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Nursing student cohorts provide wellness coaching, health assessments

The students from the San Francisco State University School of Nursing who are delivering community health care to Mission Housing residents in 2018 are: (left to right) Kelsey Christenson, Ali Al-Nabulsi, Brianna Garcia, Brenda Salazar, Lupita Estrada, Monique Gutierrez, and Jessica Donohue. Photo by Tony Bear!

San Francisco State University School of Nursing students deliver community health care to Mission Housing residents

As part of their dedication to reducing health disparities in San Francisco communities, every San Francisco State University School of Nursing student completes a community health course of study, also known as a practicum, in the pre-licensure phase of their program. Practicums — supervised on-site work experiences applying previously studied theory — help prepare clinicians by allowing them to practice and demonstrate their developing skills.

Since 2008, students from the SFSU School of Nursing, as part of their practicums, have delivered health talks, biometric health screenings and wellness checks to seniors residing in Mission Housing Development Corporation communities.

Examples of chronic health conditions affecting the residents include unmanaged diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, as well as, bone, joint and skin conditions. Flu season presents special challenges for this population.

The Mission Housing Resident Services Department coordinates the monthly on-site community meetings featuring the nursing students at Alcantara Court, Apollo Hotel and Altamont Hotel. Seniors from other Mission Housing communities are invited.

The student nurses conduct one-on-one consultations with residents during the monthly meetings. Vital signs, height and weight, and biometric health indicators are recorded. Some residents are assessed head-to-toe physicals, and their risk of falling is evaluated. Residents are also free to discuss specific health issues with the nursing students.

The emotional and mental well-being of the seniors is screened, using modified Mini-Mental State Examinations (also known as MMSEs), and Beck’s Depression Inventory.

Residents leave their one-on-one consultation with a complete health history and physical assessment.

The nursing students also conduct health information talks, covering topics such as fall prevention, and bicycle safety.

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