By Sarah Schaub
Tuesday, January 19 marked the 5th annual Homeless Connect, an event hosted by the Salvation Army and Women’s Hearth that reaches the homeless and underserved populations in Spokane. WSU College of Nursing students participated by providing foot care and general healthcare services to those in need.
“The nursing students add to the event with their kindness and acceptance of the people who come in looking for care,” said Patty Norton, case manager for Women’s Hearth.
As part of their community health course, four WSU Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) students provided foot care, which included a foot bath, nail trimming, and massage. They also performed blood glucose screenings and blood pressure checks.
“We especially love having the nursing students here, and so do the clients,” said Renee Norris, an event committee member. “Many of these people haven’t felt the human touch or haven’t been cared for in a long time. The service they receive from the students is wonderful.”
Students also felt the event was a success and another venue to provide holistic, patient-centered care to individuals and families who need it most.
“I enjoyed being able to give something special to a population of people who are not always treated with respect and dignity,” said Ashley, one of the BSN students working at the event. “These types of experiences provide me with essential interactions so that I may provide the best care with integrity and in a genuine manner.”
Participants who came to the event were provided a free meal and access to a number of services including a hair cut, winter clothing and blankets, food/the food bank, toiletries, medical screenings, and free veterinary care for their pets. Other services included information on state resources, family services, housing, and resources for veterans.
Also in attendance from WSU Spokane were Speech and Hearing and Nutrition and Exercise Physiology students.
“Our students did a great job connecting with our community,” said Danica Parkin, instructor for the community health nursing course. “The event was definitely a success.”