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Nursing Course Mixes Service-Learning with Patients and Alternative Therapies


Nursing Course Mixes Service-Learning with Patients and Alternative Therapies

Students in Dr. Natalie Masco’s Complementary and Alternative Therapies course recently partnered with Mercy Community Services to link patients with alternative therapies and resources. This is the second semester the Wegmans School of Nursing has partnered with Mercy Community Services through service-learning.

Masco said the course provides an introduction to complementary and alternative modalities (CAM) which promote health and wellness. Students explored therapies including yoga, medication, aromatherapy, and acupuncture.

The service-learning aspect is an optional course component, and four students jumped on board. Andrea Longchamps, Gena McMahon, Maddy Anthony, and Jordyn Billings spent their semester helping to meet the educational needs of the patients and providers of Mercy, investigating massage, chiropractic care, hydrotherapy, and acupressure. As part of their work, the students conducted interviews with CAM practitioners, reviewed the literature and wrote research papers, and created patient-friendly brochures on the use of each modality. The semester ended with a presentation and demonstrations for staff, volunteer providers, and patients of the center.

The students applied for and received a Civic Engagement Grant from the College’s Center for Community Engagement, which they used to expand a lending library started last semester full of CAM books and supplies. As a result, essential massage oils and many new educational books are now in the library.

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