By Ry Clarke - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on November 30, 2022.
Students from St. Patrick’s Fine Arts Elementary School hosted a Health Promotion Fair with nursing students from the University of Lethbridge on Tuesday.
Third- and fourth-year nursing students came to the school’s gym to set up booths to help educate them on healthy lifestyles with community partners aiding in the education.
“They need to know about how to lead healthy lives, it is not just about nutrition and physical activity, it comes with a lot of awareness around respecting themselves and having good relationships with other people,” said Kathy Jones-Husch, principal at the school. “This fair is unique because it is being driven by nursing students who conducted surveys with the students ahead of time, asking them about the things that are important to them. (Students) chose the focal points of these different stations based on the survey results they did.”
Using student surveys to narrow the focal point of the fair, the process helped bring awareness to topics students wanted to learn more about.
“We were able to narrow in on the topic of health promotion, specifically looking at healthy relationships,” said Laurel Zieber, third year nursing student. “Being able to get their input so it is tailored to them is important. All of the interventions that are happening today are based on what the students have said they need. A lot of kids responded that they didn’t sleep well at night, so we have a booth on sleep and how to take care of themselves better.”
Helping promote healthy lifestyles, the fair helped showcase the medical field to the public.
“Nursing is not only about curing diseases and giving medicine. It is about preventing and promoting health. That is the goal with this entire Health Fair is to promote that health and build capacity within the school to understand their health better,” said Zieber.
The fair went on all day at the school, getting traction from grades one through six to get students in and gain more awareness about their own lifestyle and health.
“It helps kids not just see nurses or other health care practitioners, not just as people they need in an emergency, but people that can teach them about how to live their best self every day,” said Jones-Husch. “They are learning lots about what it means to be a nurse.”