Healthy Heroes: A School-Based Health Promotion Initiative Modeling Health Behaviors and Nursing Professionalism

Monday, 30 October 2017

Kelly E. Sutch, MSN, BSN
Chamberlain College of Nursing, Hilliard, OH, USA

A health promotion based clinical experience for senior level bachelorette students was created in a suburban school district in Ohio. Students developed their own anticipatory guidance and prevention based curriculum at appropriate development levels to pediatric clients in kindergarten through fifth grade. Students titled their program Healthy Heroes. Students engaged in twenty minute lesson plans with children in small groups to introduce and discuss topics. Topics discussed in breakout sessions included healthy eating and portion control, lice prevention, exercise and limiting of screen time, oral and hand hygiene. Students also introduced caring for individual body systems, such as explain how the kidneys functioned, what can do wrong and how the client keeps their kidneys healthy. This program lasted four months in duration, with weekly visits from the nursing students to the classrooms. At the end of the program pediatric clients reported feeling enabled and empowered to care for themselves. Clients also reported establishing relationships with the students that exuded nursing professionalism, trust, and compassion. Pre and post surveys were completed with the pediatric clients at developmentally appropriate levels. Kindergarten through second grade were asked to draw a picture of nurse and what they do. Third through fifth grade were asked to write a paragraph describing a nurse and what they do. The survey completed at the end of the program resulted data showing the schemas of what a nurse is and what they do changing for the clients. Pre- survey results showed 100% of children describing/drawing a nurse as a white female and 100% as someone who performs only skill based tasks such as injections. The post survey results showed 20% of children defining/drawing a nurse as a racial minority and/or male. Post survey results showed that 40% of the children included education and partnership with the client as a role of the nurse.