CU seniors helping GC seniors


CEDARVILLE — Testifying to the impact of Cedarville University students, the Greene County Council on Aging (GCCOA) invited students from the university’s school of nursing to participate in its fall prevention event on Wednesday, Sept. 27.

This two-hour event, beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Xenia Community Center recognizes September as Fall Prevention Awareness Month.

“Fall prevention is very important for the elderly population,” said Dr. Michele Dodds, assistant professor of nursing. “Falls can be one of the number one reasons for hospitalizations for seniors.”

But if you attend the event, you will find that there will be more than one type of senior involved. The senior nursing students in Dodd’s senior-level care of populations course will be spending some of their clinical hours at the GCCOA event.

In the course, senior nursing students learn how to care for specific populations and how to promote health and prevent disease from a public health standpoint. Two clinical groups from Cedarville will help at the event, each consisting of seven or eight students and two instructors.

The event will provide a variety of assessments, including a balanced assessment and blood pressure screening, to gauge whether seniors are prone to falling.

“We are giving seniors tools and resources to help prevent falls,” said Jeff Schairbaum, the GCCOA’s education and outreach liaison.

The students will receive training for the assessments, learning specific physical assessment skills to use for screening the elderly population within the community.

“It’s nice to have the extra resources that they provide,” said Schairbaum. “Two years ago, we used the nursing students to help with balance assessment. But last year there was a conflict with the date, and we definitely missed having the students’ help.”

Beyond the fall assessments, the event will feature a device station where guests can make sure their canes, walkers, and other devices are safe and up to date.

But it’s not all work and no play. The event will also contain fun activities, including chair volleyball, to foster community. As much as community health nursing involves providing resources, it also involves relationships.

“Nursing is always more than just the health of the person. It’s also about getting to know people on a personal level,” Dodds said. “We can be giving a service but also get to know people more personally and hear their story, and it’s good for all of us.”

And for Cedarville faculty and students, a driving force in their work is the desire to serve the community.

“As nurses who are called by Christ to serve, we are called to serve and minister to our community,” said Dodds. “This event gives us the opportunity to minister and to serve. It’s meaningful in that it’s another way that we can serve the Lord and reach out to people in his name.”

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