Written by Dr. Arjan Harjani, Medical Focus Program Director
On Friday, February 22, nine seniors from the nursing school at Mount Saint Mary’s University Chalon campus descended on our high school campus with a bagful of sphygmomanometers, stethoscopes, and oral thermometers, and a lot of candy to share some goodness with the freshman in the Med Focus Program. Two of them, Jeannica Tan (Med Focus) and Chris Lorenzo, are Class of ’15 PHS Pioneer alumni. Jeannica was solely responsible for banding her nurse classmates together to come and teach Vital Signs to the students and show them how to measure and record, and why they are vital enough to be called so!
The students became comfortable with the “strangers” within minutes and quite forgot who or where their teacher was. The team split to be ‘mentors’ for three-student teams, who quickly dug into questions and answers and how to perform those measurements and learn the appropriate technique of applying the sphygs and steths in the correct manner to record blood measure’s two basic measurements, systolic and diastolic, and what they really mean. All this information is right around the corner and ready for delivery in my class discussions starting next week. The freshman have just started a whole series of complete studies of the body systems and their introduction to cells, tissues, and organs with DNA as the cell’s ‘instruction boss’ and proteins as ‘workers.’
Answers to questions earned the students candy (their teacher does not encourage it, but I could not win the argument against it for this day!)
Here are a few quotes from students and their ‘new teachers’
“After the visit from the Mount Saint Mary’s University Nursing School students, I felt inspired. The information they had to share was great and relevant, but what was most meaningful to me was the fact that they were all once in our shoes—especially since two of the speakers were Providence alumni. Seeing what they have achieved, having the same start as us, makes my dreams and ambitions seem more attainable.” - Avery Marsh '22
“It was great to be back at my alma mater! I knew Dr. Harjani teaches vital signs to the freshman medical program and couldn’t pass the opportunity to get involved! I thought it would be super beneficial for the Pioneers especially since many of them are hoping to go into the medical field. So, when the opportunity arose, of course I had to contact Dr. Harjani again! The students stayed engaged and most definitely learned a lot in the practicum section. I’m still amazed at how much they already knew! I look forward to working with these students one day!” - Jeannica T., PHS '14, MSMU '19.
Chris quoted: “It was an absolutely wonderful and humbling experience to return home and be able to lend a hand in mentoring our med focus students. I remember precisely what it was like to be in their shoes, starting of as a freshman pioneer, and to think of it now, it gives me much joy to have had the opportunity to work with them. I'm also thankful to Dr. Harjani for allowing us the opportunity to come and be a part of the teaching, staying true to the calling to "teach like a pioneer". I look forward to visiting Providence again!”
"It was a great experience being able to talk about vital signs with the Medical Focus class. I was very impressed with the knowledge the students had regarding the topic. As nurses, one of our jobs is to educate others, and being able to teach these students was an amazing experience. I look forward to doing this again next year!"- Matthew S., MSMU 2020 “Teaching the students at Providence was a fun experience and I appreciate how engaged and interested they were while listening to our vital signs topic.” - Anna E., MSMU 2019 “It was great! Everyone was super helpful. It is a great learning environment!”-Edward P., MSMU '19
This was, by far, the best experience in terms of guest speaker opportunities to date. These MSMU students took the lesson to a whole new level and imparted some great learning to my students. They connected very well with my class and certainly left a lasting impression of how health care workers of the future are turning out to be. I have to say that Mount Saint Mary’s has done a great job and we have done a great job as far as Jeannica and Chris go! I am sure the two of them will find opportunities in the future to return and continue their service of giving back in true PHS tradition and hospitality. All of us here at PHS wish Jeannica, Chris and the rest of their classmates a successful semester and graduation from nursing school this May. And we also wish them a successful career in health care, giving back to the community in such a compassionate and caring way, and bringing smiles to people and uplifting them during difficult times.