Expanded SON contingent joins regional healthcare outreach effort
To prepare the next generation of health care providers and connect with the community, Radford University School of Nursing (SON) faculty and students will join the Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic July 20-23 in Wise, Virginia.
Contingents from three SON programs – Doctor of Nursing Practice, BSN and RN-BSN – will join professional colleagues in a humanitarian volunteer effort to serve thousands of Virginians. Ten Nurse Practitioners in the Family Medical Health (FMH) and Psychiatric Mental Health (PMH) programs, led by Associate Professor of Nursing Victoria Bierman, will work alongside twelve Radford BSN students, led by Nursing faculty Kate Brennan, Kemberly Campbell and Louise Coats, and volunteers from the SON’s RN-BSN program to see thousands of residents of underserved, isolated or impoverished communities who rely on the mobile clinics for health care.
According to Remote Area Medical (RAM) Volunteer Corps, the event’s sponsoring organization, more than 2,000 people from Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky were served last year by RAM in Wise County and received more than $1.4 million worth of healthcare services.
“This is an outreach by different healthcare disciplines and volunteers to work together and make a difference, “said Bierman. “The RAM outreach allows our students an intensive opportunity to deliver health care to those in need and gain valuable clinical experience with colleagues from across the state and region.”
The ten DNP students visited Radford on June 25 for a day-long orientation session in preparation for their efforts which will be focused on behavioral health.
The DNP students are participants in a program to immerse advanced practice nursing students in the roles, values and contributions that they can make to rural communities, said Bierman, primary investigator of the Advanced Nursing Education Workforce: Longitudinal Education Advancing Rural Nursing (ANEW:LEARN) grant, funded by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration.
The ANEW:LEARN program expands the relationship between the SON and regional health care providers and agencies in Southwest Virginia and Southside Virginia by supporting DNP students’ presence there.
“On behalf the region’s underserved citizens, we have an exciting chance for our advanced practice nurses to gain valuable practice opportunities and build working relationships with colleagues in an area that desperately needs them,” Bierman said.
For the undergraduate nursing students, the RAM experience will be a chance to work at the forefront of community health doing triage and taking patient vital signs, according to Brennan, who will be making her fifth trip to participate in the Wise County RAM event.
“Our students can see a whole range of specialties in one location,” said Brennan. “It always touches me that when the students talk afterwards about the event, they talk about how gracious and appreciative the patients are despite the long lines and the waiting involved.”