Nurse practitioner students host program
By Angie Landsverk
A Health and Wellness Resource Event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 28, at the Waupaca Recreation Center.
The free event will be for people of all ages – from the young to the elderly.
It will be hosted by Christa Hemmila, Noel Mercado and Carmen Miller.
They are all students in the nurse practitioner program at Concordia University Wisconsin.
“We want to provide health and wellness information for the community,” Hemmila said.
The event will be interactive, with demonstrations and food samples planned.
Miller said the event will cover exercise, nutrition and stress management.
“We will have people coming in for each category and demonstrating,” Hemmila said.
Representatives from fitness centers will be on hand, as well as personal trainers.
“A lot of what we will do for exercise are things you can do at home for those who don’t belong to a fitness center,” said Miller.
There will also be information about sports youth may participate in and camps they may attend.
“We’re reaching out to organizations within the community that are youth oriented. Representatives from them will be involved to provide information for parents,” Miller said.
Their ideas related to nutrition include providing quick and easy recipes and vegetarian options.
A yoga instructor will demonstrate some ideas for stress management, Hemmila said.
The three students connected last summer.
Each of them is in the family nurse practitioner program, which means the focus of their work will be with people of every age group.
“That is why we wanted to include kids in the event,” Hemmila said.
The master’s program they are enrolled in is an online program.
As part of the program, they are required to work with a professional in a clinic setting for a minimum of 200 hours per semester. The professional may be a nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant or physician.
Hemmila and Miller work in the area, and Mercado works in Marshfield.
They are also required to do a community project.
“We have to find a community need and provide interventions,” Hemmila said.
The three of them agreed exercise, nutrition and stress management were the topics they wanted to address.
“When I’m in the clinic, those are the top three things I focus on with my patients,” Hemmila said.
Miller said stress, lack of physical activity and overall health are the topics she continually sees.
Her preceptor talked to her about the work lives of people today.
Many people sit at work stations all day and do not make time to eat lunch, Mercado said.
Through their event, they want to give people information about how to incorporate exercise, healthy eating and stress management into their lives.
The number of years each of them has been working in the nursing field varies. All three have worked in hospital settings.
“I knew I wanted to continue my education,” Mercado said, “but I knew I wanted to get experience first.”
Hemmila believes she will be more autonomous as a nurse practitioner and able to help people more in that role.
Her focuses are health and wellness – trying to help people prevent disease and various illnesses before they start.
Miller wants to take caring for people to the next level.
The three of them will graduate in December.
They encourage people to attend the March 28 event and said those interested in being presenters at it or who have questions may email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“There will be lots of literature and demonstrations,” Hemmila said.