NU nursing students volunteer for health screenings at Kansas State Fair

On Sunday, Sept. 13, Newman University nursing students visited the 2015 Kansas State Fair to provide an important community service.

Newman's Rikkie Hemmert at the controls for the hearing screening instrument.
Newman’s Rikkie Hemmert at the controls for the hearing screening instrument.

Every year for the past four years, third-semester nursing students enrolled in the community health nursing class have volunteered to assist the Kansas Lions Club with its mobile health screening initiative. The screening includes tests for hearing, vision, blood pressure and blood sugar, with educational materials and referrals as needed. The Kansas Lions Club offers the screenings for both children and adults across the state.

At the State Fair, 484 Kansans of all ages were screened on that Sunday alone with the help of the NU nursing students .

Associate Dean of Nursing and Allied Health Jane Weilert, Ed.D. shared her thoughts on this community service.

“The students all look sharp in their Newman nursing uniforms, and are asked who they are,” Weilert said. “The students all respond proudly saying ‘Newman University.’ So, 484 people now know about Newman University.

“The nursing students benefit from having to perform that many manual blood pressures and blood glucose screenings in a noisy environment,” Weilert continued. “They also learn new skills with hearing screening and the Pediavision screening tool for children as young as 6 months. Educating the clients on the screening results is also a very important function of the nurse.”

Weilert added that the members of the Lions Club share many stories where the screenings at the fair have saved lives and the eyesight of many children and adults.

The community service at the Kansas State Fair not only helps fulfill course requirements for students, but also falls in line perfectly with the mission of the Newman Nursing Department and the university.

Darrin Capps and Rikkie Hemmert at the Kansas Lions Club free screening booth.
Darrin Capps and Rikkie Hemmert at the Kansas Lions Club free screening booth.

“In the School of Nursing and Allied Health we strongly believe in prevention, screening and early intervention,” Weilert said. “At Newman one of our core values is service to the community, and as nurses part of our responsibility is the give-back to our community. This experience gives our students an opportunity to use their nursing skills, to assist the Lions Club, and to interact with Kansans of all ages as we live the mission of Newman. It is also fun to be at the State Fair and enjoy some of the very unhealthy food and resupply ourselves with pencils and yard sticks!

The Newman Nursing Department will be helping the Kansas Lions Club again on Sept. 26 by assisting screening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Conway Fall Festival, Conway, Kan.

 Jennifer Van Tassell with the Peadiavision instrument used to screen children
Jennifer Van Tassell with the Peadiavision instrument used to screen children


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