Accelerated nursing students explore community health issues

July 7, 2014

Seven students in Bradley’s accelerated senior nursing program spent two June weeks volunteering at Peoria’s Salvation Army and the Tazewell County Health Department.

Students at the Salvation Army interacted with homeless men and families to assess the health needs. Students performed health histories and made referrals to local health care agencies. They worked with caseworkers in helping clients set short and long-term health, employment and housing goals. Students also helped organize and plan logistics for feeding those in need of food assistance.

As a result, students have an appreciation for health issues related to running an industrial kitchen to feed the homeless. The week culminated in a health education offering to homeless clients. Topics included dental health, TB updates, protection from heat-related illnesses and smoking cessation. Students completed the two weeks with a new understanding of the complexity of homelessness in the Peoria area.

Students at TCHD worked with adults and children who needed immunizations. They also worked with families in the WIC clinic for nutrition assessment and education. Each student spent a day with the environmental health unit and inspected restaurants, neighborhood weeds and trash, and mosquito traps. There is no West Nile Virus in Tazewell County at this time.

The group also toured the Morton water treatment plant and gained a new appreciation for clean water. The students also made home visits with nurses to new moms and babies in Tazewell County. The week culminated with the students giving a presentation to nursing staff at the health department on Tuberculosis and current related issues.