By David Dillon, AS Nursing Program student
As part of Nursing 210, Goodwin College nursing students have the opportunity to fulfill their pediatric rotation in the Hartford School System. “The students spend each week at one of the Hartford Public Schools, an excellent opportunity for them to enhance their assessment and their therapeutic skills,” states Robin Young-Cournoyer RN, pediatric coordinator at Goodwin College. “We offer this clinical experience to our nursing students to expose them to this unique setting.”
Following, nursing degree student David Dillon shares his outlook on this educational opportunity:
I was initially surprised at the depth of the role a school nurse plays in the well being of children with Individualized Educational Plans (IEP). There are many students in the public school system with multiple medical needs during the school day. These needs might include asthma, diabetes, anaphylaxis treatment, and seizure disorders, and could require catheterization, g-tube feedings, medications, and suctioning. In addition, vision, hearing, and scoliosis screenings are performed throughout the school year.
During this seven-week pediatric rotation session, there are many assignments sessions focused on the enhancement of student learning. One is to present a health or safety in-service to the children at the school. The instructions for the assignment are that it has to be interactive, fun, age appropriate, and educational for the children. I took my time to process the components because I wanted to be sure I met all of the criteria.
Knowing that I would be presenting my in-service about the importance of fruits and vegetables to second graders at The S.A.N.D. School, I felt it was imperative to come up with an interactive activity that provided some incentive.
I purchased a rubber kickball with a smiley face printed on it and called it the “fruit & veggie sharing ball.” In the classroom, the children sat in a circle and when their turn came to hold the ball they told me their name, their favorite fruit, and their favorite vegetable. I came prepared with fruit and veggie pencil erasers, which they received after their turn sharing. Once all the children had a turn with the ball, I told them I had one more gift for them, but we had to make a “group promise.” We all held our pencil erasers in the air and said as a group, “I promise to eat my fruit and veggies every day!” The children received a fruit and veggie stickers that they could wear proudly on their shirts to represent our promise.
The children and the teachers were very receptive to the activity. Each child was eager to have a chance to hold the ball and share. The pencil erasers and stickers undoubtedly brought out the excitement in the activity. The children enjoyed telling me what vegetables they had for dinner the night prior and what fruits they had for breakfast. I felt great after the presentation. In a sense, it brought me back to when I was a child.
I am thankful that Goodwin made this assignment part of the curriculum for Nursing 210 and gave me the opportunity to share this experience with others. As I’m sure many know, nursing school is an amazing but exhausting experience. The interaction I had during the in-service with the kids at S.A.N.D School verifies why I chose this profession.
To learn more about nursing programs at Goodwin, visit https://www.goodwin.edu/majors/nursing/