In a world where everything is moving so quickly, we sometimes forget to take the time to relax and de-stress. Taking time to relax is important for one’s overall health and well-being.
The importance of self-care is a topic that healthcare organizations have been focusing on very strongly over the past few years—eating healthy and exercising on a daily basis—both which help reduce stress and increase overall health.
Hospitals and clinics in the Eau Claire community are all on board with the increase of promoting self-care. Annually, Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospital hold a health day for caregivers which offer resources and support to caregivers in the area.
This year, the event was called Caring for the Caregiver: Humor Wellness and Stress Reduction and was focused on promoting alternative ways to help lower stress. The event included an inspirational speaker on the benefits of Yoga, booths that promoted health products and services, and refreshments for all attendees.
Students in our health sciences programs at Globe University are all about ensuring and promoting self-care. For this reason, a group of our medical assistant and massage therapy students volunteered their time and skill set at the event.
Globe University’s health booth was multi-functional and offered avenues to help reduce stress that can come when working in healthcare. The booth’s goal was to demonstrate the importance of taking a few minutes to relax each day and how alternative methods can help reduce one’s stress.
The medical assistant students put their administrative and clinical skills to practice by interacting with guests, having guests fill out paperwork, and taking an initial blood pressure reading. This initial reading provided the baseline on how relaxation and massage can help lower blood pressure.
“This provided a great opportunity for the medical assistant students to utilize their professional communication skills as well as their clinic skills taking blood pressures,” commented Gretchen Johnson, medical assistant program chair.
After their blood pressure was read, guests received a 10-minute chair massage performed by our massage therapy students. Afterwards, the medical assistant students took a final blood pressure reading, which indicated a decrease in blood pressure for all.
Event guests were all very surprised to see how much their blood pressure decreased after the massage, which gave our massage therapy students the opportunity to explain the benefits incorporating massage therapy into their health routine.
“Throughout the event, the massage therapy students were able to perfect a variety of their skills. They learned how to work with a diverse population and how to resolve client issues that may arise with offering chair massages,” reflected Joan Hamilton, massage therapy program chair.
In addition to offering free blood pressure readings and chair massages, the medical assistant students set up a table that outlined healthy snack options and provided tips on how to incorporate those into the busy caregiver schedule.
Jennifer Seurer, medical assistant student, commented on why she volunteered at the event. “I volunteered at the event today because I think it a great cause. It is imperative to inform the public about the importance of relaxation and how it impacts their blood pressure. In addition, I got the opportunity to interact with a variety of people and got to practice my blood pressure skills that I learned in the classroom.”
“It’s important for our students to volunteer in our community as it not only gives them experience but also allows them to see the needs of their community,” said Joan. Overall, the event was a huge success and offered an abundance of support to over 100 healthcare and caregiver staff in the Chippewa Valley.