Sunday, December 16, 2012

Looking back on my CMSD experience

             Now that the semester is at an end it is nice to take a step back and see all that we, as a group, have accomplished over the past semester. I feel that we have accomplished a lot in the amount of time given to us to achieve our goals.Going out into the community to check the height and weight of children in about 70 schools is no easy task. We had a great deal of help from the sophomores  juniors, MN students and the BSN students from Ursuline college. we would not have been able to accomplish our goals without their help. The teachers and staff were also incredibly kind and accommodating  Everyone we met was helpful and cooperative and seemed to appreciate what we were trying to do within their communities. 
            During the time I spent in all the of the Cleveland schools this past semester I was able to identify a few strengths and positive aspects within the community.  Many of the schools we visited were brand new buildings with modern facilities. Even the buildings that were not brand new were relatively clean and gave the students an adequate atmosphere for learning. Another positive was the attitude of the teachers and staff. Everyone was always incredibly cooperative and did what they could to help us achieve our goals in a timely and efficient manner. A lot of the teachers seemed generally interested in our program as well.  When we were travelling to a few schools collecting feedback about our data brochure many of them wanted to keep the rough draft to share with the rest of the faculty. I guess overall I would say I was surprised by the amount of cooperation and enthusiasm we received from most of the schools. I got the impression that they wanted us there and that what we were doing was important to them.
            After spending time in the schools I believe the role of public health nurse is very important for overall community well-being. The obesity rate in many of the schools is well above the state and national average. Also, many schools in the Cleveland school district do not have school nurses. One of the primary roles all nurses play no matter what setting they are in is educator. These kids probably do not have anyone to teach them how to eat right and take care of themselves. I know money is always what it comes down to but the lack of health education is having a severe negative effect on young kids within the community.
            I think one of the major goals of this project was to learn how to learn how to work well as a team. A lot of effort needed to be put in to get everything ready to go out into the community and check the children’s height and weight. Even more time and effort was needed to analyze all the data we collected during our screenings. Our project would not have been successful if we did not learn to work together . Another goal of this course was to learn to accept more of a leadership role. I think this came into play more during the actual screenings. Sometimes we would be out at the schools as the leaders with no other faculty so we would be the ones calling the shots and everyone would be looking to us to know what they needed to be doing. I think I handled the responsibilities of being a leader and met the goal I set for myself in the beginning of the course.
          In the hospital it might just seem like nurses are there to help fix people that are broken or sick. Now I think it is important that we, as nurses, spend more time working to prevent sickness and disease before it occurs. The data we collected in the Cleveland schools offers valuable insight on a very concerning problem affecting the youth of the Cleveland school district. If it’s not corrected there will be many more sick people in hospitals when these children grow up and reach adulthood.  Waiting until something goes seriously wrong and requires medical attention is not a good way to handle any health issue.    

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