Disease of the Month

Tuesday, 19 November 2013: 8:50 AM

Linda Lockshin, MSN, ARNP
Constance Miller, DNP, RN, CNE
School of Nursing, Miami Dade College, Miami, FL

Service learning activities has impacted the nursing department as well as the college and eight campuses.  The “Disease of the Month” program, a nursing initiative service learning activity, student driven started on 4 campuses in the early 90s, expanding to 8 campuses in 2000.  The Accelerated Nursing Program recognizes the "Disease of the Month" Project with a "STD Awareness" presentation that includes exhibits, poster presentations, distribution of pamphlets and fliers, distribution of condoms, video presentations, and individual and small group teaching sessions. Faculty, utilizing their organizational skills, paying close attention to detail while planning and implementing activities and events for eight MDC campuses, have 8 - 10 nursing students participating in projects. One activity includes health screening and education on “Diabetes Mellitus”, an annual undertaking; it is a logistical nightmare to make arrangements for 8 campuses of the largest, most diverse US College.  Nursing faculty order supplies and equipment thorough donations or purchase, negotiating these purchases from college vendors with whom they have established great working relationships.  Donations come along with purchased items because of the respect these organizations have for MDC. Orientation is provided for faculty with arrangements for these health fairs through the medical-surgical nursing course faculty, thus expanding nursing faculty’s sphere of caring and influence across the college.  The amazing point is that faculty may not even teach in the course or nursing program option in which this particular Disease of the Month service learning activity is offered, and essentially volunteering for this assignment!   The STI and Diabetes Awareness projects are the largest and most successful of the Disease of the Month activities as all campuses of the college are covered, with far more students involved in teaching and learning. The most successful outcome is that more MDC students and staff are exposed to the program.