Indiana University East Bachelor of Science in Nursing students traveled to Washington, D.C., to provide care and educational programming for low income residents. The group of 20 senior community nursing students left October 9 and returned October 15. Curtis Bow, lecturer in nursing, and Paula Baumann, assistant professor of nursing accompanied the students.
The students purchased and prepared dinner for over 60 homeless neighbors of Capitol Hill United Methodist Church. The students shopped at a local farmer’s market to gather ingredients for the meal. Prior to the meal the students provided free toiletries and performed blood pressure screenings and health education to the attendees.
David Kennedy, coordinator of the Capitol Hill Cafe, said, “This is now four times I have had the opportunity to work with the School of Nursing, and each time it has been a wonderful experience for me. While I love connecting with the guys that we serve, I equally enjoy the relationships I have developed with the visiting groups, like the School of Nursing.”
The nursing students spent eight days in Washington, D.C., and New York City in an immersion experience of hunger, homelessness and poverty.
The students implemented an educational program on food handling safety at Food & Friends, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to foster a community caring for men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses by preparing and delivering specialized meals and groceries in conjunction with nutrition counseling. The students and faculty also assisted in cooking, packaging and organizing the meals for delivery.
“The trip has provided the students with a profound exposure to cultural diversity and the increased health and wellness needs of the economically disadvantaged,” Baumann said.
Bow said the faculty hope to plan future trips for December and the spring 2012 semester.