August 18, 2022
Health screenings may not be on the radar as an important use of time for farmers and ranchers, but nothing could be further from the truth.
For many years, health screenings have been a crucial component — along with exhibits and displays on rural safety and health — of the Nebraska Farmer Hospitality Tent at Husker Harvest Days.
These health exhibits and booths — along with blood pressure and skin cancer screenings — are often buzzing with activity as producers and visitors file through the area.
About 80 to 90 nursing students from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing, from Kearney and Lincoln, play a key role in the health screenings, which provide learning opportunities for the students and wellness checks for visitors.
Nurse practitioners assist
The students typically provide blood pressure checks and help with promotion of farm safety materials. In addition, there will be a nurse practitioner on-site to assist with skin cancer screenings.
The students helping with these screenings go through simulation learning to prepare for working in outdoor settings. They have time for guided learning at the showgrounds to gain greater understanding of rural culture.
Typically, 1,000 to 1,200 people are screened for blood pressure, and 600 receive skin screenings each year at the show. Some who received such screenings have returned and told instructors that a skin screening caused them to follow up with a dermatologist, who in turn treated that person for stage 4 skin cancer.
Others have taken their blood pressure numbers from the show to their practitioner and, after further assessment, started treatment for dangerously high blood pressure.
There is no statistical information to back up these claims, but there is no question that the health information and screenings at Husker Harvest Days bring health and wellness to the forefront for farmers and their families, and may alert these visitors to impending health concerns.
Agencies at your service
The following agencies will provide information to attendees at the Nebraska Farmer Hospitality Tent:
Progressive Ag Safety
Central Nebraska NAMI
PHARM Dog USA
Rural Response Hotline
Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Funk Medical and Mobility
Central States Center of Ag Safety and Health
University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing
Central District Health Department
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