Students offering health tips and blood pressure checks at upcoming event

Students offering health tips and blood pressure checks at upcoming event
Posted on 02/05/2018
Northeast Tech students (left to right) Kortny Hendricks, Abbigail Farnsworth and Alexis Anderson practice measuring blood pressure on staff members Freddie Stimson and Teresa Pruitt.When she enrolled at Northeast Tech, Claremore student Abigail Farnsworth didn’t think public speaking would be among the skills she’d learn in the health careers program. But as she and three of her classmates prepare to serve as the keynote speakers at an upcoming community event, Farnsworth will use her presentation skills to deliver an important message about blood pressure awareness.

“I’m nervous about presenting, but I really want to help the community members learn about our topic,” Farnsworth said. “I hope the community will take into consideration what we have to say, because it could be important for their health.”

The event at which Farnsworth and her classmates will be speaking is the People Out To Learn Using Care and Kindness (POTLUCK) dinner. POTLUCK is a charitable organization that exists to provide support to children, veterans, the elderly and everyone in between.

“Our students have been taking blood pressures at this event for a few years now, and it’s something we continue to do because it’s a service to the community,” said Health Careers Instructor Debbie Hendrix. “It’s important that they learn how to educate their community on relevant health topics.”

In preparation for their presentation, the health careers students are practicing on their peers and the staff on campus.

“We’re going around to the different programs to practice our speech and to practice checking people’s blood pressure,” said Kortny Hendricks, a Claremore student who plans to pursue a career in intensive care pediatrics.

Her classmate, Alexis Anderson, enjoys the project, because it’s a departure from traditional bookwork.

“I like doing projects like this, because it’s hands-on training for our careers,” Anderson said. “I want to be an RN and hopefully become a neonatologist. It’s a big dream.”

At the POTLUCK event on Feb. 13, the girls will give a short presentation on blood pressure awareness which will include tips for how to manage blood pressure through diet and exercise.

“After the presentation, we’ll check the blood pressure of anyone that would like our help, and we’ll also give them some takeaways for how to manage their blood pressure,” said Farnsworth.

Aside from the positive impact they hope to have on the community, the girls are also submitting their research and presentation materials to the HOSA Community Awareness competition. HOSA is a professional organization for future health professionals, and the Community Awareness competition is designed to promote community awareness of health issues and take students beyond classroom learning to global application of knowledge.

“This will be the project these students submit for the state completion that takes place in Norman,” Hendrix said. “If they place first or second, they’ll have the opportunity to compete in the national competition in Dallas.”

The POTLUCK dinner is free and open to the public. The event takes place on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. in the Rogers County Building located at 416 S. Brady in Claremore.

“Come hear the information, get your blood pressure taken and bring a dish of food to share,” said Hendrix. “If that’s not enough to entice you to come, know that you’ll also be helping our students get ready for what we hope is a national championship winning project.”

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