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Nursing students serve the community and promote health

The thought of getting a flu vaccine or blood pressure reading may not sound like a luxury, but for many it is. In an effort to educate the community, gain experience and simply do for the good of humanity, the Minot State University Nursing Department has injected itself into the community every semester, providing a number of health care services to those who cannot afford it.

"These health screenings are important as they are often a patientís first line of defense," said Heidi Benavides, Minot State University nursing instructor. "I think itís important to give back to the community, itís easy to get in a routine with everyday tasks, but I think itís important to get out there and be visible. Our students are growing and recognizing the importance of promoting health."

Minot State nursing students have offered a number of community health screenings over the years, such as glucose and cholesterol screenings; diabetic screenings; breast cancer awareness campaigns; blood pressure readings and flu vaccines. Providing these services gives the students experience they not only need, but want.

"Students love it and hands down think should be part of every semester," Benavides said. "They love the teaching aspect, teaching people about things such as hypertension, high glucose or cholesterol."

"The program really shows us that we donít exist in a bubble, we are an integral part of the community," said Jordana Kane, MSU nursing student. "Through the profession we are pursuing and being educated upon, we receive a great deal of respect from the community. And while we provide a fantastic service to the community through all of these programs and interventions, the most important factor is that the community sees how engaged we are and we are giving back to the community as a whole."

MSU nursing students always need community hours and are looking for community members they can serve and provide free services. If anyone knows of a community event the nursing students could be a part of and provide these screenings, inquiries can be made by contacting a faculty or staff member through the website at www.minotstateu.edu/nursing/staff.shtml.