Thursday, August 18, 2011

Final Impressions Post CCBH

Probably the most unexpected at the end of this experience is the impression I now have of the community we came to know, understand, and be a part of: Lakewood. The many hours and days we spent wandering the streets of Lakewood in the summer heat ended up being memories that came with their chuckles. It’s the unexpected, from the man half naked and covered in tattoos but so excited to help spread word of the Family Planning Clinic’s services, to a young biking enthusiast with seemingly not a worry in the world but taking a intense interest in the little information cards we handed out, even to an older woman with a proper perm, cold eyes, and some snippy words that signaled quick distaste for our work.

Overall, we were quite fortunate to have worked with a community willing to welcome us and hear what we had to say. I definitely give credit to the Lakewood residents for their embracing attitude, but I also know that it was partly our young and friendly faces, casual presentations, and a simple desire to help one another that allowed us to immerse ourselves into Lakewood. We learned that these characteristics are in fact the strengths of that community, and when combined, they gave us opportunity to open discussion on a sensitive topic and hopefully make way for better holistic healthcare.

The people, the environment, and the spirit of Lakewood have even made me think every now and then that I could become a resident of the community. I baffle myself when I think about how I vowed to move and explore other areas post graduation, and yet I may have found potential for a new home. Who knew? The things Capstone will open your eyes to…But no matter where I end up in my adventures later on, I will certainly remember the lesson I learned: from the wealthy to the poor, the majority to the minority, no matter the surface images of communities, underneath the struggle is the same. And so that is what public health is: striving to dig out and challenge these underlying struggles by adapting to different communities as a means to resolution, to the ends of equal opportunity in healthcare.


This was an amazing summer. I was able to work on my public health skills and I had the opportunity to learn about Cleveland and Lakewood. The people and the city are so diverse and it was a pleasure to get to know them.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lucienne Doho NYSP Experience!

Now that everything is over, I am missing the children. Looking back at my previous post, I couldn't see past the faults of the children. Looking back thinking of my experience with this National Youth Sports Program, I am realizing that i will never have such an opportunity to make an impact in a child's life, as i did for this one. At the begining of camp, because of being overwhelmed with the quantity of the children that was thrown at me, I came to only look at the naegative side of things, my first reaction was to mention that this sport program had absolutely nothing to do with nursing health. OH HOW I WAS WRONG! this program had everything and more to do with health. These children ages 10-16 year came in this sports program, leaving their home life and community life, and trusting their health in us. Education or what we called enrichment was one of my most enjoyable part of the experience. Not only did the kids confide in us, we had quite a few children that came to us asking for advise about family life, better eating habbits, anger/stress management, ways to avoid peer pressure, ect....We had a few instances where the children concerns needed to be followed up by a higher authority. during our enrichment about self-esteem, both positive and negative, we were able to evaluate on our effectiveness in teaching by giving the children pre and post surveys. we could see the growth in the children throughout our lessons, and their willingness to open up to us, which gave us encouragement. I was able to built strong and trusting relationship with a few of these kids, which made it difficult to part from them at the end of the program. I had a few kids who beg me to adopt or abduct them...either way they would be pleased. Sports activities, which i mostly did soccer, was enjoyable as well. since it was a sports program, it was important to emphasis to the kids that staying active is important to have not only a healthy weight, but also lower their blood pressure (which was present in some of the children) and also reduce the risk of developing diabetes. the children enjoy competing with one another and especially the staff crew. i took advantage of this opportunity to encourage them in participating in their sports activity. Overall, i learned a lot about myself. I not only learned about the African American culture in a more in dept way, i also learned patience and empathy. I was able to utilize my skills learned throughout my community clinical experience to help set goals for myself which were attained. i plan on being available to the campers next year if the opportunity comes my way. Although i do not plan on being a community nurse, i realize that the role a community nurse has a great impact on the patient's life.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I never knew time could pass so fast....

It is almost unbelievable that I am back in Ohio. During these past two months that i spent in Arizona I learned a lot. It was definitely an experience I will never forget.

My time on the Gila River Indian Reservation is almost indescribable. It was truly unlike anything I have ever experienced before. In fact, if my skin wasn't peeling from getting sunburnt I'm not sure I'd believe that I was even there. Sometimes I still expect to see mountains in the distance. The first month in Arizona, I was lucky enough to spend my clinical experience in the ER. The second month was spent in the Women's Clinic which was also a wonderful experience. While there I met a variety of patients who were all so receptive to having a nursing student from Ohio. Despite warnings we received, no one seemed to care that we were "white men". I was able to see many of the disease processes we learned in class and was able to apply nursing skills we weren't necessarily taught in class. I advocated for patients and helped them apply for access (which is a type of insurance). I helped them arrange transportation to and from their appointments. I provided patient education regarding such things as MRSA and the harmful effects of drugs on fetuses.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I attended various health fairs and witnessed a community involvement that every nurse should be proud of.
While on the reservation I also learned many things about the Pima Indians. I was immersed in their culture. I witnessed such things as basket dancing and tasted fry bread. I learned how they make their jewelry and how each piece contains a story. I was fortunate to attend a Cleveland Indians game while in Arizona, see the grand Canyon, and visit Sedona. Honestly it would be impossible to list all the wonderful things I saw and learned.

Leaving was so bittersweet. Even now, although I am glad to be home, I am sad i had to leave. If I was given the choice to go back and do it all again, I would choose the same path. I hope I will always remember this experience and use it to be the best nurse I can. If a student is debating about choosing Gila River for their capstone, i fully recommend it.

