UCO Nursing Students and Faculty Respond to May Tornados 2013
In the aftermath of the destruction caused by the May 19 and 20, 2013 tornados, the University of Central Oklahoma Nursing Department reached out to assist in the response. Nursing students, May 2013 graduates, and faculty assisted in coordinated efforts to provide tetanus vaccine to community members and volunteers in the affected areas in collaboration with the Cleveland County Health Department and the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps. Teams of nurses, nursing students, and mental health professionals walked through communities to reach those in need. A total of 29 UCO nursing students/new graduates and 5 nursing faculty were directly involved in this coordinated effort for more than 215 hours of service between May 25th and May 28th.
Additional response activities were initiated on May 20th and continue with students currently in the UCO Community Health Nursing course for RNs and LPNs in the UCO Nursing Career Advancement Program this summer. Other ongoing activities with numerous junior and senior level nursing students in the traditional nursing program and faculty have supported volunteer activities throughout the affected communities. These individuals have performed a variety of functions meeting individual needs for personal comfort, supported mental health, enhanced case management, and supported public health interventions increasing the total hours served to more than 500. Pamela Rollins, DNP, MPH, APRN-CNP, Associate Professor of Nursing, states “the opportunity to serve communities in our state during this time of need has provided students real-life experience related to public health. Nursing students working with fellow community members during this event have stated that this involvement has been life changing. The opportunity to work with many community partners broadens their understanding of public and community health and brings a first-hand perspective on the true sense of community important to good health.” The UCO Nursing Department routinely partners with community agencies demonstrating a commitment transformative learning and to the Central 6 with emphasis on leadership and civic engagement through service.UCO May 2013 graduate and Mental Health Worker in Moore, Memorial Day, 2013. UCO Nursing students in the field. The Salvation Army provided drinks and we provided tetanus shots. Partners helping one another! UCO Nursing Students providing tetanus shots to volunteers cleaning debris in Moore.