Starting this month, Washtenaw Community College Nursing and Allied Health students will be taking their skills out into the community in the form of free wellness and health promotion clinics.
The “WCC Wellness & Health Promotion Clinics,” the brainchild of Valerie Greaves, RN, MSN, MSA, department chair of Nursing & Health Sciences at the college, and Melina Roberts, RN, MSN, CNS, was conceived though Greave’s doctoral work.
“I was doing a literature search on student-run clinics and their relationship to community health outcomes and the results were overwhelmingly positive,” said Greaves. “It seemed to me that taking students into the community to improve the quality of life of our community members made a lot of sense.”
The health initiatives utilized by the clinics will be based on the “Healthy People 2020” campaign—an important national initiative that was developed to identify nationwide health improvement priorities.
The clinics, which will be staffed by 72 students from the nursing and medical assisting program, will offer blood pressure screenings, Body Mass Index calculations, glucose checks and abdominal girth measurements—an indicator of future risk for stroke and heart attacks. Hands-on displays as well as evidence-based posters created by the students are also offered.
“This is the first time we have offered a clinic as a true experiential learning opportunity for our students,” said Kristin Good, dean of Math, Science & Health. “It’s a great service-learning piece for our curriculum.”
And it is an experience that, according to Greaves, students can’t wait to get started on.
“Our students are excited to participate; they really want to get out into our community and make an impact on the overall health of our community.”