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Blinn nursing students get hands on experience at community health fair

Posted at 7:31 PM, Nov 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-03 10:38:29-04

BRYAN, Texas — With flu season here and cooler weather soon on the way, Blinn nursing students had hands on experience at a community health fair at the African American Museum on Wednesday.

Students had the opportunity to engage with the community and offer free vaccines and health screenings.

“I actually really enjoy the work that they have us doing,” said Ellianna Shadricks, Blinn nursing student. “Going to clinicals has definitely been really fun. I feel like a real deal nurse.”

“It’s wild just sitting there learning about all the different disease processes and how your body works on a daily basis and learning how to fix certain issues that happen,” said Shadricks.

Shadricks is looking forward to learning more about how to prevent treatable illnesses.

“If I can just help any other person maybe overcome that illness and maybe prevent any preventable deaths, I think that would be great,” said Shadricks. “It’s always sad when you lose somebody, and you find out it’s preventable and now were learning how to prevent these things and how to treat it. Now I have that knowledge in there to turn around and help somebody else out.”

Blinn nursing instructor Anne Rathke said it’s all about hands on opportunity.

Community members could get free COVID-19 vaccines, boosters, flu shots, and a variety of health screenings.

“I think there’s something to be said about hands on experience,” said Anne Rathke, Blinn nursing instructor. “There’s a lot of this virtual learning going on, but I think anytime nursing students can actually work with people, it’s an even better learning experience.

“It’s one thing to read what to do have the teachers tell you what to do but nothing puts it together like actually getting out there and doing it yourself and that’s when everything comes together and it’s like okay this makes sense,” said Alexus Fletcher, Blinn nursing student. “I love the hands-on stuff.”

Alexus Fletcher is in her first year of nursing school and grew up in the Bryan area.

She said becoming a nurse gives her the opportunity to serve her own community.

“I know people who are in the higher tax brackets, and I know people at the very bottom who are often overlooked and underserved,” said Fletcher. “I took that very personal to make it my mission to close the gap.”

“I want to be in a position where I can help treat people and help people, but I can also help prevent this type of stuff from happening in the first place,” said Fletcher. “This kind of incorporate teaching, helping, and learning.

Rathke said students are learning about preventative illnesses and how to help the community stay safe.

“They’re finding people that have high blood pressure, have diabetes, have high cholesterol, have vison problems, hearing problems, maybe even an ear infection because we’re looking in the ears, getting their height and weights and telling them what they need to weigh to have to have a normal BMI for their heights,” said Rathke.

“Just for people to be more informed about their health because a lot of people had no idea that they may have chronic diseases when they really do,” said Rathke. “We just let them know and if they lack access to healthcare, we have agencies that can help them get the care they need.”

If you didn’t get a chance to come out to today’s health fair, there will be more throughout the month for free vaccines and health screenings.

Community Health Fair

When: November 8

Where: VFW Post 4692

Time: 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.

Lifestyle Fair 2022

When: November 16

Where: United Full Gospel and Blinn College

Time: 10:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.