Our students learn about population health outside of the classroom

For UW School of Nursing Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing students Joe Spellmen and Elizabeth Quick, volunteering for opportunities to understand what nurses do in public health has been a great way to learn about population health outside of the classroom and give back to the community.

The UW School of Nursing aims to embed population health in every nursing experience, at every level, from DNP tracks to innovative research projects. Nurses should be prepared to address the social determinants of health through assessment, leadership, collaborative practice, and policy development, no matter their nursing area of focus.

Spellman volunteered at Hope Festival, an event where guests received free clothing, groceries, toiletries, toys for the kids, haircuts, vaccinations, dental care, and health screenings.

“I provided general patient screening which included taking their health history and blood pressure checks, in addition, we saw Narcan simulation and were asked to provide education on the use of Narcan,” said Spellman.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved Narcan, an over-the-counter nasal spray that delivers life-saving medication to reverse an opioid overdose.

Quick got the opportunity to help at the Seattle King County Clinic, a four-day volunteer-drive clinic that provides free dental, vision and medical care to anyone in the region who struggles to access and/or afford healthcare.

UW Bachelor of Science in Nursing students also have the option to volunteer at these events during the school year. These learning opportunities give students more tools to deliver quality patient-centered care and help positively impact the Seattle area populations by providing services to those who do not have access to adequate healthcare.

“I think it’s important to know what nurses do in public health and gain exposure to things not done in class, plus volunteering is a chance to give back to your community,” said Quick.

-Jennifer Hunt and Kristine Wright