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UT Tyler Longview partners with Ore City ISD to provide student physicals

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 5:55 PM CDT
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ORE CITY, Texas (KLTV) - On Thursday, students were helping students. Nursing students at the University of Texas-Tyler’s Longview campus provided free physicals to Ore City ISD students in band and athletics.

Blood pressure, height, weight, and vision checks are all things that students would get in a physical exam, but for some students in the Ore City ISD community, they’re not as easy to come by because of barriers, according to the Ore City district nurse Mindy Hamilton.

“To get those physicals done you have to either go to your family doctor and pay out of pocket for it, or you can try and get it at your school,” she said. “A lot of school districts will have a group that will come in and do it for a fee. So they just decided that we could come in and do that for free for y’all.”

UT Tyler’s Longview campus and Ore City have been trying to plan the partnership for about a year but because of the pandemic they were just now able to make it happen. Deborah Crumpler is the BSN coordinator for the nursing program at the Longview campus and said nursing students worked to give physicals to students in the band and athletic programs, with their instructors nearby to help out if needed.

“Our curriculum has really been more community outreach rather than just focusing on acute care in the hospital setting. So we’re really expanding and broadening our focus to reach people in all areas,” Crumpler said.

Tiffany Burns is a level three nursing student at the UT Tyler Longview campus and was working at the blood pressure station. She said the day helped her and her peers enhance their skills and she was happy to give back.

“With the Longview campus, they really focus on patient care. Patient care really isn’t just in the hospital or a clinical setting, it’s also within our community. Especially with the time that we’re in right now, in the middle of a pandemic, it’s really good to be able to give back to the community in any way that we can,” Burns said. “With us doing these physicals it helps us to enhance our skills and to be able to detect any type of abnormalities going on with students that they probably weren’t able to see or it got missed.”

Because Ore City is one of the more underserved areas in Texas, according to Hamilton, it’s important that they meet the community where they are and get the students cleared to participate in activities.

“We try to bring in preventative care to our district so that it helps make our community healthier so that the kids are able to learn and that’s what this is all part of,” Hamilton said. “So these physicals are required by UIL but they are to make sure that everything, all the body systems are working as they should so that when they enter onto a sports field. When they enter a marching contest or whatever that they’re not going to have issues that day. That they are going to be truly healthy.”

Crumpler said it’s sort of a win-win situation because the high school students get free physicals and the nursing students get practice.

“These are junior and senior students. We have level one junior students who have learned assessment skills and they’re here practicing them on the students with their instructors right there. So they’ve been checked off on those skills but they’re using them in this kind of community setting,” Crumpler said.

Intune Mobile Clinic also had their mobile medical unit at the school to help give the physicals. Starting June 3rd they will have their mobile medical unit at Church of the Rock at 909 Linda Dr, Daingerfield, TX 75638. They’ll be there Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through the summer and take Medicaid and can work with those who don’t have insurance on a sliding scale. Intune Mobile Clinic serves 23 counties and focuses more on rural communities. To get more information you can visit their Facebook page.

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