Fayetteville State University School of Nursing has partnered with Truist Mobile Health in order to provide free health services in Cumberland County.
Family Nurse Practitioner and Assistant Professor of Nursing Christy Swinson, who’s been teaching for 15 years, said the purpose of the mobile clinic is to provide access to health to the community and allow nursing students the opportunity to fulfill their clinical hours.
“In Cumberland County, we have an extraordinary amount of health inequities, especially for the underserved minority population, so by having the mobile nursing unit, it can help decrease those health inequities,” said Swinson, who’s been working in the medical field for more than 20 years.
The university purchased the RV through state funds, Swinson said. The design on the outside was created by a nursing student who won a contest to come up with the design, she said.
The newly deployed mobile clinic is custom-renovated and provides medical services at no cost to community members. No insurance is needed, but patients must be 18 or older to receive care. A few of the services provided are blood pressure exams, medication reviews and health-related education.
The nursing school is also trying to work with the Cumberland County Public Health Department in order to provide COVID-19 and flu vaccines in the near future, Swinson said.
The mobile unit will be located at a different church in Cumberland County from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Tuesday.
“The whole premise was for the mobile unit to be parked in front of a place that is seen as a place of safe haven,” she said.
There are eight nursing students who are completing community health rotations on the mobile clinic, Swinson said.
Nursing student Daniel Thoma, 42, said he decided to change career paths after his youngest child was born under difficult circumstances.
“When my youngest son was born, he was born prematurely,” he said. “But we knew he was in good hands because the nursing staff, they were just phenomenal.”
Thoma’s son is now 5 years old and just started kindergarten.
“Nurses are awesome,” Thoma said. “So, I decided to change careers and become a nurse.”
Thoma said he worked in air quality for the state before deciding to become a nurse.
The mobile clinic is a great way to engage with the community, he said. As a father, Thoma wanted to make a positive impact in the community, like those nurses did for his youngest child, he said.
“I think it’s really important to give each and every person access to health care. It’s so important,” he said.
The nursing students and faculty are also educating patients on important health issues, Thoma said.
“The mobile outreach clinic; it can be instrumental with eliminating access issues especially for underserved populations … while we prepare our students to address social determinates of health,” she said.
Health and education writer Ariana-Jasmine Castrellon can be reached at [email protected] or 910-486-3561.
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