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Valley Tech hosts health assessments of older adults.

UPTON - Valley Tech's Post-Secondary Practical Nursing program recently hosted an Aging Well Assessment Day at the school. The day-long clinical activity focused on health assessments of older adults living in the community independently and with chronic illness. Fifteen patient volunteers were each given head-to-toe health assessments including lifestyle, health and family history questionnaires along with a physical assessment of numerous body systems including the heart, lungs and skin. Information gathered by the students created a real-life learning environment helping the students understand the needs of older adults and how to help them maintain their health and independence. Throughout the course of the assessments, Practical Nursing students apply knowledge and skills emphasized in the practical nursing curriculum.

The Aging Well Assessment Day activity was created in response to a call from the National League for Nursing for nurse education to shift toward better preparing students to advance the health of the nation's elderly population. By focusing on goals such as the promotion of clinical decision-making in real-life encounters with older adults, the activity prepares students to manage and coordinate care in all health care settings.

"We received tremendously positive feedback from the volunteers in the post-assessment questionnaires," stated Practical Nursing Program Coordinator Kathy Ashe, MSN, RN, CNE and creator of the Aging Well Assessment Day. "Our students were repeatedly praised for their skill, compassion and willingness to learn and everyone was happy to participate for the mutual benefit to students and the health information received by patients. Having clinical experiences such as these is critical to the learning experience in Practical Nursing."

The learning activity is an important career ladder initiative resulting in collaboration with students in the Post-Secondary Practical Nursing program and Valley Tech's high school Health Service program students along with their respective instructors. Additionally, Valley Tech's Culinary Arts students assisted with food preparation and service providing lunch for all involved.

Valley Tech's Practical Nursing Program has Full Approval Status from the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing and has been awarded initial accreditation by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. Additionally, the Program is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Inc. Commission on Public Schools Committee on Technical and Career Institutions.

The program curriculum is designed to assist graduates in passing the challenging National Council Licensing Examination for Practical Nurse. Valley Tech's 60-week program includes 1,090 hours of instruction including 945 hours of nursing courses and more than 540 hours of clinical practice instruction. The program is currently enrolling applicants. Interested candidates should refer to Valley Tech's website for information at or call the LPN Program Office at (508) 529-7758, ext. 3122.

Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School serves the towns of Bellingham, Blackstone, Douglas, Grafton, Hopedale, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northbridge, Sutton, Upton and Uxbridge. Located in the heart of the Blackstone Valley, Blackstone Valley Tech creates a positive learning community that prepares students for personal and professional success in an internationally competitive society through a fusion of rigorous vocational, technical, and academic skills. The school's website is



CUTLINE: Blackstone Valley Tech recently hosted an Aging Well Assessment Day at the school. From left, Christine Laskey, Practical Nursing student; Toni-Ann Hanratty, CNA, Health Services student from Millbury; Amy Ferrandino-Bedard, RN, BSN; and Karen Chapman, Practical Nursing student, meet with volunteer patient Michael Salima, 97, from Blackstone.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Dec 7, 2012
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