Thursday, November 18, 2010

Article from Sunpress

Although my name is spelled wrong I still liked the article.
Even though we all think that the Flu is just something slight that we get over, we have to keep in mind that people still die from it, and it is very important that we keep ourselves and our loved ones (even strangers around us) healthy so please; GET YOUR FLU SHOT, you just might save a life! thank you!
The article can be found in 11/18/2010 Sunpress (a shaker magazine) its called "Event puts real faces on need for Flu shots" if i can get an electronic copy i will post it on here.
ITs been a great time guys, hope to see you all soon!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Another Day in the Life of Public health Nurse FEATURING Kristi Yamaguchi

(Maryam Audu and Kristi Yamaguchi)

One of Sandi Hurley’s (Shaker Public Health Department Nurse) friend, Kevin from Sinofi, sent us an invitation last week. This invitation was to a conference about “Faces of Influenza” being hosted by American Lung association, at Tri C Metro campus. The point of this event was to raise awareness of the flu, and increase vaccination numbers; Same goal as my project. I never expected the even to end up being a great one. Tri C nursing students along with Kristi Yamaguchi, who is one of the spokesperson, did some campaigning on campus as well as give shots.

The MD from Cleveland Clinic, Representative from Tri C, Kristi Yamaguchi, Cindy from CCHD, and CVS pharmacy rep (reading left to right)

This event was attended by Cindy, from the Cuyahoga County Health department, Kevin from Sinofi (who ensures that everyone gets their flu vaccines at all the health departments), A lady who was in charge of the “Faces of Influenza” for the American Lung Association, the representative of the CVS pharmacy flu vaccine campaign, a doctor from the Cleveland Clinic asthma center as well as Kristi Yamaguchi and her Tri C students and many more. Fox 8 News as well as Channel 5 news was there. And I had to say, this was the most fun I’ve had all semester. Not only was Sandi and I interviewed by Sun News, we also got to meet many people and talk to them.

I got the opportunity to talk to a lot of these representatives and it was a blast. Knowing that I had a similar goal, for my senior project, as them was wonderful and we were able to discuss barriers in getting the message out (fear, lack of education etc) but I got to talk with Kevin and the CVS rep about getting similar programs on case campus. One of the questions I was asked by the Sun Press was how I think this event was helpful, and I thought that it was wonderful having such a big face on a campaign like this, but most of all I think it’s a very positive thing that they had it on a college campus.

I think that as college students, we tend to live in another dimension, and we tend to forget to keep ourselves healthy by getting our shots. So hopefully we will be able to do another flu shot "Clinic" in veal this year hosted by CASE, and hopefully in the future along side Sinofi or CVS.

HOPE EVERYONE IS HAVING A GOOD TIME AT THEIR CAPSTONES, and I cant wait to see everyone back.

One Morning in the HIV Clinic

Greetings once again from Florida! Melissa and I finished up our hours with the Putnam County Health Department last week, and I'm going to head back to Cleveland in a few days. Just some final reflections on our time down here and then off to do more homework!

During our last week at the health department, Melissa and I spent a morning working in the HIV clinic that occurs on Thursdays. It was a very educational experience, and as I listened to the stories the patients had to tell, I was reminded about how much prejudice still exists surrounding HIV/AIDS. All of the patients were told that we were nursing students who were observing in the clinic, and many seemed apprehensive to have us in the room with them. While as nursing students we are extensively trained in the importance of patient confidentiality and not taking what we saw in the hospital and spreading it as community rumor, the patients were not convinced of our trustworthiness.

It makes me sad to see people living in such fear of judgement; it is impossible to tell if the patients were more afraid of us carrying news of their diagnosis back into the community or if they were afraid of judgement coming from us as medical professionals, but I don't like it either way. This fear really reminded me that we are dealing with people and their emotions. Nursing is not all about the physical skills like putting in IV's; it's about not judging the people you care for, it's about taking them where they are, and helping them get to a healthier place.

And while most of our experience down here was spent working with migrant farm workers who had no history of HIV, the same thoughts apply. People do not seek medical care because they want to be judged--as health professionals we are quick to tell obese patients they need to lose weight, tell smokers they need to stop smoking, and tell patients who regularly consume alcohol that they should stop. And while all these things are true, it is important to do so in a kind way, because I don't know about you, but I'm much less likely to listen to someone who is judging me than someone who genuinely seems concerned.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Coming to an end at Gila River

It felt like yesterday when we all arrived here at Gila River. Now we are wrapping everything up and will be leaving in a week! I am looking forward to being home, but not the 3 day car ride back to Cleveland.

