Free Health Screenings for over 400 Children in Rural Areas Provided by Touro Nursing Students
Under the guidance of the faculty preceptors, Dr. Michele Bunker-Alberts, and Professor Kathy Hahn, the Touro FNP students contributed to over 400 physical exams for children, including dental, mental health, weight, and blood pressure screenings, over a span of four days.
In June, Touro University California (TUC) partnered with the University of San Francisco (USF) and the Kings Canyon Unified School District in Reedley, California, to offer a unique community immersion program for nursing students. Ten TUC Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) students, alongside their USF counterparts, had the opportunity to serve the rural community while gaining practical experience.
Located in a primarily migrant and farm worker community with limited health insurance and access to healthcare, Kings Canyon Unified School District faced challenges in clearing students for participation in school athletic programs. As part of this partnership, the FNP students from TUC and USF conducted free physical exams, sports exams, and health screenings for children ages 8 to 18.
The primary objective of the program was to ensure that as many students as possible could participate in school sports programs by clearing them through physical exams, a requirement for the upcoming school year.
Dr. Prabjot (Jodie) Sandhu, TUC Assistant Dean and Director of the School of Nursing Programs, emphasized the importance of this initiative: "Many children and adolescents in this community do not have primary care providers and cannot get cleared for sports. These limitations hinder their equality, well-being, and potential for success."
Under the guidance of the faculty preceptors, Dr. Michele Bunker-Alberts, and Professor Kathy Hahn, the Touro FNP students contributed to over 400 physical exams for children, including dental, mental health, weight, and blood pressure screenings, over a span of four days. Additionally, more than 100 referrals were made to the school health system, partner health organizations and Adventist Health, to support at-risk children.
After an initial training day, where the students familiarized themselves with the process and requirements, they were given the opportunity to conduct physical exams under the supervision of faculty. This clinical experience allowed them to determine whether the children were eligible for sports participation, evaluate additional health concerns, and provide healthcare education to the children and the families.
It is a way for TUC students and faculty to live out TUC’s mission: to serve, to lead, and to teach.
Dr. Sandhu expressed her satisfaction with the outcomes of the program, stating, “It’s a win-win because we are serving the community while teaching and training our students, they not only gained an invaluable experience working in a rural environment during this immersion program but also had a unique opportunity to see the community's needs and the impact of their service from a personal lens.”