School of Nursing to Give Children’s School Students Inside Look at Health Care Careers May 3

April 25, 2012

The "See What You Can Bee" program was developed as a way to give back to schools and organizations that have allowed School of Nursing students to gain field experience.

On Thursday, May 3,  sixth-grade students from the Rochester City School District Children’s School (#15) will get a behind-the-scenes opportunity to learn about health care careers in physical therapy, nutrition, nursing, and medicine, when they visit the University of Rochester School of Nursing, as part of the School of Nursing’s newly created “See What You Can Bee” program. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to noon.

The 35 Children’s School students attending the event will take part in hands-on demonstrations within the School of Nursing’s Simulation Laboratory, Skills Laboratory, and classrooms to learn about the roles that nurses, doctors, technicians, nutritionists, and many others play in delivering health care. The program supports the Rochester City School District in its efforts to engage students in STEM-focused learning (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and prepare them for success in college and careers in these areas.

“We are so grateful to the University of Rochester and the School of Nursing for providing our sixth-grade students with this opportunity,” said Jay Piper, principal of the Children’s School, which serves a large population of students and families who have relocated from Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, in addition to those native to Rochester.  “Part of creating a college-going culture is helping students and their families understand that it’s never too early to start thinking about going to college. Going to college is no longer just an option, it’s imperative in a highly-competitive global economy. The University of Rochester students serve as role models and communicate the benefits of pursuing higher education to the younger children.” 

The “See What You Can Bee” program is the newest piece of the School of Nursing’s children and family health literacy initiatives, through which nursing students provide health education (on topics including hygiene, nutrition, illness and disease prevention) to a variety of multi-cultural and underserved groups throughout the Rochester community. These partnerships -- with local non-profit organizations as well as RCSD schools and affiliated programs -- help nursing students develop critical multi-cultural competence. while fulfilling a core part of their clinical practice curriculum requirements.

The “See What You Can Bee” program was developed by School of Nursing instructor of clinical nursing Leann Patel, MS, RN, and the nursing students as a way to give back to the schools and organizations that have allowed them to gain valuable field experience. They partnered closely with Children’s School sixth-grade teacher Telesta Rice to design the program around student needs. All of the participating School of Nursing students are recipients of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation New Careers in Nursing scholarships which are awarded to high-achieving students of varied backgrounds who will enrich the diversity of the nursing profession.

Patel, who coordinates all of the School of Nursing’s health literacy initiatives, says these reciprocal relationships elevate the nursing students’ understanding of people of all ages, cultures and experiences, and help students realize the vital role they will play as nurses.

“This is why our students are going into the nursing profession -- to benefit people throughout our communities,” she said. “We are very thankful to the City School District and other organizations in Rochester who open their doors to us and help our students see health care through their eyes. These experiences are absolutely crucial to preparing the nurses of tomorrow. We are thrilled now to be able to open our doors to them and introduce children to health care professions they might see themselves in one day.”

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Christine Roth
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