Monday, November 28, 2011

Otis Moss

My experience at the Otis Moss Jr Health Center in the Fairfax community has really been insightful. I came into contact with my interesting and exciting patients. I can remember my last of clinicals there being crazy busy.I was able to interact with many teenagers and provide STD teaching to them. I really enjoyed this because they were all able to respond to me and they felt comfortable speaking with me. The children at the clinic as well were all so adorable. The nurses and doctors their are all very helpful because they allow you to actually provide patient care. So i felt very confident in my skills. The public health nurse is always so busy coming up with new outreach programs. I really enjoyed the Diabetes Forum we did with Merck & Co. It was fun coming up with different ways to keep patients excited and engaged. We had really great folders to give to him with all kinds of healthy recipes. It just felt good to be apart of a change and to work with a big company like Merck.
I really enjoyed the free lunches from the pharmaceutical companies that we often got too :) . The medical assistants I loved because they were so helpful. They taught me how to draw blood and do assessments. I was really cool and they were so friendly.

My Spartan Experience


So this is my first time here in Cleveland. I was so excited to come here due to the thought of working in the Cleveland Clinic and adjusting to a new environment away from my "paradise life". It has been such a big adjustment as far as learning the bus routes (when im so used to having my car), getting away from the party life and the weather. During the first month I got lost trying to find my way to the RTA station (took me an hour and a half, lol). But I finally made it to the mall :).
I remember my first week of intensives. I thought I was going to lose my mind being in class from 8 to 5 everyday for 2 weeks but it turned out to be amazing because my professors were funny, engaging and I learned so much. I especially enjoyed my Health in the Global Community class. Mrs Katia Almaida was such a free-spirited teacher and she always kept my interest. My experience at the Cleveland Clinic was beyond up-lifting. I learned so much from the nurses and doctors. My patients were all wonderful and very inviting. I feel as thought my skills have definitely ventured.
I've met some amazing students from all over, china, ghana, india and canada. I have fallen in love with all of them, especially my nursing companions. They have been hospitable and have shown me such a great time. My first "outting" was the PAINT PARTY during the first week of classes. I had such a great time and got paint in every corner of my body, literally lol. I have went to the Euclid Tavern and performed karaoke, in which I've gotten great compliments for my singing.
Now that the cold weather has set in it has been a big adjustment but my roommate and I always seem to find our way to the mall and restuarants (Applebees and Cheesecake Factory which is my favorite). I am dreading the snow but also looking forward to it.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

School Health at Gila River

During the last two weeks of our semester, we were able to spend time in school health nursing. For two weeks, we traveled to each of the seven districts on the reservation, which each have their own public school system. We administered influenza vaccinations to students in pre-school through twelfth grade, using the live nasal vaccines and the Bioject needless systems. It was very interesting to use both of these vaccines because neither of us had used them prior to working at Gila River.
I had heard about the live nasal vaccines before, because FPB participated in a flu clinic where they were administered. I had never heard of the Bioject system. It was really interesting to learn how to use the Bioject. It is positioned just as a traditional IM injection is, on the deltoid muscle of the arm. Carbon dioxide is released at a very high speed and is injected into the muscle. Apparently the vaccine is distributed over a wider area of muscle tissue, and the students seemed to be less afraid of a needless system than they were of the traditional IM injections.
I really enjoyed working with the school aged children, and learning to use these new vaccine methods made this part of my capstone entertaining.

Public Health at Gila River

We started our public health rotation this week, and after completing one week in the public health setting, I feel that I have gained insight and a better knowledge of the Gila River population. I have spent this week with an LPN, making home visits to the Sacaton Village, District 3 of Gila River Indian Community. Working directly with the people of the community, I am able to see how and under what conditions the community members live. There seems to be a very high rate of unemployment, and a resulting atmosphere of poverty. There is trash, unused cars and trucks and children’s toys littering most yards, and there is very little, to no landscaping done around any of the homes. Graffiti covers the sides of some of the houses, and several windows and doors are boarded up on home that are both inhabited and abandoned. The conditions in which people live inside their homes is sadly not much better, and hygiene does not seem to be a high priority here, which is deeply concerning. It is sad to see how the people live in this way.
As visiting nurses, we are responsible for helping patients fill their medication boxes, usually for a week, sometimes two weeks, at a time. Many patients are not compliant with their medications, and we provide patient teaching, which we hope will encourage them to take their medications more frequently. We also take vital signs on some patients who require closer monitoring. The most shocking discovery I’ve made this week has been the non-compliance with taking blood sugars as directed. Many patients admit to not checking their blood sugars for days at a time, and are repeatedly asked to do so.
We have also participated in a flu clinic for the elders of the community, which was interesting. We will continue to work with the public health nurses next week before we move on to school health. I am looking forward to seeing what we will learn about the community next week.

