Octogenarians Age Well with BVT: Free Health Screenings Promote Real-Life Learning
Shown (back L-R) Post-Secondary Practical Nursing students Amy Tatreau and Cheryl Prokopis; Dental Assisting seniors Nicole Bardier of Sutton and Jennesey Caraballo-Reyes of Milford; (front, L-R) Health Services seniors Karina Ramos of Milford and Samantha Philips of Sutton; Joan McMullen of Hopedale; and Dental Assisting senior Kristen Carlisle of Blackstone.
Aging Well Assessment Day was established by the BVT Post-Secondary Practical Nursing program as a way for its adult-learners to practice real-life application of their nursing skills and theory. Each year, local residents 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 Practical Nursing students and staff. Valley Tech's Health Services, Dental Assisting, and Culinary Arts students also participate in the event and work directly with the public.
The event has become an annual tradition for Hopedale resident Joan McMullen, who said she always enjoys interacting with Valley Tech’s "smart and enthusiastic" students. In addition to the yearly assessments, McMullen said she is aware of similar programs and presentations held by Valley Tech in senior centers throughout the school's 13-town district.
"They do such a service to the community," McMullen commented. "Don't you love to see your tax dollars go toward something like this?"
According to BVT's Practical Nursing Coordinator, Joann Monks, MBA, MSc, RN-BC. RMA, the event has become an important part of the program's curriculum.
“In addition to helping students develop their clinical decision-making skills by engaging in real-life assessments of older adults, Aging Well Assessment Day promotes the integration of vocational departments within BVT and partnerships with the community at large," Monks explained. "A special thank you is owed to the staff and participants of the Mendon Senior Center, without whom Aging Well Assessment Day would not be possible."
Since 2009, Valley Tech's Practical Nursing program has provided life-changing vocational training to adults interested in a rewarding career in the health care industry. In the past four years, graduates have maintained a pass rate of 100% on the National Council Licensure Exam for Practical Nurses. Applications are being accepted for the Post-Secondary Practical Nursing program beginning in August 2016. For more information and to request a program application, visit www.valleytech.k12.ma.us or call the Practical Nursing program at (508) 529-7758 ext. 3122.
Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School serves the towns of Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton and Uxbridge. Located in the heart of the Blackstone Valley, Blackstone Valley Tech creates a positive learning community that prepares students for personal and professional success in an internationally competitive society through a fusion of vigorous vocational, technical, and academic skills. The school’s website is www.valleytech.k12.ma.us.