Nursing students encourage children to pursue goals

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    A group of senior nursing students left their stethoscopes in class on Friday to give tours of the campus to local middle school students.

    The tour was the final step in the group's semester-long community nursing project. The project focused on teaching students from St. George Catholic School the importance of good self-esteem and goal setting.

    The clinical group included Marisol Sigala, Brianna Ortbals, Jake Sanchez, Lori Nunn, Libby Shaw and Chassity Peyton.

    Chassity Peyton said the group has met for seven hours every Friday for the past few weeks to plan the project.

    "We went and met with the kids first and just got to know them, then we gave presentations on how to set both long and short-term goals and, finally, we had them come tour TCU," Peyton said.

    Group leader Marisol Sigala said, "In our efforts to address goal setting and self-esteem, it's not our goal for these presentations and the tour to change lives, but rather to plant a seed for the possibility of continuing education."

    Another goal of the project was to encourage at-risk children to consider education as an opportunity to improve their futures and health, Sigala said.

    "A lot of these kids come from backgrounds where college isn't necessarily on their radar," Peyton said. "We just want to make them that realize that if they start doing well in school now and keep it up, college won't be out of their reach."

    Sharon Canclini, a nursing professor and the faculty leader of the group, said the project was part of the Public/Community Health Nursing course that all senior nursing students are required to take.

    Students in the course split into different groups, Canclini said, and then each group was assigned a different public heath service project.

    "The course teaches nursing students how to work within the community to develop successful programs," Canclini said. “The project helps them learn about the community in ways that are not possible in the traditional hospital setting.”

    Another example of a different community nursing project, Canclini said, is the large influenza immunization clinic held on campus each fall.

    Although this project aimed to educate the kids, group members also learned a lot through the process of pulling it all together, Peyton said.

    "We all had to figure out how to best communicate, how to compromise and, most importantly, how to apply everything we've been taught these past four years into a real-life scenario," Peyton said.

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