Final Days at the Catholic Charities

Time flew by for Tessa and I at the Catholic Charities. My days went by so quickly it was a total shock to me that Tessa and I were finishing so soon. Everything went really well for Tessa and I. We were able to develop relationships with all the volunteers at the healthcare center as well as relationships with the patients. We both were shown that we were trusted and members of the team by given independence and allowing us to be in charge of referring patients for further procedures and continuation of their care. As mentioned by Tessa in her post, we were able to implement educational posters and gauge our results with a pre and post-test to see if the posters actually increased knowledge of diabetes. We did all of the calculations and discovered that our teaching and implementation showed an improvement of 39% in the scores of the patients from pre to post test. Diabetes is a major problem of the patients who are seen at the Catholic Charities and it's great to know that we're helping them take a step in the right direction of managing their disease and becoming more aware of the risks and complications of it.
Overall this was a great experience for me. I got to follow cardiologist, ophthalmologists, endocrinologists, urologists, orthopedic, podiatrists and general physicians and gained so much knowledge and information from every one of them. I also got to see the pharmacy and how they worked and learn a great deal about what medications are used for what and the adjustment of these medications. This is a great place for someone to volunteer their time and is somewhere that I plan to volunteer my time at once I graduate.

Final Days at Otis Moss, Jr. Health Center

As my capstone comes to an end I am able to reflect on the many experiences that I had at Otis Moss, Jr. Health Center. I have gained so much from my capstone experience. Not only did I learn task-oriented skills, but I also immersed myself in the culture of the Fairfax community. Towards the end of my experience, I began to truly understand what many of the families and patients at Otis Moss deal with on a day to day basis. Throughout my experience I built positive relationships with the staff members, and was able to utilize their knowledge to help me grow as a student nurse. The most valuable experiences that I had at Otis Moss were interacting with patients and their families. I began to see patients and families come back multiple times and I was able to build relationships with those families. I also learned a lot from the triage calls. Yvette, the RN in the pediatric office at Otis Moss, Jr. Health Center assisted me in gaining confidence while speaking with and advising parents. As the semester progressed, I saw my responsibilities at the health center increase. It was a great challenge to meet the expectations of the staff at Otis Moss.

Our Vitamin D project turned out to be a success. I loved seeing parents comment on the posters that we had made for the exam rooms. Our interventions sparked a lot of questions with the parents and we were able to educate them on the resources of Vitamin D. Overall, my capstone experience was great. I am so glad that I got to spend my semester at the Otis Moss, Jr. Health Center.

The End of the China Adventures

It is unbelievable how quickly time flew by. Just yesterday, we were meeting students to escort us to Wuhan University. Now, we are flying back to America. These past two and a half months has honestly been life-changing. Doing my capstone in China will be a once in a lifetime opportunity that I definitely will never forget. I have learned so much about the culture as well as traditional Chinese medicine. The older generation tends to have more faith in TCM than the younger generation probably because of the strong influence of Western medicine. Nevertheless, in every pharmacy that has Western medicine, there is a TCM section as well. The respect for elders is also very prevalent throughout all parts of China. On the bus, there are televised advertisements demonstrating proper etiquette which includes offering your seat to an elder. Also, in an ironic silly sort of way, the elderly are often taken cared of by their children, but the elderly also care for their grandchildren as well. They still hold certain responsibilities especially when the parents are too busy working to care for their children.

We were able to visit mental hospitals where it was actually depressing to see adolescents cooped up in one room with a limited amount of entertainment resources. They just had one TV, a ping pong table, and chairs and tables where they could read or draw. Patients are interviewed individually by a group of doctors and nurses, an experience that I would find intimidating. The staff also has little time to interact with the patients so when they saw us foreigners, they all crowded around eager to speak English with us. We were invited to teach them some basic English words so we reviewed fruits, vegetables, and different sports with them. It was quite interesting to see how well they responded to us. However, I don’t believe that the care in this institution is of good quality, and I think that their protocols and plan of care should change dramatically to one that puts the patient’s best interest as a priority.

