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Oct. 30 - Coastal Georgia Nursing Students Educate Health and Safety at First Friday

Category: Education/Colleges/Universities

Brunswick Business Journal Staff Report

October 30, 2018 – First Friday on November 2 is about to get a healthy dose of fun with the College of Coastal Georgia’s “First Friday! Have Fun While Learning to be Safe and Healthy!” event. Hosted by the Associate of Science in Nursing program students in Queens Square in Downtown Brunswick, the event will be held during First Friday on November 2 from 5 to 8 p.m. and will feature health and safety teaching booths.

“Health teaching and health promotion go a long way to prevent some of the disabling and sometimes deadly illnesses that we face in the country, our state, and our local community,” said Dawana Gibbs, associate professor of nursing and ASN program coordinator. “Our students will offer members of the community knowledge and take-away information about some of the top illnesses that end up costing individuals and the community significant amounts of money and resources.”


Fifty-nine nursing students will be in Queens Square educating the community on health and safety-related issues, along with other vendors, retailers, and live performers for First Friday. Coastal Georgia students have developed creative and engaging activities for adults and children as a fun way to teach health promotion and illness prevention. Topics include cold weather preparation, with a coat and sock drive for the homeless; medication safety; dangers of opioids and alternative methods of pain relief; stress management; and more. Safety issues will cover a range of topics such as fire prevention in the winter, how to handle encounters with wild animals, and proper hydration during outdoor activities. Booths will be set up with carnival-style games and prizes. There will also be drawings for health-related items and giveaways.

In preparation for the event, nursing students and faculty researched records from the Georgia Department of Public Health to learn more about the most prevalent health concerns among Glynn County residents. Records show that ischemic heart and vascular disease are ranked number one for mortality in middle aged to older adults. The leading cause of death for 25 to 44-year olds is poisoning and noxious substance exposure, including overdose. Other prevalent concerns for the county include alcoholic liver disease, accidents, renal disease, and mental health/substance abuse disorders.

The nursing program partnered with Cody Cocchi, associate director of Service Learning at the College, and the Downtown Development Authority to utilize First Friday as a venue for its service-learning project. Service-learning activities allow students to participate in activities that help the community while allowing them to apply the skills and knowledge acquired in the classroom. This event will contribute to students’ preparation for the national licensure exam, NCLEX, which the College has a 100 percent pass rate for the last three years, as well as future career success.

In addition to Gibbs, faculty facilitating the event include Ashley Barnes, instructor of nursing, and Laura Grantham, lecturer of nursing.


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