By Bill Bangert:
University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Nursing students provide community service in a variety of ways, including giving free blood pressure screenings at select Bearcat sporting events. Screenings were provided during a late-season baseball game last year, at the final football game of the year at Nippert Stadium last November, and most recently, at the men’s basketball game against the University of Central Florida at Fifth Third Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 8.
"We usually have 15-20 people stop by for screenings, and we also give them information on hypertension,” says Debbie Schwytzer, DNP, associate professor in the College of Nursing who oversees the student screenings. "We send the clients home with a card that they can keep their health information on with the blood pressure reading that we took that day.”
"I’m graduating this spring, so I wanted to do something with my college, but I haven’t had the chance to because I’ve been so busy,” says senior Hannah Gunn, one of four nursing students providing blood pressure screenings at the men’s basketball game. "I love basketball and I like helping people and I’ve gotten a lot of practice doing blood pressures, so it’s a good thing to do.”
Blood pressure screenings were given to 31 people at the basketball game, with one person showing as prehypertensive. He was given printed information about hypertension and examples of potential lifestyle changes and advised to see his primary care provider to be rechecked.
"It’s a good opportunity for the students to get out of a controlled, clinical setting,” says Schwytzer. "We tell people if they have a high reading to go see their family doctor and get it checked again. We’re not there to diagnose or medicate.”