Millions of people worldwide are hypertensive. There are many causes, many ways to prevent hypertension, and several treatments. Last week my Exploring Health Sciences students performed research on blood pressure (BP). One of the ways that hypertension is diagnosed is the actual measurement of the blood pressure.
In April, my students will conduct a blood pressure clinic. We started several days ago learning how to use the BP cuff and stethoscope and have been practicing blood pressure measurement on each other. The next step in getting ready for the BP clinic is to prepare blood pressure information sheets. The students put the information from their research onto paper that the BP Clinic patients will take with them after getting their blood pressure measured. The student will document the BP reading on this information sheet. So our patients will walk in, be greeted by a student, be seated, have their BP measured, and walk away with a blood pressure information sheet. All on one sheet of paper, the patient will have the causes, prevention, treatment, their BP reading, and a few websites that they can visit for more information. All this created by the student. The work and time put into this project reinforces what they learned and they have fun doing it. They learn to speak professionally and I sign off community service points for the students needing them.
Last year’s clinic was very successful. My kids had to go to different classrooms and ask teachers to bring their class in so we could stay busy. We had staff and faculty participation but this year I want more. I heard from one administrator that she did not come down for her BP reading because she was afraid of what the result may be. What? That’s one reason we are doing this. The first reason of course is the student’s education but the community service part comes in when we inform our patients about blood pressure. I will post the BP Clinic date when we are fully prepared.