Applied Project and Research Article

Applied Project: Senior Steps


CC by Moyan Brenn

For my applied project I will be coordinating with the Plymouth Regional Senior Center and the Health and Human Performance (HHP) Club. We will be putting together a two-day health program that incorporates both exercise and nutrition. The seniors will vote for which form of exercise they want to participate in and which meal they want to cook. The program will take place at either the Senior Center, ALLWell North or a local outdoor location where the exercise activity may be held. Volunteers from the HHP Club and I will put together the schedule for both days and ensure it is packed full of tips to help the seniors improve or maintain their health.

This project is important because it helps students at PSU reach a population in need. The senior population is increasing rapidly and they need to be cared for. This will build a connection between PSU students and the center. This project will also help seniors practice healthy habits and incorporate fresh ideas for them to include in their daily lives. On my ePort I will document the progress of the event once a week. This will include everything from what activity the seniors decided on to what materials we will need. I will finalize the project by writing a well-developed reflection of the entire event.

My Health Science major is centered around my future career as a nurse. Being a nurse is all about helping other people be as healthy as they can be. This project centers around the idea of bettering people’s physical, emotional and social well-being. PSU students will benefit from volunteering their time and knowing they helped other people. I think it will make everyone who participates feel better and hopefully even help educate some of the seniors about their health.


3/1: Talk to the activities coordinator at Plymouth Regional Senior Center

3/8: Meet with the HHP Club about volunteering

3/15: Create flyer and newsletter write-up for two-day health program

3/22: Create exercise/meal ballot so seniors can vote on activities

3/29: Set the date and book necessary spaces

4/5: Prepare all necessary materials for both days

4/12: Finalize volunteer list and coordinate transportation

Week of 4/17: Senior Steps two-day health program!

4/26: Recap with HHP and talk about pros and cons

5/3: Release of reflection

Research Article: Eat Yourself to Health


CC by 1sock

For my research article I will investigate the ways in which nutrition can influence our health. The main subject I will address is food as medicine. This will cover different diets, eating disorders, obesity, diabetes, mental health, and access to healthy food. I want to cover nutrition from an interdisciplinary perspective and incorporate as many of the factors that influence people as possible. The research will target successful nutrition habits and how they have helped certain populations.

I think this topic is extremely important especially with the abundance of health information out there today. Everywhere you look there is a new article about what is healthy. Our society is full of contradictions about what we should and should not eat. I want to use reliable sources to convey how certain health issues have been treated with proper nutrition. I also want to share how certain habits or dietary changes can impact a person’s health.  This type of research will increase the knowledge of my readers and myself to help influence others to make healthy choices.

As a future nurse I would love to increase my knowledge of nutrition. I think what we put into our bodies is half the health battle. Learning about food and certain dietary lifestyles will expand my perspective. It is important that I can help patients in many aspects of life and what they are eating is certainly a factor. The more I learn the more I can help others so I am looking forward to diving into this research project.


3/8: Start collection of reliable sources and meet with the library help desk

3/22: Finish collection of sources and notes, organize them into sections

4/5: Complete introduction

4/19: Interview with a health professional at PSU

4/26: Complete draft 1

5/3: Add multi-media aspects such as hyperlinks, pictures, and/or videos

5/10: Visit writing center and complete final draft, publish article


Research Article & Applied Project Ideas

For my research article I would like to investigate:

  1. The top five different nursing careers that interest me the most and compare them. This would help me explore different fields that I may work in one day and help readers compare the differences between what certain nurses do. I think it will be challenging to limit the amount that I incorporate my own opinions in the article. This will include health, science and psychology disciplines.
  2. The benefits of a medical career in the Army. This will help me understand what it is like to serve your country and also have a healthcare career. It will be challenging to investigate specific stories because a lot of military work is kept within the military. This will include health and history.
  3. How technology has impacted the mental health of children. This is a very important controversy in our society today. Many people will be able to connect with this topic. It will be challenging to ensure that statistics and findings that I uncover are reliable and true. This will include technology and psychology.
  4. Using food as medicine. This will help me identify the importance of good nutrition and how it can help certain people. It will be challenging to narrow down what population I want to research most. This will incorporate nutrition, pharmaceuticals, and maybe even sociology.
  5. How can we help areas of poverty receive medical attention. This will uncover methods of helping those in need. It will be challenging to find ways to battle poverty and fund these healthcare efforts. This will cover health, sociology, and science.

For my applied project I would like to:

  1. Volunteer at a homeless shelter and create a blog that anonymously tells the stories of the people I meet. I am very interested in learning about the homeless population and how we can help them build a new life. The biggest challenge with this might be confidentiality of the people I work with.
  2.  Work with Stamping Out Stigma and create a fundraising plan of my own to raise money for mental health awareness. I have a strong interest in mental illness and was an active member of this organization last year. I think getting the plan approved would present a challenge.
  3. Create a volunteer program on campus that brings college students in to visit either elderly or veterans. The elderly population is continuing to grow and there is a strong need for veteran efforts in our country. I think building a large enough group that cares about this population would be the hardest part.
  4. Run a health fair for children at PSU. Teaching children about their health and building connections with our community would be great for the university. The hardest part of this project would be fundraising.
  5. Start a wellness program at ALLWell North that incorporates people of all capabilities. There is a large population of people that need help adjusting their lifestyle to be healthier and more active. I think the biggest challenge for this project would be organizing a time that works best for the members and the facility.