We have met so many amazing people here and have made an abundance of good friends. Everyone has been so eager and willing to help us with anything that we need. They truly made sure that we were taken cared of, and I really appreciate this wonderful belief in hospitality. I believe that part of this is due to the general idea/outlook on foreigners. All the Chinese people are so excited to talk with us as they so eagerly want to practice their English. This experience has been incredible. It could not have been more perfect, and I would not change this experience for anything in the world. Because of this, I am more worldly and more culturally aware. The Chinese work very hard day and night and yet they continue live simple lives with few complaints. This is an idea I hope to adopt one day. I am ever so grateful for this wonderful opportunity!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Final Day at CDPH

It is hard to believe that this semester is coming to an end. 300 hours seemed like so many at the beginning, but the 10 weeks really flew by. I want to share about my last day at the Cleveland Department of Public Health. On this day, Clare and I gave a presentation to the staff at the McCafferty health center on cultural competency. We gathered the staff in a small semi circle in the waiting room and first gave them a pre-test to determine their baseline knowledge on culturally competent care. Clare and I then took turns presenting the information from the powerpoint we had created. The staff was very engaged and asked questions and made comments throughout the presentation, which lasted roughly 30 minutes. Afterward, we passed out a post test (same as the pre-test) to see if their knowledge had improved (after "grading" the papers, we found that there was a 24% increase in knowledge....pretty cool!). When the session was over, everyone told us how much they enjoyed the presentation and what a great job we did. It felt good to know that after putting so much time and work into the project, the staff really enjoyed it and learned from it. The nurse manager even asked for permission to use our presentation in the future with new staff members! After the presentation, the clinic opened and it was business as usual for the rest of the day. It was a little sad to say goodbye to everyone at the clinic. I had spent so much time working with them that we had definitely formed friendships. I look back fondly at my time at the CDPH, and am thankful for the experience!

Reflecting on our Experience in Hong Kong

Reflecting back on our capstone experience in Hong Kong reinforces what a great learning experience that we had. Not only did we acquire a large amount of knowledge about smoking cessation through our work with the University of Hong Kong’s Youth Quitline, but we also learned a lot about doing research in general. Towards the beginning of our trip, we had a project lined up to with a professor from the university, who had an ongoing research project dealing with promoting social harmony in ethnic minorities. We encountered problems with communication, and finding a substantial project that we could accomplish and bring back to present to FPB. After a number of set backs, we had to make a choice about what our best choice would be. Though we did have some stressful and difficult times, we learned that doing a project, especially in a foreign country, could be very tricky. This process provided us with a lot of insight on how research, projects, and grants in the community work sometimes. Thanks to Dr. Gueldner and Dr. Quinn Griffin, Kim and I were eventually linked with a great contact and found a project that suited us well! We were able to work with a wonderful group up people who responded to our project ideas well. The experience as a whole has been extremely educational, especially because we were dealt with frustrating situations. I believe that the most important lesson that we learned is that you have to be proactive, and roll with the punches until you can overcome your obstacles. We met amazing friends along the way and gained so much knowledge about their culture. We had an amazing trip in one of the most spectacular cities I have ever visited!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Last Days in CMSD

My time with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District has gone by so fast.  At the conclusion of the semester we successfully screened around 60 schools and approximately 5,000 students.  Looking at these numbers makes me realize how much we accomplished this year in the schools.  Although we were just taking height and weight in kindergarten's and third graders we strengthened our relationship with the Cleveland Schools and showed loyalty to the students, faculty and staff.  It felt so good to be a bright light to the CMSD especially at there time of struggle and hopelessness. 
            As the semester continued and we checked schools off of our list we realized that in order to be able to accomplish our overall goal of screening all of the schools in the district we needed more man power.  Erin Whitehouse, the project manager of the Prentis Grant, communicated with the Ursuline School of Nursing.  We paired up with student nurses from Ursuline and screened eight schools together on two different Tuesday's.  It was great to have more man power to accomplish all we had to do in the schools. 
       For me it was exciting to be working with another nursing school in order to accomplish a huge goal that we as a group set at the beginning of our project.  We got to teach the protocol that we had utilized through the semester and test the nursing students off so that they can properly screen for height and weight and know how to input the information correctly into the iPad. The students were very receptive to our project and put forth a huge effort at the schools. At the end of our 300 hours the Ursuline nursing students will continue to screen the remaining schools, and eventually accomplish our ultimate goal.
        Starting out this senior capstone project, i did not really think i was going to get as much as i did out of it.  I have enjoyed my times in the schools and getting the chance to make a difference in the lives of the children in CMSD.  I can only hope that the screenings we have done and the reformatted parent notification letter we have created, will help to decrease the rates of obesity in CMSD and ultimately give children a healthier way of life.

