We seem to be hearing a lot recently about illnesses, germs and many foodborne and airborne diseases that impact children and adults in schools, offices and public facilities. The public has been cautioned on steps to take to avoid being affected and one of the most basic suggestions has been thorough hand-washing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “A large percentage of foodborne disease outbreaks are spread by contaminated hands. Appropriate hand-washing practices can reduce the risk of foodborne illness and other infections.” The CDC also states, “Hand-washing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16 percent.”
It is this basic and simple solution that prompted medical assistant students in Katherine Weyers’s Patient Care Sciences I class from Minnesota School of Business-Elk River to head to Twin Lakes Elementary recently. The students were able to teach the entire class of kindergarten students about proper hand-washing techniques as part of the applied learning component of the course.
The students created a flyer and a disease prevention kit for each child and worked with them for a few hours discussing why hand-washing is important and how to properly wash their hands to avoid spreading germs. The kindergarten teachers were very grateful for the students and their lesson as they had recently had several children miss school because of illness.
The day was equally beneficial for the students.
“We all had a really fun day teaching the kindergarten classes the proper ways to wash their hands. Though they had already been taught why hand-washing is so important, one of our stations was the Glow Box which showed them all the germs that they had missed. The kids were excited about the Glow Box but also eager to learn how to get the germs off,” said Ashlee Kelley, medical assistant student.
This project is one of many applied learning opportunities that MSB-Elk River students and faculty participate in each quarter. These projects not only help students learn to apply their knowledge and skills but also benefit the local community in so many ways. Stay tuned for more stories about these amazing projects.