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University of Nevada, Reno nursing students hold health fair at Gospel Mission


University of Nevada, Reno Orvis School of Nursing student Calixtra Alipio takes a blood pressure reading at a health fair that students put on at St. Vincent’s Dining Hall last November. Students from the School will hold a similar health fair this Friday, Aug. 3 at the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission.

A group of students from the University of Nevada, Reno Orvis School of Nursing will hold a health fair to distribute information on health-care issues and provide basic medical screenings at the Reno-Sparks Gospel Mission, 355 Record St., 9:30 – 11:30 a.m., this Friday, Aug. 3.

The students conducted surveys to see what health-care issues are of most concern to those who use the services of the Gospel Mission, as well as to those who provide services to the indigent. They then networked with students at the University of Nevada School of Medicine and the University’s School of Social Work, as well as with other organizations in the community, such as the American Lung Association, CARE Chest of Sierra Nevada, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Washoe County Health Department, to set up booths providing information, referrals and screenings at the fair.

Besides providing basic health screening, such as taking blood-pressure measurements, the students will provide information on topics such as smoking cessation, diabetes, sexual health, dental hygiene, and access to medical supplies, prescriptions and resources. They will also have bags filled with basic health- and hygiene-related items, such as sunscreen, toothbrushes and water bottles, for participants. After the fair, the students will conduct another survey to see what the attendees learned.

The students are conducting the health fair as a group project for one of their nursing courses, “Care of Community, Mental Health, Chronically Ill: Practice,” taught by Salli Vannucci, assistant professor of nursing. To conduct the health fair, the students are using the same formula they learn in their courses for providing care to patients – assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation.

Students in such classes as Vannucci’s have conducted similar community projects for several years. Students across disciplines at the University are enjoying increased opportunities to provide services to the community while gaining valuable real-world experience since former University of Nevada, Reno President Milt Glick signed the “Campus Compact” in fall 2010, joining a national coalition of college and university presidents committing their campuses to encouraging service learning and civic engagement.

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