21 Nursing Faculty, Students
Help Katrina Evacuees
faculty and students pose for a photo at the JoEllen Smith Convalescent
Center in New Orleans.
By Leslie Gober
JSU News Bureau
Twenty-one Jacksonville State University nursing faculty and students
volunteered to assist nursing home patients and other survivors of Hurricane
Katrina during a trip Sept. 29 through Oct. 2.
nursing students and six faculty members from the College of Nursing
and Health Sciences volunteered 20 hours of nursing care during relief
efforts that focused on aiding nursing home patients and others.
In Citronelle, Miss.,
the students assisted Red Cross personnel caring for evacuees at the
United Methodist Church. At the JoEllen Smith Convalescent Nursing Home,
in the Orleans Parish vicinity of New Orleans, the volunteers assisted
139 nursing home patients who were sheltered in a cramped dining room.
The patients were described by volunteers as "being in a fragile
said students were encouraged to do the volunteer service for humanitarian
reasons as well as to gain the experience of working a national disaster.
Miss Susan Lynn
Hillhouse, R.N., instructor of community health, who directed
the trip, said the nursing students took their textbooks and studied
during the trip to
Mississippi and New Orleans. She said, "The students
made sacrifices of working 20 hours and coming home to take tests and
write their required papers."
of Centre, was one of the six faculty members who assisted during the
Asked how they chose
sites for volunteer work, Miss Hillhouse said she identified areas of
need based on contacts with area residents.
She said "We functioned
as health care providers, we gave physicals, baths, counseled those
who needed to talk about the devastating events that had taken place,
and we fed people.
Miss Hillhouse said
patients ranged in age from 30 to 100 years old. The nursing
students handled all types of medical problems -- "rendering simple
first aid to helping people with heart conditions."
Dr. Deborah Curry,
RN, of Centre, instructor of nursing, said, "Nurses can do almost
anything when they set their minds to doing that task. They rock."
Elkins, RN, of Heflin said, "I feel the trip taught the students more
theoretically. It gave the students a chance to see their teachers actually
serving as nurses." She said students often view their professors to
be theoretical but not experienced in hands-on assistance.
The faculty nurses
said the trip helped them bond with their students.
The students who
participated included Van Wilson, Talladega; Martha Velandia, Rainbow
City; Angela Turner, DeArmanville; Caren Tumlin, Southside; Kandi Simpson,
Snead; Karen Penland, Weaver; Laura Grimes, Jacksonville; Neirissa Drummond,
Jacksonville; Rebecca Denny, Saks; Amber Crocker, Weaver; Jessica Palmer,
Gadsden; Ashley Crow, Ft. Payne; Nicholas Carnell, Higdon; Nathan Bowden,
Sylvan Springs; April Brown, Weaver.
The six faculty
members included Ms. Kristi Beam, Saks; Ms. Carrie Elkins, Heflin; Miss
Lynn Hillhouse, Centre; Dr. Deborah Curry, Centre; Ms. Becky Bertalan,
Hokes Bluff; Dr. Phyllis Waits, Lineville.
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