Wrapping Up Screenings in CMSD

As we finish up our capstone, screenings are also coming to an end in the Cleveland Public Schools as well. We officially screened around 60 of the elementary schools and a total of approximately 5,000 students. A combination of sophomores and juniors on certain Fridays, Ursuline students on Tuesdays and our Senior Screening days helped to complete this. All of the data will be prepared for the BMI notification letters to be sent home to parents. Specifically to our capstone project, my group focused on this letter and how it needed to be improved from previous years because of the high reading level of 10th grade, formatting issues and the overall message that was sent home. Our main goals were to decrease the reading level to 5th grade, make it a more appealing letter and also include parent resources in the community as well as in their own home. Getting the parents attention to their child's health status is the first step to them taking initiative to improve their overall well being.
One of the schools that I will always remember was Charles Mooney Elementary School when Amber Maciak and I were runners to the classrooms to collect the students and bring them to the screening site. There was a vision center special education classroom in this school that consisted of blind children and other disabilities. We had to bring each student up one at a time and really got to know each of them and their stories. That day made a big impact on me and it will be something that I look back on from my senior capstone.

Observations and Reflections on Chinese Hospitals

I cannot believe that I just left China! I am going to miss all of the friends I’ve made, the faculty at the HOPE Nursing School, all the staff at the community clinic, and the delicious jian bao… Last week was our last week collecting data from the patients in the clinic, and it was incredible to think how 2 months ago they had no idea who we were or what we were doing. Two months later, there we were communicating with them (a very little bit and as best as we could, but much more than we were at the beginning)! I have learned and experienced firsthand just how frustrating language barriers can be, and I think I can say that I am now a more patient person because of it.

Since we had been so busy with our project, we had not been able to visit many other hospitals to see the differences in the health care and the role of the nurses there. The last week we (and the staff) had time to see a few different hospitals, and a few different floors. The week before we had visited the ER and VIP units at Zhongnan Hospital. The VIP floor was beautiful and spotless. Each room was equipped with a bed and some modern equipment, a second room with chairs and couches, and a private bathroom. Despite my personal objections of hospitals having VIP floors, I thought it was a very welcoming environment, and any patients would be lucky to be there. Even though we were able to see that floor, there were no patients. We craved the chance to see nurses at work and the chance to see everyday citizens on various floors. We got a brief tour of the Women and Children’s Hospital and were able to see the Pediatrics Plastic Surgery floor. It was so strange (and might I say almost comforting?) to see the absence of the cage-beds we see in the pediatric units in the US. I know the purpose of the beds we put the children in at the hospital, but I always wonder how many babies and toddlers get traumatized when placed in one of them and how this detracts from their healing process. There were a few reasons I noticed as to why the peds floor did not have these beds: 1) They only have the large adult beds available to them and must make due with what they have and 2) The families are much more involved in patient care and life than in the United States. It would be unnecessary to have another kind of bed because the family was there to watch the child at all times. The nurses recognized, too, that infants sleep better in more familiar places, and we saw an infant patient sleeping its own stroller. Even though there is a potential problem with germs and bacteria being transferred through this stroller, there is still something beneficial to patients’ healing in being comfortable and feeling more at home – especially for children.

