As part of a community-wide effort to address the health concerns in low-income neighborhoods, students from the Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies (PA) programs helped provide immunizations at Hartke Park in North Las Vegas on April 6.
Aboard the Touro Mobile Healthcare Clinic, 12 Bachelor of Science in Nursing 2017B students and three PA students were busy providing immunizations for both adults and children. Touro University Nevada’s involvement was part of a new community-wide initiative, featuring mobile clinics and services from health providers and community partners across the Las Vegas Valley.
Students worked in shifts providing immunizations for the families who came to the clinic. A few of the students conversed with them while they waited outside, an experience that will help them build relationships and interact with the people they are helping.
“Anything we can do to help these underserved communities is a nursing intervention,” said Tracey Johnson-Glover, Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing. “This was an awesome experience for them.”
Immunizations were provided by the Southern Nevada Health District, but administered by the students under the supervision of TUN faculty.
“We were able to practice giving vaccines and got to meet people who were very grateful for what we do,” said student Desherry Tran. “I think this was a great experience for us as nursing students.”
Addressing the needs of underserved communities is an integral part of becoming a successful nurse, according to Johnson-Glover. Providing the necessary healthcare and establishing personal relationships within the community will also help the students enjoy a prosperous career in the field. By participating in the mobile healthcare collaborative, students were able to grasp the needs of the community and provide the residents with a better experience.
“Just integrating themselves within the community, especially a low-income community, will be beneficial to the students, because this is who they will be serving,” Johnson-Glover said. “Whether it’s childhood obesity, low-immunization rates or a lack of healthy food choices, these are problems that nurses can help to address in underserved communities.”
The nursing and PA students were grateful for the opportunity to participation in the collaborative, especially with graduation looming around the corner.
“It’s great that we were able to come out and perform this outreach with our communities,” Tran said. “It was a wonderful experience and I was very happy to be a part of it.”
Other community partners who provided assistance at the event included the Clark County School District, Southwest Medical Associates, Three Square Food Bank, Vegas PBS and more.