Seven Registered Nurse (RN) trainees at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC) recently returned from a week of outreach activities in Ta’u, Manu’a, which included health screening and teaching in all three villages as well as a special health fair/carnival for the youth at Fitiuta and Faleasao Elementary, and Manu’a High School. The trip was funded by the Department of the Interior ASCC Nursing Grant, while donations from businesses and individuals made possible the prizes and giveaways for the health fair/carnival.
For this year’s outreach project, the RN students tried something new as a creative outlet for patient teaching, particularly catering to the youth. Their vision was to create a health fair in the schools, simulating a real carnival, with games and prizes to capture the children’s interest and focus their attention on key health points, since they believe Samoans tend to be tactile and visual learners. Judging by the immediate interest of the Manu’a youth and their many questions, the health fair concept proved a great success. The RN students set up game stations where in order to win prizes, children needed to correctly recall information on serious health issues such as diabetes, hypertension, gout and smoking cessation. The games ranged from Jeopardy to ring toss, balloon darts, matching/memory and others, all overseen by the RN students. Items for prizes for the various games were graciously donated by businesses, agencies and individuals on Tutuila for use in Manu’a.
For the RN students, the outreach project marked their final semester covering Community Health Nursing, explained Nursing Department Director Ms. Lele Ah Mu. “The purpose of the Community Outreach Project is to utilize public health concepts of community assessment, analysis, planning, implementation and evaluation, with a focus on health promotion, disease prevention, and health maintenance,” she said. “The RN students combined their knowledge and skills from all their previous nursing courses to promote changes in individual and family lifestyles, social conditions, and the physical environment.”
Participation in the community outreach project is one of the requirements for the class Community Health Nursing (NUR 211), in which students become familiar with the local Department of Health agencies and programs that focus on community health levels of care, including the client system. As part of their coursework, the RN students also conduct home visits with the assistance of Public Health Nurses Margaret Sesepasara, RN, and Dottie Siavii, RN, to gain experience in home care and health teaching. Services the RN students provided to all of Ta’u, Manu’a included vital sign screening, glucose tests, and patient teachings as primary or secondary prevention, particularly in the area of non-communicable diseases.
Of the nine current ASCC RN students, seven were able to travel to Manu’a for the community outreach. They are Sinatina’e Leaupepe, Meli Manulo, Gloria Mareko, Emmely Nickel, Vilma Sebastian, Siaifoi Tafiti, and Alma Taufua. They were accompanied by Ms. Ah Mu and instructor Mrs. Sylvia Tauiliili. Additional RN class members Sandy Ahoia and Faafetai Ifopo will fulfill the outreach project requirement by arrangement with their instructors.
More information on the Nursing program at the College can be found in the ASCC Catalog, available online at www.amsamoa.edu.