As a Community Nursing instructor, Kathleen Lane says that getting involved with the community actually helps her do her job better by offering her with first-hand knowledge of the community’s resources for the underserved population.
Instead of one big project, Lane has her hand in many. She meets with volunteer coordinators at several of the facilities in the community to get an idea of what they do and how our students can help them. For the past five years, Lane has been a member of the Pinellas School Health Advisory Committee, a multi-disciplinary committee who addresses any issues that affect the health of all Pinellas County Schools students. She also coordinates volunteer days with the St. Petersburg Health Clinic that enable students and other SPC faculty members to give back to the community, as well.
Lane also acquires and donates new or gently used items such as travel cribs, bouncers and car seats for gifts at a “baby shower” put on by Wellness Ministries of Tarpon Springs, which helps low-income women who are expecting – some of whom are homeless or live in poverty.
With the help of a student life representative, Lane raises awareness and hones her students’ community education skills by coordinating a health fair where students present on topics that promote good health practices and the prevention of illness.
Lane says she truly hopes that her efforts help to make a positive difference in the health of the community.
“I don’t see myself as an outstanding example of community engagement,” she said. “I see myself as a nursing instructor who is trying to provide my students with an experience that will add to their nursing career and also provide them with the satisfaction that they were able to educate the community population to improve their health and well-being.”