Connecting with the Community One Blood Pressure at a Time

Medical Assistant Students Share Heart Health Information with Residents at Stokke Tower

Medica Assistant Student Jessica takes the blood pressure of one of the residents.

Medical Assistant Student Jessica takes the blood pressure of one of the residents.

The Housing Authority of the City of La Crosse helps provide income eligible community members with comfortable housing in La Crosse. The residents of Stokke Tower, one of the Housing Authority apartment complexes for elderly community members, partnered with a Globe University-La Crosse Medical Assistant class to create a mutually beneficial service learning project.

A community need was identified for the residents of Stokke Tower. Not all of the residents have easy access to a local healthcare facility, and many don’t have the resources for regular blood pressure screenings. In addition, these services are not available on-site for the residents.

Medical Assistant Student Cara educates the residents on the importance of understanding their blood pressure.

Medical Assistant Student Cara educates the residents on the importance of understanding their blood pressure.

“We saw an opportunity to provide something that wasn’t easily available to this population,” Krista Engholdt, Globe University Medical Assistant Instructor, said. “We wanted to partner with an organization where these services were not offered.”

To meet the needs of the residents, and to reinforce the learning objectives of the Patient Care Sciences class, Engholdt developed a service learning project to offer blood pressure screenings and heart health information to the residents. This service learning project provided a needed health service to the Stokke Tower residents. In addition, by teaching the residents about heart health, and taking blood pressures, the medical assistant students applied the skills they were learning in the classroom.

“This project was a great way for the students to practice their skills and interact with people they didn’t know-people of all different abilities. They had to answer questions of the residents, share the knowledge they learned in the class, and they were exposed to a variety of patients which will be similar to what they will face in the real world,” Engholdt said.

Krista Engholdt's Patient Care Sciences Class at Stokke Towers.

Krista Engholdt's Patient Care Sciences Class at Stokke Towers.

This service learning project was very well received by the residents of Stokke Tower, the Housing Authority of the City of La Crosse, and by the eleven medical assistant students that lead the project. Since this event at Stokke Tower, the Housing Authority has requested future service learning projects at other housing complexes to educate additional residents. Globe University-La Crosse is happy to fulfill this community need.