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Monday, August 10, 2009

Heart Smart In the Park

Last week the Portland Community College chapter of the National Student Nurses Association, demonstrating their dedication and support for an Office of the National Nurse, led a healthy heart promotion activity with 23 elementary school children ranging from 5-9 years old who were attending a summer camp in a local park. The students chose the heart to focus on because starting healthy habits during childhood can help to prevent heart disease as an adult.

The students chose three activities to get their teaching points across:

1. A demonstration of the HEART pumping BLOOD to the LUNGS to pick up OXYGEN to be delivered to the body. The students drew large pictures on poster board or cardboard of the HEART, BLOOD CELL, LUNGS, O2, and then had the children act out those: the "blood cell" walked from the "heart" to the "lungs" and picked up an "O2" who then delivered the "O2" to the body and go back to the "heart".

2. Circulation demonstration: Here the kids identified what activities make the heart pump stronger (i.e. playing XBOX or riding a bike...etc.). The children were taught how to take their pulse, then the students had them get up and dance with the assistance of music through a PA system. They took their pulse immediately after this activity and reported what happened to their pulse! The student nurses then demonstrated how a blood pressure is taken.

3. The third booth helped the kids to identify foods that are Heart Smart: Here a discussion took place on how/why some foods are bad for heart and some foods are good. Then the kids played a "What's better game....."
A. French Fries? or B. Apples?
Pictures of foods were held up and the kids shouted out which one is better. Every child who participated received a copy of this handout along with a goodie bag that included age appropriate materials from the American Heart Association.

The National Nursing Network Organization Team—Monday, August 10, 2009  

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