SMU eNews

ABSN Students Provide Health Screenings at Sacramento Barbershop

Samuel Merritt University (SMU) student Gregory Woods' nursing skills were put to the test at a recent heath fair in Sacramento while screening a homeless man who had a low blood pressure reading of 90/54 and tenting of the skin on his wrists - a sign of dehydration. Woods asked the man to remain seated and to drink more than 2 pints of water. After 30 minutes, Woods tested his blood pressure again and it had increased to a healthier 100/68. 

"He told me that he was very happy that he decided to come into the health fair," said Woods. "I sent him out with 4 pints of water, a handful of snacks, and encouraged him to drink plenty of fluids on a daily basis."

The man was one of 24 people screened by Woods and fellow Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) student Laura Zimmerman during the Barbershop Health Initiative health fair on October 13 at Exclusive Hair Design, a Sacramento barbershop.

The health fair, targeted to serve African-American men, provided screening and education for hypertension, diabetes and depression. Woods and Zimmerman gave each participant a customized assessment of their screening results, and explained the health implications of their blood pressure, pulse, Body Mass Index (BMI) and blood glucose measurements.

Supporters of the event included Professor Grace Lopez-Cox, RN; Terry Deane-Dauwalder, RN, FNP; Roberta Block, RN; and SMU staff members. In addition, Roche and Accu-Check donated glucose meters, strips and lancets.

Woods, a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar, was inspired to organize the event during his ABSN Community Health class.

Woods said the next Barbershop Health Initiative event is scheduled for February or March 2013, with plans to incorporate a blood drive and a NFL celebrity appearance.