Nursing Students Go On The Air To Promote Good Health

Nursing Students Go On The Air To Promote Good Health

A Sound Constitution producers, back row left to right Manisha Dhiman, Kristin Miller. Front row left to right Sanaz Mahmoudi, Niloufar Mahmoudi, Lindsay de Carvalho.

October 21, 2019 - 9:00am

VIU’s nurses of tomorrow address community health-care issues on unique Nanaimo radio show.­­

NANAIMO, BC: Five Vancouver Island University (VIU) Bachelor of Science Nursing (BSN) students are taking to the airwaves to provide reliable health information to the community.

A Sound Constitution is a radio show that focuses on community well-being, hosted on CHLY 101.7 every Thursday between 10 and 11 am. It plays a significant role in developing the skills of future front-line health-care workers.

The radio program is a student-led initiative that has been on the air in Nanaimo since 2009. As part of the Community of Practice (CoP) course in the Nursing program, each semester a group of third and fourth-year students produce the radio show.

“It is an innovative way student nurses can address some key health-care issues and develop their competencies in a number of areas, such as using research for the promotion of health for individuals, families and communities,” says Sandy Alexander, a VIU Nursing Professor.

“It is an amazing opportunity to be able to run our own weekly show,” says fourth-year student Sanaz Mahmoudi. “Through our show, we put into action what we have learned in our program and we use it to teach our community about relevant health topics, debunk health myths and promote good health.”

The students canvas the campus community for their health-care questions and concerns and then answer them on the show. They also look at trends that are happening in regards to health care, tackle subjects concerning health challenges that are trending in the community, nationally and even globally.

The nurses seek out answers from local health professionals and interview knowledgeable guests who are experts in their field about common topics such as nutrition and immunization. This season’s first show focused on screening for various types of cancer, including breast, colon and cervical.   

“I have gained insight and knowledge about various health challenges that affect our community,” says student Manisha Dhiman. “The most interesting part for me is to dig in for the research and provide credible information on topics like immigrant health, mental health, vaping and climate change. What surprised me the most is how much time and technical knowledge it takes to put together a radio show.”

The students record up to eight shows per season in a VIU audio booth and bring it to CHLY radio.

“The most interesting thing I have learned from being a host is how to use your voice as a tool to gain attention and keep the audience interested in a topic,” says student Lindsay de Carvalho. “As nurses, we will need to provide patient teaching in almost any setting that we gain employment in, and this will be an added skill we can use.”

CHLY Program Coordinator Arbie Fru says the station is happy to have such a valuable community resource to present on the airwaves.

“It has been my pleasure to mentor and assist the nursing students produce A Sound Constitution almost from the beginning. They come in knowing the subject and quickly learn to shape their knowledge into high-quality radio shows.”

Producing a weekly radio show has given the student nurses some additional skills that will help them in their profession.

“One thing that really surprised me about working on a health promotion radio show was the amount of information and misinformation we needed to sift through and curate in order to provide evidence-based information,” says Kristin Miller.

Alexander says the radio show brings health literacy to a level that's appropriate for the general public.

“That's a really huge skill and something that that they bring back into their nursing practice,” adds Alexander.



Annette Lucas, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

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Tags: community | Nursing | Teaching and Learning

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