Nursing Students Organize Fiesta De Salud Health Fair

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POSTED: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 4:49pm

UPDATED: Thursday, November 10, 2011 - 7:52am

Students in UTPA's Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program had an opportunity to get real life experience during their 10th annual community fair. This event provided the college seniors with a valuable learning experience and also helped educate the community about maintaining a healthy life style.

These UTPA Seniors care about the health and well being of others, that's why they're seeking a career in the medical profession. They also enjoy giving back to their neighbors, that's why they went all out in planning this big health fair they named "Fiesta de Salud Together We Can Make a Difference". This is the 10th year students in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program organized and participated in such an event. This one took place at Ponce Memorial Park in Edinburg. UTPA president Robert Nelsen paid a visit to show his support for the group's involvement in the community.

"One of the things that our nursing program requires is a community event before the students can graduate and today we have just dozens and dozens of nurses out here. They're all seniors, they're getting ready to graduate and this is their opportunity to get involved with the community and I think that's wonderful," said Robert Nelsen, UTPA President.

More than a hundred nursing students took part in this year's project. In order to put on a successful health fair, the seniors visited the park's surrounding neighborhoods early in the semester and questioned families and business people about their needs in the area especially their healthcare concerns. They then used the information they collected to organize the event at no cost to the residents thanks to the support of many in the medical community.

"We were really out there getting those resources so you can say that this is actually a union between not only the university but other clinics and hospitals that are around this same community who want to provide more services and get more awareness out there," said Emmanuel Perez, UTPA student.

The nursing students brought in representatives from many organizations and agencies in the medical community to assist with the fair. They also helped administer flu shots and screenings for blood pressure and glucose under the direction of faculty. They also provided reading material and presentations on health and wellness, child safety, healthy eating and exercises to stay fit among other topics. The seniors say they enjoyed helping a community in dire need of healthcare services even if it was just for one day.

"It's a great feeling. I know it kind of, it seems like a cliché in itself but it's a true definition of. It feels really good to be able to help someone out teach them something they didn't know or teach them that's going to help them in the long run," said Luis Mata, UTPA student.

They also appreciated the opportunity to learn at the same time they were serving the community.

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