Tying in with the decreased consideration for germs, we noticed on the cardiac floor that nurses do not wash their hands between patients, when entering, or when exiting the rooms. They also did not wear gloves when inserting IVs (which were just needles they left inside the veins). I wish I had found out what the rate of infection was, but I did not ask at the time. China is still developing its theories and practices in Western medicine, and it seemed as though the hospital were just behind us in the times in terms of practice and equipment (they use gravity instead of automatic pumps for IVs). The interplay and occasional conflict of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) was also apparent while on the cardiac floor. We listened in as a doctor was explaining treatment to a patient. After the patient said something, everyone in the room laughed, and the nurse said that the patient had said that Chinese medicine had cured his disease, but Western Medicine had saved his life. That one statement really got me thinking, and I think that it really shows how many people really put their faith in TCM. TCM helps them in their daily lives to overcome illness and to maintain a balance, but they still believe that if this balance shifts too much at one time that Western Medicine can save them. The patient did not think that Western Medicine had cured him but that it gave him more time on the earth in which to keep his balance of yin and yang in check. I hope that makes sense, but if not, feel free to ask me.

The day after we went to the cardiology floor, we went to a psychiatric and a mental health hospital. As for the mental health hospital, it was very nice (and expensive) with therapy rooms, patient rooms, and a variety of programs for patients to participate in. Overall, I was impressed with the facilities. That is all I will say about it because I want to focus on the psychiatric hospital we saw. We observed the nurses and nursing students on the adolescent floor, and it seemed to be out of an old movie where patients are in locked rooms and wander around in a daze. When we got there, all the patients were in one room either watching TV (a violent movie was on), playing ping pong, playing cards, looking at magazines, or wandering around aimlessly due to sedation. When we walked into the room, a horde of them gathered around us and talked with us in English. Many of them had smiles on their faces, and it made my day. Being there and seeing the young people in that room and imagining what it would be like to be in one room all day made my heart ache. I realized just how far a little bit of attention can go. The nurse told us that other than the students, the patients don’t really have anyone talk to them because doctors and nurses were always so busy. This sounded so familiar to my experience at St. Vincent’s where the patients were so appreciative to the interaction that the student nurses had with them. It does so much good for everyone to have someone pay attention to them, to talk, participate in an activity together, or just interact in some way. Even just a comment or a smile goes such a long way. When I say interaction, however, this does not mean sitting them in a chair and interviewing them about private things in front of a room full of people. We were able to sit in a few interviews of patients, which were educational to see, but I also had the feeling like I should not have been there. I just wanted to patients to feel comfortable and to know that someone cared about them, but anyone would be intimidated by a room full of people listening to everything they said and judging them. I also found myself getting angry with the parents of the patients because as adults in China age, their children take care of them – even when they develop mental illnesses. This is why, we found out, that there aren’t many elderly people in mental hospitals. How could people find the time and energy to take care of their parents but not their own children? As I become a nurse, I hope I never forget that patients are people who deserve privacy, attention, and care.

I hope this post does not make my experience in China sound bad. It is not meant to deter people from traveling abroad but to give you a piece of the picture that I saw there. I am so lucky to have seen as much as I did, and I loved traveling to the various hospitals and comparing them to the only ones that I knew. This experience was so amazing, and I would never have passed it up. I had the privilege of seeing so much, and it really made me appreciate everything we have in the United States not only in terms of health care but also in terms of everyday practices and hygiene. All that I have seen, experienced, and learned here in daily life, working at the clinic, and visiting other hospitals will all help me to be a better and more culturally competent (yes, I had to throw in that term) nurse.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ursaline Screening Day

Teaming up with the senior Ursaline nursing students has been a great way to reach more schools by increasing our man power. On the 15th, we had a screening day with them, and it was a really fun and effective day of screenings. Our goal for this screening day was to hand the reigns over to them, as they will be screening independently soon, and we wanted to ensure that they understood every aspect of screening—from check in, to running and tying shoes, to getting new student information. As the Ursaline students became more independent, I had time to sit down and talk to the kids as they waited in line to be screened. This has been the best part of the screening. When you get down to their level, their faces light up and they will talk about anything. They mostly all talk to you all at once each one trying to catch your attention and tell a silly story or a secret. We talked about Thanksgiving, the Transformers, their field trip to the zoo, their favorite game in gym class, how pretty someone’s shoes were, and flying spiders.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Last Farm Visit for Michael R White Elementary

