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School of Nursing Joins With the College of Pharmacy to Showcase Health-Care Careers at Explore UT

Posted: March 20, 2012

The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing and College of Pharmacy proved once again the adage that two heads are better than one as they worked in tandem to put on fun and informative exhibits during Explore UT.

School children exercising

School children exercising

In the early morning hours of Saturday, March 3, dozens of students and faculty from both disciplines swarmed over two floors and the breezeway of the Pharmacy building to set up booths and tables—even yoga mats—in preparation for what is arguably the largest open house in Texas.

This year the School of Nursing stepped up its participation in the campus-wide event, conducting several interactive activities and providing public health screenings and information.

The event kicked off as hundreds of schoolchildren, parents and teachers arrived to experience the Junior Bevo Safari Adventure, a self-guided tour through the jungle of pharmacy and nursing. They explored games and activities featuring healthy-eating choices and yoga instruction and even got to concoct potions in the Hogwart’s Jungle Potion class.

Several nursing students took face painting to a new level, using their more creative skills to paint bruises or apply oozing wounds onto the arms and faces of visitors. In “Sorry, I Never Knew,” participants were given an opportunity to find out what it’s like to have impaired vision or to maintain balance under challenging circumstances. Some even tried on an “empathy belly” to better understand some of the challenges facing women in the late stages of pregnancy.

Apply oozing wounds onto the arms

Apply oozing wounds onto the arms

Elsewhere groups of students were busy measuring body fat mass and blood pressure and testing cholesterol and blood sugar levels. At the Fun Food Festival table, children were invited to place plastic fruits, vegetables, grains, protein-rich foods and dairy products in designated areas to help them understand the importance of eating these foods each day. When one child hesitated to place anything on the empty “plate” and asked, “What’s a fruit and vegetable?” the student was able to explain, and the boy walked away with a certificate showing he had learned about different food types.

Nursing students also challenged visitors to think fast and choose five items from a display that they would take with them in the event of an emergency. Most of the children found the foam basketballs more indispensible than the batteries and drinking water, but some of the adults chose wisely.

As Nursing and Pharmacy students interacted with the public, a select group of students admitted to the Pre-Nursing program and their parents visited the School of Nursing building where they met with Dean Alexa Stuifbergen for an overall view of the School and with Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Linda Carpenter for a nuts-and-bolts description of the program.

A panel of current nursing honors students provided the “inside scoop,” answering questions about time management, the best and worst parts of nursing school, how to survive clinicals, and other insider information. The students and their families then toured the School’s Learning Center and Simulation and Skills Labs.

No one with the School of Nursing was more pleased with the event than Corrine Grimes, director of the Learning Center and the School’s liaison for the collaboration with the College of Pharmacy and the University’s Explore UT team.

“Our students really jumped into this event and made it informative and a lot of fun,” Grimes said. “Even though our contribution was excellent this year, I’m sure it will be even more superb next year.”

As a result of a fruitful collaboration with the College of Pharmacy and a lot of hard work, the School of Nursing succeeded in showcasing its stellar students and programs and helped to make Explore UT an even more comprehensive and fulfilling experience for everyone.

It must be true: Two heads are better than one.