Area senior citizens received health screenings free of charge and students gained invaluable experience working with the public during the recent Aging Well Assessment Day at Blackstone Valley Tech.
Aging Well Assessment Day is a production of the BVT Post-Secondary Practical Nursing program, which established the annual event as a way for its adult-learners to practice real-life application of their nursing skills and theory. Each year, area senior citizens age 85 and older visit Valley Tech for a morning of height, weight, and vision screenings, along with a nutritional assessment and home safety check, followed by an hour-long physical assessment performed by students and staff of the Practical Nursing program.
“It’s been wonderful,” said participant Joan McMullen of Hopedale. “This is a very motivated team of young women. Very professional. It’s a shame we don’t have more schools like this.”
In addition to adult students from the Post-Secondary Practical Nursing program, Valley Tech’s Health Services and Dental Assisting students took part in this year’s event and gained valuable real-life experience working directly with members of the public. Honey Vartabedian, an Aging Well Day participant and resident of Mendon, marveled at the quality of the students’ training.
“If we had programs like this in the 1950s, I would’ve had a title after my name,” Vartabedian remarked. “Professional training like this in a high school? It was unheard of back then.”
According to BVT’s Post-Secondary Practical Nursing Coordinator, Joann Monks, MBA, MSc, RN-BC. RMA, the annual event has become an important art of the program’s curriculum.
“Aging Well Assessment Day promotes the opportunity for our students to engage in real-life assessment of the older adult and develop their clinical decision-making skills,” Monks explained. “We received positive feedback from the thirteen volunteers who participated in the event. Thank you to all who made Aging Well Day a success.”
Since 2009, Valley Tech’s Post-Secondary program has provided life-changing vocational training to adults interested in a rewarding career in the health care industry. In the past three years, graduates have maintained a pass rate of 100% on the National Council Licensure Exam for Practical Nurses.
Applications are currently being accepted for the Post-Secondary Practical Nursing program beginning in August 2015. Visit www.valleytech.k12.ma.us for details.