Yesterday was the final educational field trip that the 5th grade students had at the Squire Vallevue Farm, and it was a blast! Since the middle of October, the students have been coming to the farm to learn about nutrition, healthy eating, environmental science and so much more! The field trips were conducted on Fridays and it has been so wonderful that the weather has been pleasant for the children and we can all enjoy the outdoor weather before winter comes. At every lesson we had with the children, our group made a point to incorporate discussions and learning activities regarding nutrition- and at our final lesson it was incredible to see that they had retained the knowledge we had taught them. Although some of the topics can be a bit confusing and overwhelming, we kept the content age appropriate and we were continually challenging them to "think outside of the box".
We also enjoyed spending time with the children and I believe that they had all regarded us as role models. It was wonderful getting to know the children and to have them express their own feelings on nutrition and obesity. Many of the children are very knowledgeable of these topics and they are eager to make changes, although, they stated that their parents may not have this enthusiasm. I got a bit sad when I realized that I was (mostly likely) not going to be seeing these students again: we hope that our lesson plans we created can be continued for next semester and also for future Capstone experiences. I hope during the spring semester I can visit the children at the Squire Vallevue Farm, this Capstone was such a wonderful experience and I completely enjoyed myself.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Smoking Cessation in Hong Kong

My time in Hong Kong was an incredible experience and better than I ever expected. I can’t believe it’s over and I am home! Although we had many setbacks related to our project, I think Alexa and I were able to learn a lot about the health care system in Hong Kong. We started our project by joining with a researcher who currently works with children, and we originally planned to assist him in promoting social harmony and well being in Chinese children and ethnic minority children. However, we realized after several meetings that this project would not be possible for several reasons. We had to find a new project and eventually paired up with Dr. Sophia Chan who works with smoking cessation.

Smoking is a very big problem in Hong Kong and 68.2% of smokers begin smoking before the age of 20. Dr. Chan and her research team started the Youth Quitline at The University of Hong Kong, which is the only resource that targets the youth population. This resource is effective and provides service to many young people trying to quit smoking, but the research team has been looking for ways to improve the Quitline. Hong Kong is very technologically advanced, so we decided to focus on implementing web-based and phone-based technology to the Youth Quitline. Because of the limited time we had after many issues with finding our project, we did not actually get to implement these services. Instead, we helped the Quitline start the research process to find information about technology services that have assisted with smoking cessation in the past.

The day before we left Hong Kong we gave a presentation to Dr. Chan and her research team about our findings. We gave suggestions on how they can improve the Quitline and therefore make it more accessible to the youth population in HK. Our two big suggestions were to improve the website by adding a feature that allows users create an account so that the website will be personalized for them, and to add a text messaging system. After we presented, we had a discussion about our ideas and we were also able to hear many interesting things about smoking and the Quitline’s efforts to help the young residents of HK directly from the research team. One of the research assistants is also a counselor at the Quitline and was able to give us a lot of valuable information about some of the issues that arise during counseling. A lot of these problems would be eliminated with the use of our additional technology features. The research team really liked our ideas and is excited to start to implement some of them. They promised to keep us updated on their progress and said they will continue to ask us for our opinions. We think it would be great for the people who go to Hong Kong next year to work with Dr. Chan on this project and develop the Quitline even more.

After our presentation, the research team treated us to Dim Sum, our last traditional Chinese meal! Later that night we said goodbye to our friends and also met three of the students coming to Case in April! They are very excited to come to our school and see what nursing is like in the US and we are excited to show them around! Although I miss Hong Kong already, I am excited to be home and can’t wait to share our experiences with everyone back at school and hear about everyone else’s semester!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Learning about research

Through the capstone experience, I have had the opportunity to learn about working on a research project. As a member of the CMSD team, I have learned how to fill the role of a senior screening leader for the Prentiss Grant. This has entailed learning how to follow, teach, and enforce our screening protocol, understanding the technology used to collect and organize the data, and how to collaborate with a large team. Currently, a large portion of our time has been spent sifting through the data we have collected and sorting it so that the data we submit is free from errors which occurred in the data collection process. It is important and tedious work. As a person who does not work well with technology, I have surprised myself at how proficient I have become with Microsoft Excel and Apple’s Filemaker program. After you learn a few shortcuts, like using “Ctrl+X” to cut and “Ctrl+V” to paste, the task becomes a lot easier. Additionally, having an extra pair of eyes help you read through the Master Lists, and read out the numbers is incredibly helpful. It is also exciting to look through and see how many schools and students we have screened this semester.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Vote and Vaccinate