This past week was spent doing more flu clinics. By now, we have mastered the routine and the set up that works best for us. When all four of us are present, Olivia and Briana are doing the shots, while Lisa and I are their helpers: drawing up vaccine and filling out the paper for them to sign. When it is just Lisa and I, we set up a table inbetween us for the vaccine cooler. When Rita (director of school health) calls out an IM, Lisa and I take turns drawing up while the other one is administering the vaccine until both of us can get back to it.

On Thursday, Lisa and I were at the flu clinic for the Ira Hayes High School students. This school building is only 10 years old, but it looks as if it was built a couple years ago. The school has around 60 students total, so that might have helped with keeping the building "so young." I was amazed by the art work all around the school, which is done by the students. The students have the opportunity to be taught from an art teacher who is able to sell his artwork because he is that good. The pieces by the students show so much talent that both Lisa and I wanted to go to the school so that we could take the art class.

On Friday, we presented to another third grade class. Our dental health hygiene presentation went well again, but this class was not as enthusiastic as the other class. Nonetheless, the students did just as well on the pre/post tests. The scores definitely show that they learned something from our presentation. After our presentation, we spent the afternoon at The Heard Museum, which shows the history of Native Americans. I was taken aback by the exhibit on the Indian Boarding Schools. Children were taken from their homes and spent years at a school that had a goal to "Americanize" the children. This schools were run like military camps and were supported by the government as a cheaper option than killing the Native Americans. I did smile at the section about how the children made the school their own by introducing their culture into clubs, sports, and pageants such as "Indian Princesses."

Our last week will be spent doing flu clinics and wrapping up our capstone paper and poster. I am sure that all of us will soak up as much sun and heat before heading back to Cleveland, where I hear it is snowing.

Friday, November 5, 2010

One project I have been working on during my time at the Mat-Su Public Health Center (PHC) involves addressing the low rates for infant immunizations. To develop an action plan we strove to understand the factors that contribute to parents’ decisions not to vaccinate their young children. To identify these factors I have been assisting the nurses of the Mat-Su PHC in the organization and distribution of a survey created by Dr. Victoria Niederhauser, titled Searching for Hardships and Obstacles to Shots (SHOTS). The tool, bought through the Alaska Department of Health, classifies hardships and obstacles into the following three categories: access to immunizations, concerns about immunizations and distrust of vaccine efficacy.

I explored a number of avenues to distribute and collect this survey in the community. After researching the possibility of working with Vital Statistics, WIC and local midwiferies I was finally able to reach agreements with two local pediatricians’ offices along with a large number of day care centers. Working with local pediatricians, CCS Early Learning and day care centers to distribute the survey to the community proved to be successful. In addition, the nurses of the PHC joined me outside prominent local business in the Palmer-Wasilla area handing out the survey to parents with young children.

The Talkeetna area is also using the SHOTS survey to gain further insight into the recent decrease in immunization rates. The Talkeetna school and the Sunshine Clinic, along with the nurses of Mat-Su PHC, have been circulating the survey throughout the community.

This has been a great side project and I think the results will truly help to guide the PHC in its next steps to improving childhood immunization rates.

P.S. That is a picture of Denali, a.k.a. Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America, taken from Talkeetna Spur Rd.!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A final greeting from Florida!

More than 300 hours of working with the Putnam County Health Department have come and gone by. Less than 8 weeks ago, I arrived here in Florida, and since then I have been in situations and lived within cultures I’ve never experienced before. I’ve been bitten by so many different kinds of bugs, walked through swarms of blind mosquitoes and “love bugs,” and seen animals like armadillos, alligators, chameleons, and giant spider webs. Without city lights, the night sky is gorgeous, and a full moon provides just enough light. And that’s just outside of work!

Just recently, we were able to experience firsthand why providing healthcare resources to migrant workers who live on camps and understanding their lives are such difficult tasks. Everything from advertising clinics and transportation to finances and clinic times presents a challenge. In addition, a trusting relationship between the healthcare workers and the camp’s crew leader must exist before any exchange of information can take place. Maya and I tried for a couple weeks to contact a specific camp in order to visit the camp and possibly interview the owner. After these weeks of failed attempts, we were advised to go to the camp with a community member who knows the owner. However, our arrival was met with immediate hostility from the extremely angered camp’s owner, and we did not get two steps away from the car before we got back in and left.

For me, our visit to the camp (and learning why camp owners have such strong reactions to the arrival of unfamiliar faces) brought much of our experience into perspective. I leave Florida with a new understanding of challenges in the delivery of healthcare to migrant workers, a respect for the healthcare workers who build successful relationships with the migrant workers and the crew leaders, and knowledge of a working class that previously was unknown to me.