Feb. 23, 2016

Health care adventure mentors elementary students


A dozen students from Fargo's Madison Elementary will learn from Radical Randy about asthma and other information in the Great Health Care Adventure.

Twelve second-grade students are participating in the six-week program, mentored by NDSU students from the College of Health Professions. The College Ambassadors help grade school students learn about germs, x-rays, bones, asthma, medicine and other topics in hands-on sessions to take the mystery out of medicine and possibly inspire students’ future interest in nursing, pharmacy and other health care careers.

Each week, students focus on a specific area, including respiratory care, nursing, pharmacy, medical lab science and radiologic science.
NDSU’s Great Health Care Adventure programs are offered at no cost on a first come, first served basis. The program is tailored to learning about health care careers, interactive presentations and hands-on activities that include health care puppets, the importance of hand-washing, germs make me sick, why medicine is not candy, learning about veins and much more. Radical Randy is a puppet that allows students to look inside to view and feel lungs and see how asthma may affect those who are diagnosed with it.

Some of the College of Health Professions Ambassadors, as well as faculty, also are volunteer mentors at Madison School, such as one who has served as a mentor to a second grade student for the past three years, which includes having lunch together every week at school.

“They’re all excited about the puppets. I think it’s a great thing,” says Michelle Bjerke, first year pharmacy student who participates in the program. “I’ve gotten to build a relationship with students and serve as a role model,” says Bjerke, originally from Fosston, Minnesota.

Seven NDSU College of Health Professions Ambassadors teach the Great Health Care Adventure program under the direction of advisor Dana Davis, director of outreach and community engagement. After the six-week program, Madison students who participate in the program will receive their child-sized white lab coats to mark their achievement in learning more about health.

The program is funded with diversity grants from Walgreen’s and Target.

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