DOBSON — Rising second-year Surry Community College Associate Degree Nursing students recently spent some time volunteering at the Forsyth Health Fest that was held in conjunction with the Forsyth County Spring Olympics.
Twenty-four students and two nursing faculty members helped set up events and specific health screening stations at the Forsyth Health Fest along with recruiting athletes to participate in health screenings.
“Special Olympics is an opportunity to emphasize the strengths of each individual athlete and gives the athlete an opportunity to shine. From a nursing education perspective, it allows the students to interact with the special needs population in a non-clinical setting and gain a perspective of them as individuals instead of focusing on a diagnosis,” said Dr. Yvonne Johnson, associate dean of Health Sciences. “Nursing care is about more than daily medication passes, treatment plans and progress reports; it’s about people and caring enough to help them achieve optimal health.”
Students also helped athletes check-in and move through each station where other students were assessing height, weight, and blood pressure.
“It was a nice break from clinical, but we still practiced skills that we need to know as a nurse,” said student Peggy Bowes of Mount Airy.
The students also took turns interviewing athletes and their care providers at the football field at Walkertown High School where the event was held.
Kelly Merkl, program innovations director for Special Olympics, said the goal for the day was to complete surveys and screenings for 50 athletes. SCC students overpassed that goal by completing 80 surveys and helping screen 60 athletes.
Student Robert Lamb of Sparta said, “It was a very rewarding experience to interact with the athletes.”
After the assessments had been completed at each station, students escorted athletes to the check-out station where their data was reviewed by a physician from Brenner Children’s Hospital. Each athlete was given a goody bag, which students put together with event supplies that included a healthy snack and a placemat depicting a healthy plate.
Nursing students enjoyed the time out of the classroom and the interactions with the athletes.
“It helps you realize things you take for granted,” said student Hannah Wall of Rural Hall. “There were kids who couldn’t get out of their wheelchairs, and it just makes you thankful for the things you can do.”
Student Corey Kidd of Pilot Mountain said, “The kids are very positive about everything.”
Surry students were impressed with how the athletes treated each other.
“During a race, one girl fell and another girl went back to help her up. Most kids wouldn’t do that,” said student Ashley Seigler of Elkin.
Michelle J. Dunn, clinical coordinator and nurse educator, and Brooke Mauck, nurse educator, at Surry, accompanied the group.
“Surry nursing students are always impressive individuals who strive to present their best. This group is no exception,” Dunn said. “In some cases, students who are not outspoken in class absolutely shined, and in each, I could see their nurse’s heart.”
Students who participated were: Kristy Armstrong of Hamptonville; Wendy Black and Corey Kidd of Pilot Mountain; Margaret “Peggy” Bowes, Molly Lankford, Olivia Smith and Hannah Webb of Mount Airy; Landon Brawley of Yadkinville; Jodie Brock of Moravian Falls; Savannah Collins, Ashley Craddock, Tess Dockery, Brandi Fowler, Marina Luvianos and Brian Sandusky of Dobson; Jon Combs and Mary “Mo” Howell of Winston Salem; Jessica Cox of Hays; Robert “Rob” Lamb of Sparta; Amanda Osborne of Grassy Creek; Ashley Seigler of Elkin, Lindsey Smith of King, Hannah Wall of Rural Hall; and Teagan Wrenn of Lawsonville.
The nursing program prepares nurses to manage and deliver patient care in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, or long-term care facilities. Students can earn their degree at Surry and then practice nursing anywhere worldwide.
SCC offers three nursing programs — the two-year Associate Degree Nursing to become a Registered Nurse, the one-year Practical Nursing Diploma to become a Licensed Practical Nurse, and the three-semester LPN-ADN bridge program for Licensed Practical Nurses who want to become RNs. For admission deadlines, go to www.surry.edu.
For more information about the Nursing program, contact Dr. Yvonne Johnson at 336-386-3368 or [email protected] Surry also has a new Facebook page about Nursing at www.facebook.com/surrynursing where students can learn more about the program.