in the Nipissing/Canadore collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing program had the opportunity to present the culmination of 12 weeks of work in Community Health Nursing in front of their peers and professionals Wednesday morning.

Andrea Rochon, an instructor in the program says students developed such things as resource manuals, pamphlets, posters and provided teaching sessions for members in the community.

“Ultimately, it’s about raising awareness,” she said, “It’s about health and encouraging health promotion within our community.”

Students were put into groups of four and worked in collaboration with organizations like the AIDS Committee of North Bay and Area’s Hepatitis C Services and the North Bay Regional Health Centre’s District Stroke Centre.

“The great thing about the program here at Nipissing is that they are able to work on real world projects with these agencies,” said Rochon, “(It) really is an interesting way to develop some of those collaboration skills and communication and some of those skills that will really take them far as they move on as future nurses.”

Nursing student Suzanne Desa worked with the AIDS Committee and says they helped to organize a support group for their clients.  She says it turned out really well.

“I think we’re all pretty proud of what we were able to create,” she said, “I think it’s actually going to really make a difference in a lot of people’s lives.”

Desa adds that it’s really interesting to have an actual effect on the families in the area and create a project that will benefit them and promote health in their daily lives.

Emily Allan, another nursing student, worked with a group for nutrition in students at both Canadore College and Nipissing University and developed surveys.

These surveys gave her group insight on the education level in regards to nutrition and healthy eating patterns.

“We produced television slides to kind of give them quick facts and increase their knowledge so the student body would be more educated and eat better and live healthier lives.” she said.

As for the results, Allan says they were surprised.

“We discovered that many of the students do eat healthy at university and college.  They buy groceries from the grocery store.  They would pack their lunch to school,” she said.

“We thought most students would buy fast food and eat from the cafeteria and a lot of the students are very healthy at our school.”

Another project being worked on was the ‘Stay on Your Feet’ campaign, with the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit.

Cari Davis was on that effort and says their group built on a previously existing power point presentation, developing some e-learning modules for long-term care employees to increase their existing knowledge.

The goal of the campaign is to prevent further falls within long-term care facilities and Davis says it’s something that can be implemented immediately.

“Based on the e-learning modules that we developed, employees can take that knowledge and immediately apply it to their practice,” she said, “Whether you’re working front line in nursing or PSW, dietary workers and housekeeping staff as well.”

Other projects were worked on with the help of the Community Health Nursing Team, Ferris Medical Clinic, Near North Palliative Care Network, Nipissing Best Start Child and Family Care, North Bay and District Multicultural Centre, the Indian Friendship Centre and Nurse Practitioner Clinic.

Ontario Works and the local Salvation Army also lent a hand to the students.

Davis says they were a little bit nervous but excited to see all their efforts being presented in front of a large group of people.

“(They) really develop a close relationship with some of those community partners in developing these sustainable projects for our community.” Rochon added.

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