Health Science

The program that I have created is called Health Science and it incorporates health education, science and human development. The program involves a variety of courses that allow me to learn about my two strongest interests, people and science. My passion has always been to help people live a happy and healthy life. This program is centered around that idea and will allow me to incorporate everything I have learned to further my education. Interdisciplinary Studies has brought clarity to my college career. My goal is to graduate from Plymouth State University with an Interdisciplinary Studies degree in Health Science and apply to a Post Baccalaureate Nursing program. My final goal is to receive my nursing degree from either Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Science, Northeastern University, or Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions.
I started my college career as a Nursing major at the University of New England in Biddeford, ME. After one semester there I knew that it was not the right fit for me. I transferred to Northern Essex Community College where I continued to take health courses while living at home. I worked with children that summer and fell in love with the idea of becoming a teacher. When I transferred to Plymouth in the fall I saw my future differently than I had ever seen it before. Throughout the following three semesters I took health courses, teaching courses, and science courses. When I began my field experience in the schools, I felt a void in what I was doing. I knew how important teaching was but I could not help but question why I ever strayed away from the healthcare setting. I have wanted to be a nurse since I was 12 years old, but now I am sure that is what I am meant to do.
A friend introduced me to Interdisciplinary Studies and everything has fallen into place since then. The program I built provides me with the opportunity to take all the prerequisites I need to apply for the Post Baccalaureate Nursing Program, incorporate everything I have already learned, and take courses that entice my intellectual curiosity. The required Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) prerequisites include Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Microbiology, Human Growth and Development, Human Nutrition, Statistics, and General Chemistry I and II. The ABSN program will provide me with some of the best clinical opportunities in the country.
Although my ultimate goal is to become a nurse, the nursing program here at PSU is not a reasonable option for me. The program would not be able to provide me with the broader undergraduate preparation that this program allows. I believe I can become a better nurse by incorporating all that I have gained throughout my undergraduate education. The nursing program here provides a one way street that wouldn’t allow me to explore my interests and capabilities to their full potential. My program is different from any other program here because it incorporates courses that expand my knowledge from many different perspectives. I will continue to learn about the human body, diversity, physical science, health issues, and the development of the person as a whole. My program has also helped me learn more about children which will hopefully assist my goal of entering pediatrics.
The courses included in my contract can be placed into the three different categories I listed above: science, human development, and health education. The science courses include Anatomy/Physiology I and II, General Chemistry I and II, and Microbiology. Anatomy/Physiology I and II taught me the structure and function of the human body. General Chemistry I and II will provide me with a solid knowledge base of chemical reactions and how molecules interact. Microbiology will expose me to the world of microorganisms. The human development courses include Applied Nutrition for Healthy Living, Cultural Diversity and America, Motor Development, and Kinesiology. Nutrition improved my knowledge of how food consumption and activity level impacts health. I gained insight about what different minority groups encounter around the world from taking Cultural Diversity and America. It was extremely beneficial for me to take Cultural Diversity because in the healthcare industry I will be working with a wide variety of patients and coworkers. The course taught me what it is like to face language barriers, respect other cultures and appropriate methods of interacting with people that come from a different background than myself. Motor Development taught me about how motor abilities are impacted throughout the lifespan. I was exposed to human motion and biomechanics during Kinesiology. The health education courses include Stress Management, Sex and Family Living Education, Drug Behavior, and Learning Strategies in Healthcare. Stress management will teach me how to help patients with physical and mental stress while under my care. Sex and Family Living Education will provide me with knowledge of human psychosexual development. It is important that I am exposed to psychosexual development in order to handle certain healthcare situations in a knowledgeable and respectful manner. The knowledge from this course will help me empathize and understand patients on a deeper level. In Drug Behavior I will learn how drugs impact the physical and mental health of a person. I need to learn how drugs impact a person inside and out so that I can learn the best way to treat them. Drug behavior can help me understand the causes and effects of drug use. Lastly, I became familiar with the basics of healthcare settings and precautions by taking Learning Strategies in Healthcare.
My program is interdisciplinary because it uses an integrated way of thinking to incorporate knowledge from human development, physical science, public health and education. It takes in many different content areas that expose ideas about development, families, diversity, and the world of science. I will become a well-rounded nurse that has an advantage over undergraduate nurses with less educational experience to refer to. My energy and passion to learn will continue to grow and push me towards success in the healthcare field. I think taking an interdisciplinary perspective into a nursing career will allow me to be open to new ideas and help me work easily with different types of people. The experience I gained from working and learning about children will improve my capabilities in pediatrics. This program will put me in the perfect position to apply for an ABSN program and pursue my dreams.

Photo: Public Domain