VGCC Nursing students join Public Health campaign
Nursing students at Vance-Granville Community College are partnering with the local health department on a new community health awareness project.
Jackie Sergent, health promotion coordinator and health education supervisor for the Granville-Vance District Health Department , recently visited VGCC to speak with students in the Associate Degree Nursing program . Sergent discussed the role that they would play in “ Talk Test Protect ,” an educational campaign to increase awareness of chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease caused by a bacteria, and to encourage local residents to get tested.
She shared with students her department’s 2013 “State of the County Health” report, which showed that chlamydia is by far the most common sexually transmitted disease, both locally and statewide. In both Vance and Granville counties, the disease is on the rise. In addition, the chlamydia rate in Vance County in recent years was much higher than the statewide rate. Eighty percent of the cases in Vance County occur in young adults, ages 15–24, Sergent noted, making this public health issue particularly relevant to college students. Chlamydia is also the leading preventable cause of infertility in the United States, she said.
Sergent presented each Nursing student with not only information but also colorful t-shirts for the campaign, bearing slogans such as “Keep Calm and Get Tested.” She enlisted the students to talk to at least five other people about chlamydia awareness and to record demographic information for those contacts. VGCC Nursing department chair Erica Jastrow said that the project is a good fit for the nursing students, since there is a community health component in their curriculum.
Funded by the Triangle North Healthcare Foundation, “Talk Test Protect” is a joint effort of the Granville-Vance health department, People Designs, Inc., and the North Carolina Institute for Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill.
The “Talk Test Protect” campaign kicked off with an evening clinic on Oct. 16 at the Vance County Health Department. To make an appointment for testing, local residents can call (252) 492-7915. For more information, visit www.TalkTestProtect.com .
Above: VGCC Associate Degree Nursing students pose wearing the “Talk Test Protect” campaign T-shirts given to them by Jackie Sergent (far right). (VGCC photo)