Nearly 30 members make up the ECPI University Charleston Student Nursing Association (SNA), an active group of community-minded future nurses.
“I tell the students that we live in a small community and people will recognize us. You are visual and seen. We hold their hands, we are there when they’re sick or to promote health. Even as a student, it’s important to see what weight that carries and take that seriously.”– Laryssa Tazayoni – Practical Nursing Faculty member, Charleston campus
“We had our kickoff in August and have been super busy since,” said Laryssa Tazayoni, PN Faculty member and the Club’s Advisor.
To get the club going and increase participation, members of the student club are required to attend one event or volunteer at least 3 hours per month. The club’s purpose is to help students grow their skills and learn to be a leader.
“I tell the students that we live in a small community and people will recognize us. You are visual and seen. We hold their hands, we are there when they’re sick or to promote health. Even as a student, it’s important to see what weight that carries and take that seriously,” said Laryssa.
A wide range of speakers attend their meetings, like a forensic nurse, ICU nurse, Labor and Delivery nurse, and a domestic violence expert. But the big aspect of the club is community volunteering, whether at walks, fundraisers, clinics, or health fairs.
“The Breast Cancer Walk was such an emotionally charged event,” said Laryssa. “There were booths to learn about prevention in the community. The students even ended up on the news!”
The group also did face painting for the Buddy Walk, an event for children with Down Syndrome, and volunteered for The American Heart Association where they taught hands-only CPR and how to monitor blood pressure.
Cierra Williams, an RN student who graduates in just a couple weeks, is an active volunteer at the Dream Center, a local free clinic the SNA has a mentorship with in Charleston. “The clinic gives Charleston residents free dental and medical assistance by appointment. Around 9-10 patients come in each day,” said Cierra. “I volunteer every Tuesday and Thursday from 6-8 p.m. and help with triage,” said Cierra.
“Cierra is my volunteer champ,” said Laryssa. “She has volunteered seven times since October 30th.”
“I like the smile that I bring to people’s faces. It motivates you,” said Cierra. “I think everyone should volunteer and do something because you want to, not just because you have to in class.”
Laryssa says they have several walks planned for 2023, as well as a partnership with a group that does vision checks with the local school system.
“Ms. Tazayoni has taken SNA to the next level,” said Cierra, who plans to become an ER nurse after graduation. “I believe everyone who goes to ECPI for nursing should get involved in SNA. It’s just such a great organization to be a member of.”
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