Senior nursing students, advised by Associate Professor Dr. Mary Pickett, provided a health fair at 3901 Market Street that focused on blood pressure screening, and health teaching related to reading nutrition labels. Katie-Grace Whatley and John Barrow received many requests for blood pressure checks on April 17, 2013 from 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Natalie Monti and Meagan Van Eerde provided information about identifying low sodium foods and using herbs and spices as an alternative to salt for flavoring foods. They offered education about ways to maintain blood pressure within recommended limits and to avoid heart failure symptoms to many interested individuals. Sarah Nicol and Christina Smith offered information about selecting low carbohydrate foods and other tips to remain healthy while living with diabetes. Alexandra Androkakos recruited health fair attendees to participate in some low impact exercises with her as tunes from Aretha Franklin provided an encouraging beat.
The residents of 3901 Market Street represent a diverse cross-section of the Philadelphia population and include many cultures, ethnic groups and age levels. The apartments are accessible to persons of all ability levels and a large number of persons mobilize via motorized wheelchairs and scooters. The health fair is provided in collaboration with Penn Care At Home (PCAH) each April during the home health clinical rotation. Usually a team of two students are assigned to collaborate with a staff nurse from PCAH to provide nursing interventions to patients who reside in this large apartment building located in the University City section of Philadelphia.
The health fair provides a number of challenges related to health literacy assessment and language barriers related to the multicultural population in attendance. The students work through the challenges, provide a service to the community and additionally learn more about the community members that they will encounter in their future professional nursing careers.