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Adelphi summer program engages local high school students

Monday August 27, 2012
Adelphi nursing students Deanna Donohue, at left, and Edgardo Bacalan, at right, worked with Helen Ballestas, RN, program director and assistant professor of nursing, in the summer nursing program for high school students.
Adelphi nursing students Deanna Donohue, at left, and Edgardo Bacalan, at right, worked with Helen Ballestas, RN, program director and assistant professor of nursing, in the summer nursing program for high school students.
(Photo by Janice Petrella Lynch, RN)
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The 22 students in the 2012 summer high school program at Adelphi University School of Nursing learned how to take blood pressure, pulse and respiration readings and practiced listening to lung and heart sounds.
(Photo courtesy of Adelphi University)
For the second summer, Adelphi University School of Nursing in Garden City, N.Y., offered high school students the opportunity to spend a week learning about the profession through an experiential and didactic program. Twenty-two students from the New York metropolitan area, Texas, Massachusetts and North Carolina participated in the program during the first week of August.

Experiential learning
Taking advantage of New York Cityís opportunities, the students toured BODIES The Exhibition at the South Street Seaport, where they viewed preserved cadavers dissected to display the intricacies of each body system. They saw the effects of disease and unhealthy life choices — such as what happens to the lungs of smokers — and how muscles, joints and bones function as pulleys, fulcrums and levers.

In the nursing school simulation lab, students took vital signs on the Laerdal SimMan, became certified in CPR, practiced health assessment skills and learned first-aid basics.

"The program helps to dispel some myths they may have about the profession," said Edgardo Bacalan, program resident assistant and an Adelphi nursing student.

To round off the experience, students toured inpatient hospital units such as a NICU, pediatrics and cardiothoracic ICU, and spoke with nurses from a variety of departments, including quality management, infectious disease and the ED.

Beth Heydemann, RN, MSN, clinical assistant professor; Deborah Murphy, RN, MSN, clinical assistant professor; and JoAnn Victor-Fassman, RN, MSN, adjunct faculty, brought students to Winthrop-University Hospital, Mineola, N.Y.; Nassau University Medical Center, East Meadow, N.Y.; and South Nassau Communities Hospital, Oceanside, N.Y.

"The hospital experience helped them to see what areas of nursing they might like, and although one student felt the inpatient setting was not for her, she heard about many other options from professors and Adelphi nursing students," said Deanna Donohue, program resident assistant and an Adelphi nursing student.

"The vision of the program was to encourage the young to come into nursing," said Helen C. Ballestas, RN, PhD, ANP-BC, program director and assistant professor of nursing, who designed and developed the program. Ballestas worked with Erin P. Raia, high school programs coordinator, and her staff, who inform high schools throughout the country about the opportunity.

Current issues
After learning about nursing research from Janet Raman, RN, PhD, ANP, assistant professor, and meeting with the research librarian, students completed small-group poster projects on selected topics, some of which included the brain, Florence Nightingale and leaders in nursing, and therapeutic communication. Students presented the posters to fellow students, faculty and parents on the final day.

"The students see and hear about the many different roles in the profession, and most are charged by the experience," Ballestas said. "In the past two years, almost 80% of the students are sure that the nursing profession is right for them after participating in our program."

Participants attended classroom presentations on the nursing profession, womenís health, growth and development, pharmacology, and nutrition that were given by Adelphi nursing faculty Diane Dembicki, RN, PhD, LMT, CYT, clinical assistant professor; Patricia Facquet, RN, PhD, MSPH, MEd, clinical assistant professor; Andrea McCrink, RN, EdD, WHNP, assistant professor and PATH program director; Maureen Roller, RN, DNP, ANP-BC, clinical assistant professor; and Maria Vera-Irizarry, RN, MSN, adjunct faculty.

Janice Petrella Lynch, RN, MSN, is a regional nurse executive.


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