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Inaugural Character/Health Fair event held in UCPS high schools

Arelis Gonzalez, at right, a senior at Sun Valley High School, speaks with a Queens University nursing student about the side effects of tanning during a recent health fair at her school.

College students teaching high school students was the theme for the inaugural Character/Health Fairs held recently at Sun Valley and Forest Hills high schools.

School nurses from Union County Public Schools sponsored the event, which was presented by Queens University of Charlotte's Accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing (ABSN) students.

"Union County school nurses have been providing clinical rotation sites for the Queens ABSN nursing students for two years," said Wendy Nielsen, UCPS school nurse supervisor. "Our schools have served as a valuable opportunity for the Queens ABSN students to learn from UCPS nurses the multifaceted practice of school nursing."

The March fairs covered topics that organizers felt teens may have to deal with on a daily basis, such as video game addiction, energy drinks, cyber bullying, driving safety, dangers of smoking and chewing tobacco, drug and alcohol addiction/abuse, binge drinking, tattoo and piercing safety, depression and teenage suicide, proper hand washing and coughing, healthy meal selection, eating disorders, obesity, calculating BMI, dangers of sun tanning, diabetes, traumatic brain injury prevention, dental health, noise induced hearing loss, and domestic violence.

High school students rotated through information booths that were set up in the schools' gyms.

Registered nurses from Queens University School of Nursing Grace Buttriss, Carey Friedrich, Jill Carey and Jesus Hernandez were on hand to give high school students one-on-one advice about pursuing nursing as a career, while Katie Blum, Queens University's admissions counselor, offered information about the Queens University of Charlotte Nursing programs.

Staff from both high schools reported that their students seemed to enjoy the interaction and teaching from the nursing students.

“The students really enjoyed the fair," said Forest Hills High School nurse Tina Medlin. "This gave them an opportunity to receive accurate information about issues that are important to them as young adults. It was a great learning experience for them.”

“I was pleased to hear so many favorable comments from students and faculty about the fair," said Sun Valley High School nurse Fran Hoover. “Teaching students about health-related issues and healthy choices is just one component of school nursing. It was wonderful having the Queens students, who served as such positive role models. And the booths, displays and handouts served as a valuable resource in health education.”

The school nurses, stating that helping students make healthy choices will positively enhance those students' academic success, offered their gratitude to the Queens ABSN student nurses for "a job well done.”
 

Written by: Fran Hoover and Tina Medlin, UCPS school nurses
Posted: Apr 29, 2011 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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