It was health fair day at Baker School last Friday hosted by the second-year Morgan Community College nursing students and MCC nursing faculty and coordinator of the event, Dr. Joy Bryant. Fifth and sixth grade students engaged in hands-on activities that encouraged healthier life styles.
Five 15-minute activity stations emphasized nutrition, fitness, self respect, the effects of tobacco and alcohol use, and oral health. The student nurses practiced their skills for educating patients with anatomical models, games, visual aids, and audience participation activities. Some of the teaching materials were borrowed from 9Health Fair and from the Museum of Nature and Science.
Shauna Coffin, Aimee Balliet, Shi Ann Erickson, Kellie Carlson and Carmen Noffsinger planned and managed the nutrition station. Students were shown a replica that defined the difference between fat and muscle in the body. They also played portion size bingo to reinforce an effective way to control calorie intake and weight gain. Each student received a bookmark as a reminder of the day’s lesson.
Fitness Skillastics engaged students in several activities to demonstrate energy in and energy out of the human body. Katie Haerr, Laura McDaniel, Joanne Sauls and Amanda Hogan used visual materials for teaching points. The students were given a handout to add to their health fair bags.
A nine-minute video session illustrated the importance of respecting self and others. It also spoke to health risks such as highly communicable diseases like hepatitis. For many students this was their first exposure to hepatitis issues and the topic seemed to remain with them since many mentioned it in the wrap-up session. Ashtyn Rohn, Noemi Alceraz, Nicole Rocha, Cecilia Gomez, Philomina Emereuma and Lauretta Iwuala-McWilliam answered questions and distributed heart stickers and rock star bands a this station.
The negative effect of tobacco use was apparent from viewing a real pig lung exposed to smoking. “Ick! gross,” was the usual comment when the black lung emerged from the tub and was compared to a healthy pig lung. To further illustrate the strain on an affected lung, the students were asked to do some jumping jacks while inhaling and exhaling through a soda straw. Megan Fritzler, Candace Lozano, Emilie Hayes, Jessica Ford, Kelly Galvin, and Amy Postovit took the students through the paces of physical exercises. Also part of this station was experiencing impaired judgment physical ability with the help of fatal vision goggles that simulate the sensation of brain function after alcohol consumption.
Finally, Mr. Gross Mouth posed questions about food choices that promote or deteriorate dental health. For instance, sweet items that are quickly consumed are less detrimental to tooth enamel than those items like hard candy and lollipops that stay in the mouth for an extended period of time and expose the teeth to sugars. Student nurses Megan William, Jonna Coffin, Katherine Standifier, Leah Kennedy, Andrea Dahlgren and Jaime Lane were the experts for the session and gave each student a new toothbrush for their take-home health bag.
At the conclusion of each session, the student nurses were thanked with the unison Baker School clap sequence followed by an enthusiastic “marvelous!” The MCC student nurses will enter their final semester this spring and graduate in May, after which they can take the national exam to become RNs.