Health education as a primary prevention measure is an important strategy for N4358 Populations clinical. Chelsea Favre Terrell took her role as nurse educator seriously when she team taught a series of 3 classes under the heading of “Neeto Mosquito” to lower school students at St. Benedict the Moor School. This timely topic created 3rd grade mosquito control officers leading the fight against the Zika epidemic in the New Orleans neighborhood of Pontilly.
“Neeto Mosquito” lesson programming was divided over a 3 week period with lecture, discussion and hands on interactive activities. Weekly reviews ensured students were ready for additional content. Principles of effective health education were utilized with repetition, learning by doing, and integration with the school’s math, science and English curriculum. In the first class, Chelsea taught the science component of mosquito anatomy, life cycle of the mosquito, biting and virus transmission. Her reflective journaling below captures her enthusiastic connection with the 3rd graders and her teaching ability.
“Friday's class was AMAZING. I loved teaching the pre-K class I used to have and this brought me right back. It was a little easier for us too because third graders are still excited about school. The school does a great job maintaining the kids' manners and they were truly a pleasure. We ended up going over the slotted 45 minutes, which we chalked up to having 2 crafts planned for the day and plan on only doing 1 craft next week. I felt bad for the time encroachment and asked the teacher if we were cutting into her time for anything and she was very supportive and said it wasn't a problem and voiced the importance of our lesson. We decided to deviate a little from the "Neeto Mosquito" lecture activities because I wanted to make sure the kiddos wouldn’t be bored. We ended up constructing mosquitos that required them to place the anatomical mosquito parts in the correct locations and did a life cycle plate craft. The kids really seemed to enjoy the crafts and one girl had said "I wish all school could be this fun." We felt 100% welcomed and the kids really seemed to pay attention and definitely were into all the crafts. I think I was most impressed with what the kids already knew about mosquitos. One of the students had mentioned about the Zika virus and I was like BINGO!!! That's why we are here! My biggest hope is they are excited enough about the crafts and about us being there that they will just go home and tell their parents what they learned. It feels really natural for me to interact and teach the kids and I couldn't ask for something better than planning fun lessons to teach- I'm definitely looking forward to planning out the next two weeks!”
In week two, Chelsea tackled disease transmission. She reviewed the epidemiological triangle identifying host (people including pregnant women); environment; agent (the Zika virus); and the mosquito vector. Because of time constraints, a math activity was sent home for parents to complete with their children. The assignment was to go home and survey their backyard for water holding containers as part of an environmental home assessment. Students returned to school to graph their findings and determine that flower pots at home were the biggest offenders. In her weekly reflective journal, Chelsea said the following:
“Coming off the first week, I was excited to teach the class again. However when we got there at 10:15, the teacher told us the class was on a field trip until 11. Knowing their lunch was at 12, we were concerned about the activities we had planned and what we would have time for. I was also disappointed because I know the class would be wound up from the field trip and probably have nothing on their mind except lunch and really not be in the learning/participating mood. It was after 11 when the kids got back and we had changed classrooms due to the field trip. The lesson plan went fine but we did have to cut out one of our craft activities and I know the kids love crafts so I was disappointed for that. Not all of the students were engaged, but it still went fine. And it was still enjoyable as those engaged had several questions, which makes me feel like they are wanting to learn. It was a good day to play the little video we had, however. It was hilarious because the video show cased mosquitos biting super close up and one of the kids said "I think I'm going to throw up." While the video made mosquitos seem a little scary, we were able to tell the kids after the positive things about mosquitos in the ecosystem and they seemed interested in that aspect too. We certainly didn’t want to leave the kids thinking only of the nasty bites and scary viruses they carry. The day wasn’t what we had planned and while it was frustrating, I do think the kids still got the take away lesson of the day. I'm looking forward to next week when we can tie everything together and have a super fun send off with the kids!”
In week three, Chelsea made a 4X8 foot mosquito piñata! The 3rd graders attacked it with DEET and hit it with fly swatters. They discussed other ways to protect themselves from bite transmission including wearing long sleeves and long pants; repairing screens on doors and windows; being inside in air conditioning; and using ceiling fans at home. The effects of Zika for pregnant women and their unborn fetus was discussed at length. Much empathy was felt and expressed by the 3rd grade children for this unborn, unprotected child. They expressed determination to do all they had learned to keep those babies safe. At the end, each 3rd grader proudly wore a mosquito control officer badge.