Student nurses go to fair

FM students at the New York State Fair, from left, are Kaylee Johnson, Gwendolyn Wilkins, Jay Pagayon, and Jerry Amissah. (Photo submitted)

On Aug. 27, four members of the Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s Student Nurses Association volunteered to work at the Great New York State fair in Syracuse. The day was spent at the “Future of Nursing” booth which represents the national initiative to find solutions that will lead to healthier communities with nurses leading the way. The students’ mission this year was to help guide our fair goers in their fight to better their own health and their communities.

The student nurses worked to get visitors thinking about their health through the use of a short survey. The Future of Nursing New York State Action Coalition (NYSAC) uses the information gathered from the survey to report on the publics’ health and the communities within our state. Visitors were asked questions such as whether they felt they worked or lived within a healthy community and about the ways that they are actively involved in improving their communities.

This opportunity provided the FM student nurses with the ability to communicate with individuals of all ages and backgrounds outside of the usual patient care setting. When someone considers entering the health field it becomes clear that the foundation for a healthy future starts as children. Finding ways to reach our younger generations and encourage them to take an interest in their health is such a vital component of the care that nurses provide.

At the booth, student nurses asked the children that they met to draw a picture of something they do to stay healthy. They then took that opportunity to educate them on proper handwashing, and ways to prevent the spread of illness through the use of an interactive book about germs, fun educational stickers, and coloring books.

Another great opportunity at the fair was learning how to administer Narcan (Naloxone) to help prevent death related to opioid overdose. New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services is working to educate the public on how to administer the life saving drug Narcan.

During the training, the student nurses attended a presentation that taught them about the basics of opioid overdose and provided a demonstration on how to use the personal rescue kit.

At the completion of the presentation an exam was administered and the students were provided with a certification card as well as a rescue kit to take home. The students indicated that it was reassuring to now have the skill set to assist someone who is experiencing an opioid overdose. Having this knowledge has only improved our ability to better the lives of others around us.

Student nurses are constantly looking for the education and knowledge that only experience can provide. It was a great opportunity to volunteer at the fair and look forward to helping create vibrant and healthy communities through high-quality care, education, and leadership.

Kaylee Johnson is a senior nursing student at Fulton-Montgomery Community College.