Instead of a beach getaway, a handful of UofL nursing students spent their spring break giving back to the Louisville community and those in need.
On March 14, seven undergraduate students helped administer vaccines to more than 100 adults and children at Kentucky Refugee Ministries, a nonprofit organization that provides resettlement services to refugees.
Students administered vaccines to prevent chickenpox, hepatitis B, diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus to refugees from Iraq, Nepal, Somalia and Syria.
“I wanted to help people who have come here for a better life,” said junior nursing student Ivone Adamenou, while preparing a measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.
The UofL Department of Medicine Global Health Initiative organized the event, which allowed nursing students to gain experience administering vaccines, and served critical immunization needs of refugees.
“These are the types of patients students can expect to see when they work in the hospitals,” said School of Nursing Assistant Professor Montray Smith, MSN, MPH, RN, LHRM, who helped supervise the students. “Louisville has a sizable refugee population, and this is an excellent opportunity for students to gain firsthand experience working with this population.”
Remote Area Medical trip to Nashville
Also, five undergraduate nursing students kicked off their spring break on March 11 by helping those who struggle to afford or access health care. The students, Smith and School of Nursing Assistant Professor Diane Riff served at a Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic in Nashville triaging about 400 patients who received dental and medical care.
RAM operates mobile clinics that provide free health care to those who do not have access or cannot afford to see a provider.
Student Kathryn Stuckey wanted to attend the trip to help people who would not have been able to receive treatment without the clinic.
“Many people expressed how grateful they were for us and that solidified that I am going into the right profession,” Stuckey said. “I will always be willing to lend a hand because I believe that everyone deserves equal treatment regardless of their income, race, culture and any other factor.”
Norton Children & Hospitals Week
Finally, on March 15, undergraduate and master’s degree students provided brief education sessions about healthy lifestyle choices and safety at Norton Children & Hospitals Week. Kindergartners from local schools took field trips to the event, hosted at Louisville Slugger Field.
Nursing students taught children poison prevention, helmet and seatbelt safety, brushing and flossing correctly and the importance of getting enough sleep. Areas that mimicked hospital departments, including the emergency room, X-ray and surgery, were meant to help children overcome fear and anxiety associated with hospital visits.
The 34th annual event was part of programming organized by Norton Children’s Prevention & Wellness.