Monday, October 31, 2011
Sunday, October 30, 2011
I have enjoyed seeing the schools and how each one is different in its own way. Some schools are brand new and others are older but have a lot of spirit and character. I have been able to see many different areas of Cleveland and drive through the neighborhoods where the students live. It has given me some insight into their home life and obstacles they may face that can affect their health. I cannot believe how fast this semester has gone! We have three more weeks to finish up the screenings. This week we are screening with Ursuline College nursing students. I'll keep you posted! See you next time..
Friday, October 28, 2011
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
During the past few months, I have truly come to respect and admire the residents of Bethel. It takes such courage and determination to survive out here in the "bush". Getting food and maintaining your home are like a second full-time job! Nonetheless, the trade-off to everyone's hard work lies in quiet tranquility and beauty of the flat tundra. Nature has so many wonderful things to offer when you actually take the time to stop and pay attention. Back in the Lower 48, the hustle-and-bustle of this dog-eat-dog world causes people to run around in circles... gaining money but losing their sanity. In Bethel, there is no obsession with materialism simply because it is completely unpractical. No one cares if you drive the hottest new Lamborghini -- in fact, if you do, you're probably going to get stuck in a mud puddle and everyone will stop to laugh at your silliness. Instead, it is the people that really matter. The sense of community in Bethel is an amazing thing to witness. Nowhere else in my life have I come across such a large group of people who all wish to make their community better.
Nearly every person that I have talked to while I've been here has said the same thing... 'when I first arrived in Bethel, I hated it; it's so flat and boring and there's nothing to do here.' Yet here they are, years later, still in Bethel, telling me their stories. When I ask what kept them here, they all answer: the people :)
In conclusion, I am so happy I chose to come to Bethel for my senior nursing capstone. In addition to learning tons about Public Health, I learned about the Alaskan way of life.. and most importantly, I learned about myself.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Clay and I only have about a week left at the Catholic Charities and I have no idea where the time went! This has been such an extraordinary experience and I am grateful for all those who made it possible. For our project, we decided that diabetes education would be beneficial to this population because there are very few patients who do not have either personal or family history of diabetes. The common teaching points for diabetes tend to focus on healthy eating, exercise, and medications. Therefore, in the hopes of avoiding redundancy, Clay and I collaborated with Sister Carole and our clinical coordinator to develop a poster which highlights the potential affects of diabetes on the body systems, something not as commonly discussed. We printed 18x24 inch posters and put them in each of the four exam rooms. Immediately, patients used the poster as a discussion starter; “My sister has diabetes and she hasn’t had her eyes check in 10 years! Should I tell her to go?”, “Wow, I didn’t know diabetes could affect the heart like that!”, etc. To statistically analyze the effectiveness, we give patients a pre-test while they are in the waiting room, then a post-test with the same questions after their visit is completed. Though we have not done any calculations to show numeric improvement, it is obvious when we compare the pre and post-tests that patients are gaining valuable information from the posters! This is such a great feeling to know what we are doing will have lasting effect on patient education. :)
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Every monday morning parents can bring their children in for immunizations. This week we had 7 patients, ranging from 14 months to 15 years old. I administered the required vaccinations to all of these patients, with the exception of the 14 month old who the RN took over for. For the most part it was nothing that i hadn't expereinced before. Once you've given a few IM/SQ injections it is pretty routine. Even the younger children handled it well and didnt put up a huge fuss. However, the last patient of the morning was a different story. He was 5 years old and was slightly developmentally delayed. He required 5 vaccinations. He was ok for the first one, but once he realized what was going on, he lost it and started screaming at the top of his lungs and attemped to escape. He was sitting in his mothers lap, but he was a larger 5 year old and his mother struggled to restrain him. The RN jumped in to help, but both of them combined still struggled to keep him still enough to administer the vaccinations. I managed to administer the other 4 with some difficulty, but successfully. I felt terrible for the boy and once the shots were done he wouldnt let me touch him to put band-aids on. He didnt understand the difference. When it was all said and done the boy calmed down and gladly accepted the stickers we had to offer.
This experience sticks out in my mind because it was the first time i had to give injections to children, and because it is so different than a usual day at the CDPH. I don't think i will ever forget that little boy!
Thursday, October 13, 2011
My experiences in Southeast Alaska have been more than I could have imagined. Reflecting on my journey, there were so many people I met and amazing places I visited that I will never forget. This was truly a once in a lifetime experience and I highly recommend it for future years. One of my favorite experiences was being able to visit two native villages: Hoonah (Population: 700) and Angoon (Population: 500). In these villages, the Public Health Nurse and I offered health awareness classes to all ages and met the medical staff who are so important to these cultures. We even got the chance to get the community on their feet and leave a smile on their faces for a few days with multiple Salsa and Zumba lessons/socials. It was an amazing resource to work with the brave staff that understood the community as it is well-known that building trust in native populations can be a great challenge in your success as health care providers. Everyone I met was very welcoming and I felt that I had accomplished my goal in many of the communities visited.
