Students from Schools of Pharmacy and Nursing Team Up for Blood Pressure Screenings

Students lined up at blood pressure clinic.
Students from the Schools of Pharmacy and Nursing prepared to perform blood pressure screenings. From left to right: Krystal Scinto '20 (Pharm.D.), Kailyn Marcotte '19 (NUR), John Awad, '19 (Pharm.D.), Bella Pangaribuan '19 (Pharm.D.), Alison Iaiennaro, '19 (NUR), Matthew Deneff, '19 (Pharm.D), and Sara Miller, '19 (Pharm. D.) (Sheila Foran, UConn Photo)
Student having blood pressure taken.
Kelsey Riesbeck ’18 (CAHNR) has her blood pressure taken by Bella Pangaribuan ’19 (Pharm.D.) (Sheila Foran/UConn Photo)

know your numbers was a chance for members of the UConn community to have their blood pressure taken by students from the School of Pharmacy and the School of Nursing. The event, held on November 27 in the Student Union, was organized by John Awad ’19 (Pharm.D.) president of UConn’s student chapter of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, and Jacqueline Santos, ’18 (NUR) President of UConn’s Student Nurses Association. It had two primary purposes.

One was to perform a valuable service that, in light of new blood pressure guidelines issued by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association, was particularly timely.

The other was to strengthen inter-disciplinary cooperation among students preparing for careers in healthcare. For Awad, the latter objective is particularly compelling.

John Awad, '19 (Pharm.D.)
John Awad ’19 (Pharm.D.), president of the student chapter of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, was one of the event organizers. (Sheila Foran/UConn Photo)

He says, “The new AHA guidelines are prompting Americans to make healthy lifestyle changes sooner rather than later. As future pharmacists and nurses, we will play an important role in helping patients maintain healthy blood pressure levels to prevent complications such as heart attack or stroke.

“By focusing on this type of preventive care through inter-professional teamwork, we can help improve the quality of patients’ lives and, ultimately, reduce health care costs.”

Awad says that if pharmacy and nursing students learn to work together in the present to gain a better understanding of what each profession brings to the healthcare team, then he is confident that this spirit of collaboration will continue once students enter their respective professions.

“Pharmacists are the most frequently seen healthcare professionals in community settings,” he says, “and

Student having blood pressure taken by Jacqueline Santos.
Jacqueline Santos ’18 (NUR), president of UConn’s Student Nurses Association and Usman Khan ’19 (Pharm.D.) took blood pressure readings and handed out information. (Sheila Foran/UConn Photo)

nurses are involved in patient care in many situations including, physicians’ offices, clinics, and hospitals.  It makes sense that the two professions collaborate by delivering the same message about lifestyle changes or the management of illnesses to their patients. ”

Nearly 80 members of the UConn community took advantage of the opportunity to have their blood pressure checked and they took away valuable information about their results. If Awad and Santos have anything to do with it, there will be other collaborative events in the future.