Marquette University Clinicals Partnership

The clinical partnership with Marquette University, College of Nursing was set up to give students an opportunity to work
with clients with developmental disabilities. The population of people with developmental disability has been described as the largest minority group in the United States. In spite of this large and growing population, those with disabilities experience poorer health, receive less access to healthcare, and experience less quality of care when compared to those without disabilities. An important factor related to poor health care and access to care is the lack of attention to disability in the courses of educational programs that prepare health care professionals.

The focus of this clinical is on the application of theoretical concepts from public health and community health nursing to provide population-based nursing care to individuals, families, and communities. The goal was to give a clinical experience involving different levels of DD in a community environment which involved 13 community sites.

A huge component of Marquette’s BSN curriculum is focusing on what is referred to as the “social determinants of health” (SDOH). The SDOH are comprised of any environmental factors that play a role in a person’s overall health and health outcomes, such as education level, socioeconomic status, or even availability of nutritious foods in one’s community. St. Coletta has given our community health students the opportunity to work with individuals with very different SDOH than the students usually experience.

Testimonial from Instructor Callie Gilmore:
“My students got the fantastic opportunity to work one-on-one with clients at St. Coletta. Sometimes the students were helping them with activities of daily life, but oftentimes they were able to just sit down and have a conversation, play games, or watch a television show with their clients. Many of my students came into this environment nervous, as they didn’t have any personal experience working with people of differing abilities. But the welcoming staff and clients of St. Coletta quickly put them at ease! St. Coletta was a wonderful first clinical experience for the students, as they got to focus on developing their therapeutic communication skills. So much growth happened over the short semester and I am so grateful to St. Coletta for allowing us to work with their amazing staff and clientele!”

Thank you to Board Member, Norah Johnson, for helping to coordinate this experience!

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