NUI Galway Students Partner with Croí to Raise Blood Pressure Awareness

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

At the recent blood pressure screening clinic were (l-r): Lorraine McIlrath, Academic Staff Developer (Service Learning), CKI at NUI Galway; Paul Hession, Olympic Athlete and NUI Galway medical student; and Dr Ger Flaherty, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Medicine and Medical Education at NUI Galway.
At the recent blood pressure screening clinic were (l-r): Lorraine McIlrath, Academic Staff Developer (Service Learning), CKI at NUI Galway; Paul Hession, Olympic Athlete and NUI Galway medical student; and Dr Ger Flaherty, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Medicine and Medical Education at NUI Galway.

NUI Galway second-year Biomedical Science students recently organised a public blood pressure screening clinic. Organised in partnership with Croí, the West of Ireland Cardiac Foundation, the students, as part of the Community Knowledge Initiative (CKI) module, were raising awareness of the importance of elevated blood pressure (hypertension) as a risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease, which is the single greatest cause of premature death in Irish adults.

The clinic saw over 150 NUI Galway staff and students attend a free clinic on campus to have their blood pressure measured by trained students under the supervision of Dr Gerard Flaherty and members of the Croí MyAction clinical team. Where elevated blood pressure readings were observed, individuals were given specific advice by a Croí clinical team member according to their standard screening protocols as well as written information about blood pressure control.

Those attending the clinic were inspired by the guest attendance of Paul Hession, double Olympic Athlete and NUI Galway medical student.  At the clinic Paul highlighted the importance of an active lifestyle and heart healthy diet, and keeping fit to maintaining a long and healthy life. 

Throughout the CKI ten-week module, students learned about the causes and effects of high blood pressure and were instructed in the accurate measurement of blood pressure with Croí sharing their expertise in blood pressure screening protocols.

This module was completed under the supervision of Dr Gerard Flaherty, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Medicine and Medical Education at NUI Galway. Speaking at the day-long event, Dr Flaherty highlighted the importance of student learning with the community: “This kind of engagement is key to the skills and attitude development of our students. The collaboration with Croí has been a very fruitful partnership and we look forward to continuing our work with this flagship organisation in the west of Ireland.” 

This module is run under NUI Galway’s CKI which fosters community university partnerships which aim to promote the principles and practices of civic engagement and democracy. 

For further information on community engagement at NUI Galway see www.nuigalway.ie/cki

 -ENDS-

Author: Marketing and Communications Office, NUI Galway
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