Lakewood, OH

This summer the Cuyahoga County Board of Health group focused its outreach and promotion of the My Life, My Body: Family Planning Clinic in Lakewood, OH. When I went through the city on a cursory assessment of the community I was surprised with the diversity in the city. From what I saw at the beginning of that day there were a lot of young people and young families. As I spent more time there it was easier to find the older population. Many people are eccentric and the stores were no different; the store ‘Goddess Blessed’ comes to mind along with the gay bar called ‘The Church Bar’. It is a quirky neighborhood and it was a lot of fun walking around getting to know the city.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Our Final Days at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health

As we end our Capstone experience at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, I can't help but be relieved and saddened at the same time. I feel relieved that this chapter of my senior year is over and I am that much closer to graduating but also saddened that the experience is over just as we were getting a hang of our group project and making results. In our last weeks of our efforts in outreach to Lakewood and Parma, we started to change our strategies. For example, we increased our table time at Tri-C, West Campus, from once a week to four times a week. In our evaluation process, we realized that we were seeing many of the same students and felt we could outreach to many new students if we increased our days at Tri-C. In Lakewood, we found that we faced many barriers such as timing when businesses were open and not in the middle of a lunch/dinner rush, or having to return when the manager was present. Thus, we had to plan our routes more efficiently as well as change our timing when we were going to visit each business.

Just as our process evolved, our experience was coming to an end. Nevertheless, we can absolutely say that this was a rewarding experience. We really had to work hard to make things work within the agency, the community of Lakewood and Parma, and especially, each other. As I take a step back and look at our accomplishments, I can say that we really made a difference. We were able to reach our goal of increasing utilization of the Family Planning Clinic as well as the creation of the CCBH Family Planning Clinic website which was non-existent before our arrival.

This experience has given me a greater understanding of the roles public health plays in the health of our community, our patients, and our families. I can say that I will take these experiences to strengthen and apply them to my nursing practice, nursing theory, and personal life as I grow into my nursing profession.

Finally, I can't help but ask everyone to come visit our CCBH Family Planning Clinic web page (, under nursing tab) and facebook page. We take great pride in the work of these pages and want to share it all with you!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Public Health Nursing in Gila River

The month of July was such an interesting month for me. I began my rotation in Public Health Nursing and enjoyed it a lot. Up until now we had not seen many of the districts except that of districts 1, 3, 5, and 6. Well for each week that we were in public health, we were assigned a different district and proceeded to work each week in a new one. All of the districts have different housing ranging from old to new. The newer houses are what the reservation is pushing towards and moving away from the old style houses. There are some residents who are a little torn between getting a new house because for some of them, the houses have been in their families since they were built. Being relocated to different lands has also poses a bigger problem so keeping them on land that has also been in the family for generations has to be taken into consideration when building these houses. Public health nursing has given me a very different insight on the patients that we have seen. We had gotten to go to many different patients’ homes and view them one on one. We performed tasks such as basic assessments, vitals, monitoring blood sugars, medications, and even some teaching. I was welcomed into majority of the patients’ houses and they enjoyed talking to me and finding out a little about why I was there. I was able to see the way some of the natives have lived and could tell that a lot of them were keen on trying to improve their health. They would keep up on their medications and go visit the hospital on a follow up that may be planned for them by the public health nurses. I also got to learn a lot about the Pima’s past through talking with some of the residents as well as reading that were provided by one of the nurses. It was truly a great experience and I feel better prepared in both knowledge and skills.

I continued to keep up on my fry bread experiences and tried their green chili. It does not compare, in my opinion to red chili, however. I had more red chili on multiple occasions and have enjoyed it greatly. It is probably one of my new favorite foods and hoping to obtain a recipe. It was a great experience and for our last weekend here we plan on going tubing down Salt River. We are hoping for a great time with new friends and then sadly after that we must leave on the long journey back to Ohio. This experience has taught me a lot and I am truly thankful for having been able to participate in such an experience. The staff and the community that we worked with were all great and accepting and they definitely allowed for this experience to have been amazing and allowed us to get the most out of it. I am already beginning to miss this place and I have not even left yet. I feel this is something that has helped shape my nursing goals and will be able to be applied throughout the rest of my nursing career.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Today was my last day with the Cleveland Department of Public Health and it is both an exciting and sad. After spending 300 hours with these people I started feeling like part of the family. Before starting this capstone I thought that this was going to be a waste of my summer, but I can honestly say I enjoy my experience. The thing I enjoyed the most was I still was doing nursing duties such as passing medications, discharging patients and counseling patients to put them at ease. I spend most of my time in two sexual transmitted diseases clinic and at health fairs, where I did a lot of teaching.

I am surprised that many people were not fighting over being able to come to this site. The CDPH must be one of the best kept secrets. I would compare this site to clinicals without the stress and running around. After I got the hang of everything all I had to do was sit in an office and wait for my assistance to be needed. Before I did this capstone I would have never thought I would be interested in public health, but now I am considering it.

Looking back to when I was wondering what I wanted to do for my capstone, the local health departments just seemed like a good fit because I did not want to go far from Cleveland. After the first day I knew I got lucky for being able to work with the people of the Cleveland Department of Public Health because everyone is truly nice and respectful. Also everyone is excited to teach me everything they know. By me getting to work with a vary of different people, this allows me to see many different ways to do tasks.I am enjoying my time at the Cleveland Department of Public Health because I am getting to do real nursing things such as give injections and TB screening, which keep my skills sharp.