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to assist with a flu vaccination clinic at the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Tremont, Ohio. Because general election voting was held in the same building, our location was quite convenient for residents. When Katie and I were considering the development and presentation of certain health topics in the community, churches were definitely first on our list. The church, which was founded in 1859, appears to have developed strong relationships within the community. The church was actually the site of the area's first kindergarten, library, and Boy Scout Troop!
Central meeting points such as churches seem to be great venues for disseminating resources and health information. During elections and vaccinations, a food pantry and mission store already drew community members to the church. Furthermore, a kiosk at the entrance of the church provided multiple community and health-centered publications. Pamphlets related to traffic safety, Cleveland MetroParks hiking and snowshoe tours, Planned Parenthood, World AIDS Day, and LGTB awareness were available. Amidst all of the resources available to the community at this site, the presence of a flu vaccination clinic definitely seemed appropriate.

My experience in Cleveland thus far

When I first came to Cleveland for the student exchange program, I was very surprised. Everything seemed to be very quiet, but I quickly learned that it was because students were not back on campus yet. Being that I am from a different culture, I also thought the people were antisocial. That was until I met the lovely junior and senior nursing students. They made me feel very welcome and always helped whenever I asked questions or didn’t know. The professors were helpful as well. As I started intensives, it was very challenging being that I have never taken a class that was so short and compact, however by the second week I had adjusted. 
My experience at the Otis Moss Junior Health Center (Community Clinical) was also amazing even though I was a little apprehensive at first. I had asked my classmates if they had ever heard of that particular site and many of them did not. Being at Otis Moss, the staff made me feel very welcome, the nurses and doctors took every moment as a teaching moment. By the second week I felt comfortable checking in patients (weight, height, temp, urine dip stick test, ECG’s, and venipuncture’s). I even administered immunizations such as PPD, DTap, TB, etc. I was also called upon to administer majority of the flu shots. Being at Otis Moss thought me how imperative it is to work as a team (communication, patients care) so the patients experience can be as satisfying as possible. At the O.M.H.C we were given the opportunity to come up with a project. At O.M.H.C, majority of the lab results of pediatric patients showed that their Vitamin D levels were either deficient or insufficient, therefore our project was to educate patients/parents on Vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency. There are two other group members (Jazmin Townes and Sarah Milligan). Working with them has been a blast. We came up with the idea of doing a pre-test survey to see what people knew about Vitamin D and posters to educate them on ways that Vitamin D levels could be increased (nutrition, sunlight, etc). Overall I really enjoyed both my experience at the Otis Moss Junior health Center. I learned not only from the doctors and nurses but also from my fellow classmates. I’ve learned a lot of different things as an exchange student since I have arrived in Cleveland and hope to learn a lot more before I leave. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Last Week at CCBH

During our time at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, I feel my group and I have really impacted the "My Life, My Body" Family Health Clinic for the better. We visited over 150 businesses in the Parma area where we talked to people about the clinic and hung up fliers. We held two booths at Case Western, where we received over 40 students who took candy & condom packets and educational pamphlets. We spent about a month at Tri-C West where we also manned booths with condoms and informational resources on emergency birth control, contraception, and healthy relationships twice a week. We hope that all of this outreach brought more clients into the clinic; we will be receiving the final numbers on Wednesday!
I can honestly say that my time at CCBH has changed my perception of public health dramatically. It is a completely different type of nursing than hospital nursing. Though the nurses i shadowed worked with clients on a individual case by case basis, the purpose of their programs are geared toward prevention of problems for the community as a whole. When interviewing Cuyahoga County's health commissioner, Terry Allan, he described the purpose of the board of health as constantly analyzing where prevention is needed most in the community and how to best achieve it. Nothing in public health is instantaneous; most programs take years to change the overall statistics of the county. However, he was very optimistic for the future.
Being under the supervision of Sandi Hoch was probably the best part of our capstone. She was constantly looking for ways to involve us in public health in the community. We went to two community forums, where members of different associations in Cuyahoga met and discussed their new and continuing programs. It was very interesting to see these important members interact and work with one another to best serve the community. It also amazed me to see how many assistive programs we have in Cuyahoga County, and how i didn't know about any of them. It opened my eyes to the divide that exists between the hospitals and community health. It is my hope in the future that more hospital staff is educated in community programs, so that they can pass important and helpful information onto their patients.