Louisiana Tech nursing major Misty Bryan, of Calhoun, gives an injection during a recent health fair in which 21 Tech nursing students helped assist approximately 100 community residents.

Louisiana Tech’s nursing students take an active role in community service, with four projects already completed or scheduled for the fall quarter and numerous others spread throughout the year.

‘Community service is a pivotal part of nursing,’ Beth Fife, an associate professor of nursing, said. ‘It enhances the caring that is a part of every nurse. In order for nursing students to commit to this lifelong caring aspect of nursing, we promote and have community service or service learning projects in every course.’

One recent activity involved 21 nursing students from two extension courses — Nursing 216 and 114 — who assisted with the annual Red Cross Health Fair held at Ruston’s Trinity United Methodist Church.

Louisiana Tech nursing student Sandra Thissel, of Hodge, takes the blood pressure of nursing major John Crumpler, of Ruston, during the annual Red Cross Health Fair held at Trinity United Methodist Church.
‘The nursing students helped by taking blood pressures, drawing blood, and administering flu and pneumonia vaccines,’ Fife said. All of the approximately 100 area residents who attended the event were aided in some way by the students.

Along with Fife, nursing professor Norlyn Hyde teaches the students in those two classes and also aided them during the health fair.

Other planned fall events for Tech nursing students include donating board games for Camp Bon Coeur, a rehabilitative cardiac camp for children in Lafayette; collecting items for a garage sale for Second Beginnings, a local social service organization; and contributing food items or money to the Northeast Louisiana Food Bank.

Ongoing projects run the gamut: gathering canned goods, clothing or toiletry items for the area’s Domestic Abuse Resistance Team; volunteering with Med Camp of Louisiana and Rolling Hills Ministry; helping with the local Angel Tree at Christmas; and assisting at the Bienville Parish Library Health Fair and the first aid booth Temple Baptist Church’s Fall Festival.

Every nursing course at Louisiana Tech requires community service to help students commit to the lifelong caring aspect of nursing. Here, Deanna Hanson, of Monroe, a Nursing 214 and 216 student, draws blood from an attendee at a recent Ruston health fair.

But nursing students aren’t encouraged to do community service just in their classes, Fife said. Student organizations also tackle such tasks.

‘A big part of the Student Nurse Association is to help provide avenues in which students can participate in community service,’ Fife said. SNA, for example, has helped with the March of Dimes, St. Jude Radiothon, American Heart Association and Pine Hills Advocacy Center.

‘We have taken blood pressures and do height and weight on Athletic Day for the community schools held at Thomas Assembly Center,’ Fife said. Nursing students will also be involved in the Tech Wellness Fair, to be held Nov. 6 in the Student Center.

Tech student nurses also collected and organized medicines for a medical mission trip to Nicaragua that Temple Baptist Church undertook with several of Tech’s faculty members, including Hyde, Pam Moore and Donna Hood.

As part of her community service while a student at Louisiana Tech, Casey Gray, of Start, draws blood from an area resident during one of several fall quarter projects in which nursing students are participating.

Written by Sallie Hollis