Northeastern University

Page Content   Main Links   Local Links   Utility Links   Footer Links

Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University

News

Nursing volunteers ‘ready when the time comes’

Print this Page   Home > News > 2013 > Nursing volunteers ‘ready when the time comes’

November 19, 2013

#

When dis­as­ters such as Super­storm Sandy or the Boston Marathon bomb­ings strike, vol­un­teers from Northeastern’s School of Nursing will now be equipped to join the front lines in helping those in need thanks to a new part­ner­ship with the Amer­ican Red Cross.

Ear­lier this month, Amer­ican Red Cross vol­un­teer rep­re­sen­ta­tives and trainers led a half-​​day intro­duc­tory course at the Curry Stu­dent Center as part of its cor­po­rate vol­un­teer pro­gram called “Ready When The Time Comes.” The pro­gram aims to train employees from part­nering orga­ni­za­tions and mobi­lize them as a community-​​based vol­un­teer force in response to a disaster.

“This part­ner­ship is a great way for stu­dents to learn new skills and to give back to their com­mu­nity,” said Carole Kenner, dean of the School of Nursing. “The Amer­ican Red Cross pro­vides a great ser­vice to our com­mu­nity and nation. It is an honor to be a part of their efforts.”

This marks the first time the Amer­ican Red Cross has part­nered with a nursing school for this pro­gram, according to Catherine O’Connor, a clin­ical instructor in the School of Nursing who is leading the ini­tia­tive. The 60 stu­dents, fac­ulty mem­bers, and alumni who par­tic­i­pated learned about the Red Cross’ mis­sion and were intro­duced to some of the fun­da­men­tals of volunteering.

The par­tic­i­pants were cer­ti­fied to vol­un­teer with the Amer­ican Red Cross during dis­as­ters and can now take addi­tional training in spe­cific roles such as working in shel­ters or being part of a field team.

“I think it builds a skill set that clin­i­cally we are not able to pro­vide them,” O’Connor said. “We can pro­vide a lot of ser­vices, but the Amer­ican Red Cross has a lot to teach us as well.”

The part­ner­ship was set in motion last year, when nursing stu­dents were unable to vol­un­teer in the Super­storm Sandy recovery effort because they didn’t have the proper training.

“This is the go-​​ahead to get cer­ti­fied in what­ever area we want to help with during a dis­aster,” said senior nursing stu­dent Bri­anna Faherty.

The pro­gram will be offered every semester to North­eastern nursing stu­dents, fac­ulty, and alumni. Last week’s training was for seniors, but O’Connor said she is hoping all nursing stu­dents can par­tic­i­pate in the future so they can take advan­tage of the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion while at Northeastern.

“We are hopeful this will be the start of a long part­ner­ship,” said Kelly Miller, a Red Cross vol­un­teer ser­vices pro­gram man­ager who helped train North­eastern stu­dents last week.

One of the main goals of the School of Nursing’s mis­sion is addressing urban health con­cerns and pro­viding care to under­served pop­u­la­tions such as the home­less, impov­er­ished, and elderly.

To help those in the Greater Boston area who cannot readily get health­care, the School of Nursing cre­ated the Health in Motion Van, a mobile clinic that pro­vides HIV tests, immu­niza­tions, and sup­port for refer­rals, among other services.

Justin Alves, a 2013 grad­uate of the School of Nursing who works on the van, par­tic­i­pated in the dis­aster pre­pared­ness training. He said North­eastern nurses’ med­ical skills and the Amer­ican Red Cross’ dis­aster man­age­ment exper­tise is a great match.

“On the van we deal with hos­pital sit­u­a­tions out­side of the hos­pital,” Alves explained. “And I think that is where our skill set is going to come in handy.”

The Red Cross part­ner­ship builds on other dis­aster assis­tance edu­ca­tion pro­grams for North­eastern nursing stu­dents. For instance, all stu­dents par­tic­i­pate in dis­aster training at Boston Med­ical Center under the direc­tion of Mau­reen McMahon, an alumna of the School of Nursing’s grad­uate program.

“With nursing stu­dents, the Amer­ican Red Cross is get­ting people who under­stand how to work with patients and how to talk to people from diverse cul­tures and socioe­co­nomic back­grounds,” O’Connor noted. “I’m very proud of the stu­dents we have here. They are people of action. And this is some­thing they will be able to use for the rest of their li

Main Links

Local Links

Text Only Options

Top of page


Text Only Options

Open the original version of this page.

Usablenet Assistive is a UsableNet product. Usablenet Assistive Main Page.