For Community Health Nursing Clinical, I served the Mid South Food Bank Distribution Center. As a volunteer I helped by sorting donated food items into categories and boxing them up to be distributed for 3 hours. I value this experience because I learned about the resources available to people in need of food as well as the work that the Mid South Food Bank does to ensure no one goes hungry in the Memphis area. As a nursing major I learned more about the limited food options that people have when they rely on donated items and how poverty is a social determinant of health that negatively affects health outcomes for people in my community.
For my Community Health Nursing Clinical, I volunteered at the Memphis Union Mission Men's Homeless Shelter to provide foot care to men at the shelter. the Foot Care Clinic is a service provided periodically by the nursing school and operated by nursing students. We met early at the nursing campus to pack up our supplies and went to the MUM downtown. We set up our supplies and the MUM had pots of warm water waiting for us. We soaked and washed each man's feet, checked for any problems and took care of them, cut their toenails, gave them resources to take care of their feet, assessed other aspects of their health and access to health care services, and gave them new socks. I value this experience because I was able to provide a very needed service in my community as well as learn more about the MUM. It is important to know about the resources available for homeless people so that I can tell my patients about them if they are in need.
I went with my Community Health Nursing clinical group to the american red cross to complete a disaster preparedness training course. We learned about the services provided by the red cross as well as how the red cross responds to disasters and how nursing student volunteers can get involved in disaster relief efforts. We learned how to set up a shelter for emergency housing and how to consider health needs when organizing a shelter.
I volunteered at the Orange Mound Community Center with my Community Health Nursing Clinical group to provide blood pressure screenings to senior citizens who live in the neighborhood. We arrived at the center and set up in their library and spent some time taking blood pressures, educating each person about managing hypertension, and learning about the social determinants of health in the neighborhood as well as the services provided by the community center.
This semester I volunteered weekly with Streets Ministries' Streets Smarts program, a literacy initiative that pairs volunteer reading tutors with 2nd and 3rd grade students. I have worked one on one with the same student for 3 semesters and I have enjoyed the privilege of being part of her life every week.