Practical Nursing Students Assist in Middle School Scoliosis Screening

Practical Nursing students at Oconee Fall Line Technical College recently assisted the Washington County Health Department in their yearly scoliosis screening at T.J. Elder Middle School, Tuesday March 7.

OFTC's Practical Nursing Students assisted the Sandersville Health Department in a routine scoliosis screening at T. J. Elder Middle School

OFTC’s Practical Nursing Students assisted the Sandersville Health Department in a routine scoliosis screening at T. J. Elder Middle School

Asked by the nurses from the health department to assist in the routine screening, Practical Nursing Instructor Suann McNutt was more than happy to allow her students the opportunity to learn and perform skills that would advance their knowledge.

“It gives students the needed hands on experience that textbooks cannot provide,” McNutt said. “You can read how to do things in books but when you are able to perform things first hand, it really sticks with you. Students are able to practice the skills they have read and talked about in the classroom.”

And since routine scoliosis screenings are not typically done in all healthcare settings, this opportunity gave the practical nursing students exposure to a screening that otherwise they might not have had, she added.

During the screening, the practical nursing students screened the middle schoolers for any abnormal curvature and assessed for symptoms of scoliosis, including: if one rib cage is higher than the other; if the lower back is uneven; if one hip appears to be higher than the other; if one shoulder blade is more prominent than the other; and if there are any abnormalities within their gate.

“The students did an awesome job and screened the students appropriately,” McNutt said. “The hands on practical experience they gained from this opportunity is something I know they will be able to one-day use on the job or even at home with their own children.”

The OFTC students who participated in the screening were Teresa Wiley, Kacey Weeks, Vanessa Ruffin, Kim Stevens and Brittany Wilson; they are in their third semester and will graduate from the Practical Nursing Program in July.

OFTC Practical Nursing Student, Britney Wilson, checks a local middle school student for signs of scoliosis.

OFTC Practical Nursing Student, Britney Wilson, checks a local middle school student for signs of scoliosis.

Teresa Wiley, OFTC Practical Nursing student, checks a local middle schooler for signs of scoliosis.

Teresa Wiley, OFTC Practical Nursing student, checks a local middle schooler for signs of scoliosis.

OFTC Practical Nursing Instructor, Suann McNutt, assisted her students and scanned middle schoolers for symptoms of scoliosis.

OFTC Practical Nursing Instructor, Suann McNutt, assisted her students and scanned middle schoolers for symptoms of scoliosis.

Vanessa Ruffin, OFTC Practical Nursing student, assisted during the scoliosis screening and checked students for symptoms.

Vanessa Ruffin, OFTC Practical Nursing student, assisted during the scoliosis screening and checked students for symptoms.