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Nursing students assist Red Cross with hurricane evacuee care

Nursing students are working with the local American Red Cross to provide medical care for Hurricane Ike evacuees, a Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences professor said.

Lavonne Adams, assistant professor of nursing, said the local Red Cross contacted the Harris College for volunteers.

“The offer was made to nursing faculty at TCU,” she said. “There are some faculty already working with the Red Cross before they called so they made arrangements to take their students with them.”

Adams said student volunteers gain clinical time by helping out at the shelters. Clinicals are times when nursing students apply what they learned in the classroom in the real world by working and observing in various hospitals.

Student volunteers provided health assistance to the evacuees in the shelters, Adams said.

“They were able to provide some basic first-aid care and mental health assessment and care,” she said.

Nursing students were scattered throughout local shelters to help out.

Sharon Canclini, a clinical instructor, said nursing students have been volunteering since last week.

Canclini and a group of students volunteered at the Azle shelter. They arrived at the shelter in the morning and stayed until 2 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday last week.

Besides providing health care to the evacuees, student volunteers found the time to play with the children, Canclini said.

“They (student volunteers) did a lot of entertaining to distract the kids,” she said.

The conditions at the Azle shelter were “excellent,” Canclini said.

“When we had a need, the volunteers took care of it,” she said. “If we need diapers, we will get diapers.”

On campus, Kappa Sigma fraternity held a can drive to help victims of Hurricane Ike.

Josh Jemente, the president of Kappa Sigma, said the drive started informally when some members were affected by Hurricane Gustav.

“We wanted to get involved after Hurricane Gustav so we collected some cans,” he said. “Then the following week, we heard about Hurricane Ike devastating the area.”

Kappa Sigma presented its cause to the Panhellenic Council and got its support, Jemente said.

“The sororities collected 500 to 600 cans and our chapter collected about 2,000 cans,” Jemente said.

Kappa Sigma’s goal is to collect 8,000 cans, roughly one can per TCU student, Jemente said.

The fraternity is working with the Tarrant County Food Bank and all donations will be sent to the affected areas as well as the evacuees in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Jemente said.

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