One of my favorite courses this semester is Disease, Safety and Environment with Dr. Lynne Bates. This course has been SO interesting. We have learned about the basic diseases and disorders as well as safety when environmental crisis’ strike. We each were assigned a disease at the beginning of the semester; mine is Dengue Fever. We then created a fact sheet, using our textbook, pictured left and the internet, about our disease. The fact sheet contains symptoms, preventions, treatments, where it’s most prevalent and some “fun” facts about our disease. Now, we are creating a web of causation using the software, Inspiration. I had never used, let alone heard of Inspiration. It is a really cool program that I will probably use in the future. The final piece of this semester long project is a power point about ALL the information we have gathered. When we present we should know our disease to a T and sound like an “expert”. Says our professor.
The other really cool project we did was our Safety Presentations. We were split up into groups and were assigned either a safety or environmental issue. Ours was on Natural Disasters.
The picture to the left, is depicting a winter storm. Winter storms are the most prevalent natural disaster here in New Hampshire. Each member of our group had two types of natural disasters and we created a GoogleDoc that explained preparedness, what to do and not to do during and the aftermath. Each group also made pamphlets that had the same information on it and passed it out to every student because the information from every presentation will be on our final. I learned a lot from this project. For example, in Recreational Safety, I had no idea about the Beach Flag Warning System. A Double Red flag means the water is closed to public use. A single Red flag means there are high hazards, such as rough conditions. A Yellow flag means a light surf or current. A Green flag means calm conditions and a Purple flag mean there is marine life present (jellyfish, stingrays, etc.). Also, I did not know that when riding your bicycle, you should use hand signals. I have honestly never seen anyone use them, but I can definitely see why cyclists should use hand signals. It can prevent crashing and injury. Overall this course has taught me so much about so much!
Perspectives on Aging with Dr. Annemarie Conlon, who is an advisor for my Patient Advocacy Program, is another great class. This course talks about the concepts of aging, the aging process and how it can affect the individuals as well as the families. Our textbook, Aging Matters by Nancy Hooyman, Kevin Kawamoto, and Asuman Kiyak, goes into how the aging process differs depending on race, socioeconomic status and gender. Our big project in this course is conducting an interview with an adult, 65 and older. I have decided to interview my grandmother. The interview will show how she grew up, the lifestyle she lived, how times have changed. It will also explain her opinion on her current political and social perspectives.
These courses, both connect with my Patient Advocacy program. My program is specific to cancer patients. Cancer was a topic in my Disease, Safety, and Environment course. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. We learned all about what cancer actually is, the most common types, the prognosis of cancer and the treatments of cancer. That is so beneficial for me to know as I will be dealing with it every day.
Patients with cancer are primarily older adults. I’m not saying young children and young adults don’t get cancer because they do. I hated seeing children younger than me in the infusion room receiving chemo. It honestly broke my heart. It just isn’t fair and shouldn’t happen. But, thankfully children and young adults are not the majority. The course just explains in fine detail the general aging process which is so vital to me. I hope in years to come my knowledge of disease and aging only excel.
Even though we weren’t suppose to include our IDS course(s), I feel I have to. I am currently in Introduction to Interdisciplinary Studies and it is my other favorite class. I love this class because it has taught me so much about life in general. Discovering the IDS program last fall has honestly changed my life. I had no idea what I was going to do after deciding to remove myself from the nursing program. IDS has allowed me to believe there are absolutely, good outcomes of bad things. I had essentially lost all hope. I am now more confident than ever with the direction my future is being taken. I wouldn’t be able to have done any of it without this program and IDS team of AMAZING professionals.