Nursing students hold health fair at St. Vincent’s

Students seek to provide education on health-care issues identified as problems by the homeless

11/17/2011 - By: Claudene Wharton
University of Nevada, Reno Orvis School of Nursing students University of Nevada, Reno Orvis School of Nursing students receive instruction at the William N. Pennington Health Sciences Building on campus. Photo courtesy of Jeff Ross.

With winter around the corner, the plight of the city's homeless is once again of more concern than ever. A group of students from the University of Nevada, Reno Orvis School of Nursing has decided to be proactive by holding a health fair to distribute information on health-care issues to those who frequent St. Vincent's Dining Hall. The health fair is 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 18 at the dining hall, 325 Valley Road in Reno.

"We conducted surveys to see what health-care issues are of most concern to those who access the dining hall, as well as to those who run the facility and others who provide services to the indigent," said Travis Miller, a senior nursing student and one of eight students conducting the health fair.

The students will be taking blood-pressure measurements, as well as providing information on topics such as smoking cessation, heart health, sexual health and hygiene, dental hygiene, mental health and bed bugs. After the fair, they will conduct another survey to see what some of the attendees learned at the fair.

"We are using the same formula in conducting this health fair as we do to provide care to patients," Miller said. "The steps we use in caring for patients are assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation. Those are the same steps that will hopefully make for a successful health fair for this vulnerable population."

The students are conducting the health fair as a group project for one of their nursing classes, "Care of the Community, Mental Health and Chronically Ill," taught by Maureen Barnes, clinical instructor. The students have reached out to invite others to provide information or services at the fair. Dental hygienists from Truckee Meadows Community College and employees from Great Clips Haircuts have signed up to participate.


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