Is the Silent Killer After You?

The question is not “who” is the Silent Killer, but “what?”  Globe University students enrolled in the Patient Care Sciences 1 class studying for their medical assistant certification uncovered the answer to this question.

At Sauber Manor, affordable housing for seniors and handicapped individuals provided by the La Crosse Housing Authority, students performed a service-learning project that educated residents on maintaining a heart healthy diet to raise awareness of  the silent killer: high blood pressure.

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Globe medical assistant students presenting about the silent killer--aka high blood pressure.

“High blood pressure affects people of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds,” said Globe University-La Crosse Medical Assisting Instructor, Vicki Iverson. “A few main components contributing to the risks of high blood pressure is a person’s lifestyle choices, age and genetics. The latter two categories (age and genetics) cannot be changed. Lifestyle choices, however, can be managed. Nutritional management is an important facet of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and may have a direct impact on blood pressure measurements.”

Globe medical assistant students applied the skills learned throughout the quarter and performed blood pressure checks, and created, dispersed, and displayed an informational flier and tri-fold poster to showcase heart healthier food options. They also provided samples of these healthy snacks.

“This project made a big difference in the community of Sauber Manor,” shared Vicki Kristek, Globe University medical assistant student.  “Not only did the residents make us feel appreciated for being there, but we made the residents feel important by giving them the opportunity to talk and visit with us.”

Medical assistant student Jackie Lee shared how the service learning project helped improve her patient care skills.

“My ability to interact with members of the community and patients has been increased along with my ability to perform simple blood pressure and pulse checks,” Jackie said.

Vicki Iverson was very proud of her students in how they conducted themselves in such a professional, kind and respectful manner. “They have chosen an excellent career path and they will all do well as medical assistants,” she said.

This post was written by Jodie Liedke. Liedke, a true Wisconsinite, having labored four summers in a mozzarella factory, received her BA from Lakeland College and her Masters in Fine Arts from Wichita State University in Kansas.  Liedke is the General Education and Service-Learning Coordinator, a Creative Quill and Writing Across the Curriculum lead, and the advisor/instructor for GLUWW (Globe La Crosse Writers Write). When not writing creatively, Liedke enjoys watching films, exploring the outdoors, and biking.