Aside from visiting rural villages, as my grand project, I was able to implement and jumpstart an exercise program with a local youth center in a low-income housing area. This program is meant to focus on leadership and teamwork skills as these are two qualities that can be very valuable in the children's future. I was extremely glad to see the participation increase rapidly during each visit both by the young students and adult leaders. This is a program meant to last for years to come, therefore I am excited to keep updated on the progress and future achievements.
I feel honored to be able to have an experience like this in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. Alaska has treated me well and has left me with amazing stories I will be able to share to future generations to come.
The meeting was set to start at 4pm, so the four senior capstone students arrived at the school around 3:15 to set up. We brought with us light refreshments that we had bought earlier that day. We were very optimistic and ready to get the parents’ input on how we could best help their children be healthier during the school day. We were also looking forward to the next day’s focus group with the faculty and staff of the school. However, we first knew something was amiss when the overhead announcements came on to signal the end of the school day. The announcements told the wrong dates for the focus groups and mixed up the parent and faculty dates to do some sort of miscommunication. Not to be disheartened, we told the faculty the correct dates and continued to wait for the parents. At about ten after four, we began to realized that no one was coming to our meeting. Finally, at 4:30, we packed up our belongings, put the chairs and refreshments back, and sat down with our faculty advisor, Dr. Killion. The four of us were pretty unhappy about the turn of events, but Dr. Killion was very encouraging. She told us that it is common for such a thing to occur, and that we will certainly be successful with our future focus groups. She also told us a story of a focus group she held to which no one came, and then the next day she had another one with a great turnout. She made our next focus groups look much more hopeful than I had thought, and I now look forward to our faculty and staff meeting tomorrow. I am ready to start making some great changes for the students of Michael R. White.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Today my group, (Hannah, Jill, Mary Clare and I) went to Tri-C West to market the Cuyahoga County Board of Health’s (CCBH) Family Planning Clinic. The Family Planning Clinic is a title X clinic located at CCBH. The clinic is open two days a week offering a variety of services such as STI testing, HIV testing, pregnancy testing, birth control counseling, and more. Since it is a title X clinic the cost of each visit is based off a sliding scale of household income. This is a great resource for many people without insurance or with limited finances. We set up a booth in the main building of the college with a giant tri fold and various pamphlets. We also created little information baggies filled with candy, condoms, and pocket sized handouts. The little bags were our way of luring the students over to our table to have something to take with them.
We were there from 10am to 2pm and we had around 12 students come up to our booth and talk to us. Some of the females were interested in the birth control options and the possibility of getting birth control for free. Most of the males took the candy and then later we over heard them laughing about our pamphlet of “how to put on a condom.” Even though they were laughing about this, at least our information was getting read and not just thrown into the trash.
From now on every Tuesday 10am-2pm, and Wednesday 4-7pm we will be rotating which two students go to Tri-C and sit at our booth. We will continue this for the rest of our Capstone experience. Our supervisor at CCBH, Sandi, said that every time CWRU students sit at Tri-C they gain a few Tri-C clinic patients. We wore our navy blue FPB polo’s today, but we also planning on dressing in business casual clothes on another day to test to see if we seem more approachable without Case’s name attached to us. It will be interesting to see if changing our attire will make any difference.
Our goal this semester is to increase awareness about the services that the Family Planning Clinic has to offer and increase the amount of patients seen in the clinic. We have been performing outreach throughout the community all semester long, and hopefully outreaching at Tri-C will bring in a large amount of new clients.
Monday, October 10, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
While Bethel may not be pretty picturesque peaks like those you would see in Fairbanks, the area is by no means ugly. Bethel is "just flat tundra," nevertheless, the beauty is in the landscape's simplicity. Since the land is completely flat in every direction, the sky appears as if it goes on forever and the clouds look as if a white blanket lying directly over you. The Alaskan terrain is extremely diverse, and you need only go upriver a few hours to find mountains and trees lining the horizon. Beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder.
Secondly, Alaska is not boring.While there may not be movie theaters or bars or shopping malls on every street corner, there are winding rivers and salmon and berries... moose and caribou and seal... nature is alive and kicking out here. The wondrous part of my adventure up here in "the bush" is that superficial glamour and materialistic nature of American dream disappear faster than the morning fog. As my host mother says - 'Bethel will smack the peacock out of any woman!'
I am so grateful for the opportunity to complete my Capstone here... nowhere else could I have seen first-hand a patient with ACTIVE TUBERCULOSIS... witnessed authentic Native Yu'pik culture... tasted walrus soup... or met a famous Russian explorer during a village trip (I dare you to google Misha Malakhov... so cool!!). I cannot wait to see what the rest of my time in Bethel has in store for me :) Til next time....
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
This weekend we traveled to the Grand Canyon on Saturday and Red Rock State Park in Sedona on Sunday. Both places were beautiful but I really enjoyed hiking at Red Rock. We did about 4 miles and even climbed a mountain!
Capstone at Gila River Indian Reservation, Arizona