Candy Idso, left, and Anne Knudson ( Continued from Page 6 )
responsible for matching some 15 to 20 nursing students and retired clients. Over the past three years, nearly 100 retired persons have taken part in the program. Ms. Weirick emphasized the program could not exist if the
Assessment Phase Builds Student Skills "Now I'm really beginning to fee l like a nurse. " Luella Hefty, assistant profes sor of nursing and a team leader for Level II in the School of Nursing, said this comment is typical of those made by nursing students enrolled in "Health As sessment." "During this course, nursing students gain their first clinical experience and begin to apply the skills they have learned in the classroom , " explained Mrs. Hefty. As part of the assessment pro cess, the student nurses learn how to examine clients using such tools as a stethoscope, blood pres sure cuff and audio-visual equip ment. "They also further develop in terviewing skills which were in troduced in Level I to evaluate the emotional and physical wellness of the client and understand the 'total' person," she explained. Assessment, she continued, is defined as "the continuous, sys tematic, critical, orderly and pre cise method of collecting, validat ing, analyzing and interpreting of information about the physical, psychological and social needs of a patient, the nature of his self care deficits, and other factors
retired persons were not willing to give their time. "It's only their generosity that makes the program successful," she stressed. Ms. Weirick said the program not only emphasizes the self sufficiency of the retired popula tion, but also helps student nurses influencing his condition and care." Through clinical experiences, nursing students gain an under standing of wellness at all age levels. " Understanding wellness is a major goal of the course, since it prepares the students to recog nize existing and potential health problems," Mrs . Hefty said. She added that students are especially happy with one of their first clinical experiences in which they examine a healthy, newborn baby in either Tacoma General Hospital or Madigan Army Medi cal Center. "During the newborn assess ment, they take vital signs such as heartbeat and respiration, test neurological reflexes, assess the mother-infant relationship and generally gain an understanding of the baby's total 'wellness '," she pointed out. Besides gaining practical ex pe ience in infant nurseries, they also spend time in well-child, adolescent and geriatric clinics and elementary schools. "Fre quently our students are called upon to help schools with immuni zation and health screening prog rams," Mrs. Hefty said. Students also continue visits with elderly individuals which began the previous semester. The visits give them experience in health assessment and skills in initiating, maintaining and ter minating relationships.
realize that youth is not the only worthy age level. "Many of the student nurses don't have grandparents so they have missed out on hea ring about life experiences of the elder gen e rat i o n , " c o m m e n t e d M s . Weirick. She said student nurses have indicated hearing about life "in the old days" as an interesting part of visits with their "surro gate" grandparents. While de veloping an un derstanding of lifestyles of another generation , the student nurses also develop skills in communication and inter personal relationships. "At first, some student nurses find it difficult to sit down and talk to someone who may be three times their age or more," exp lained Ms. Weirick. But, by the end of the program, most student nurses have learned to become relaxed and comfortable, and, in a sense have "blo ssomed" with their clients. "They begin to see how their needs compare and how mutual meeting of these needs has occur red," said Ms. Weirick. One of the most popular retired "clients" among student nurses is Anne Knudson who taught En glish at PLU for 25 years before . retiring in 1970. "Annie K" emphasized the ex perience with the student nurses
is a two-way street. She has learned, for instance, " greater respect for the ideas, opinions and abilities of nurs in g students today. "I've always known students are more mature than we give them credit for being, but I've found the four nursing students I've visited with to be an extreme ly interested, dedicated group of young people."
Some selected students, usually more mature i n d i v i d u a l s o r nurses completing degree prog rams, assist in the PLU Health Center. There they examine con-
senting fellow stude n t s w h o evaluate procedures used by the nursing students.
Her current "visitor," Candy Idso, 20, said she especially ap preciated being able to m eet with Annie K in a relaxed, informal setting, free from the stresses of the classroollL " I've found out one can really learn from an older person; I've also gained an understandin� of the joys and problems of retlre ment and how to look at the total person," said the junior from Puyallup. During the visits, Candy and Annie K "let it happen" and talk about anything from ancestry and home life to books and campus living styles. "As far as I'm concerned, it's great to be out with someone like Annie K," said Candy. She added, "The 'book' nurse is not enough - what a nurse really needs to know about is people."
( Continued on Page 8)
Denise Ladenburg assesses infant.