Nursing Strong Connections

Parkview Mobile Nurses work with area businesses to promote a healthy community.

Parkview Medical Center’s Mobile Nurses are never shy in the way’s they reach out to the Pueblo Community.

Known for their energetic presentations, often involving costumes, about everything from hands-only CPR to nutrition, the mobile nurses make the communities of Southern Colorado their clinics, but their outreach extends into area businesses too.

One of the longest relationships is with Pueblo County government.Jan Mobile Nurse

“We’d always had health fairs but we didn’t do flu shots at those fairs,” said Patsy Cresswell, human resources director for Pueblo County. “Then we found out the mobile nurses could do them. So we started to have them do the flu shots and then the nurses just started attending the health fairs.”

What started in a small conference room in the County Courthouse has since grown to an all-day affair in the Pueblo County Emergency Operations Center, attended by as many as 500 county employees. The Nurses’ role at the fair has grown with it. Flu shots are still a main draw. But the nurses also offer cholesterol screenings, blood pressure checks and diabetes education.

The fairs are making a difference in the lives of employees as well.

“Our public works guys usually come in the morning before they get started and this one particular year, they were able to detect five or six employees with Type 2 diabetes and they didn’t even know it,” Cresswell said.

In another instance, a county employee came in with extremely high blood pressure. The nurses had the employee sit and wait for 15 minutes to take his blood pressure again. It was still high and didn’t go down after a second 15-minute wait.

“We sent him to the Parkview ER and the next day he had quadruple bypass surgery,” Cresswell said. “The doctors said had he not gotten a screening he was literally a ticking time bomb.”

Cresswell said there are other times where the nurses will work diligently to match an employee with a primary care provider.

In each interaction, regardless of the test, the nurses make sure to make time for each employee.

In addition to the health fair, the nurses visit the Courthouse rotunda to offer blood pressure checks to anyone, be they employee or citizen. They also offer blood pressure checks at the Pueblo West library branch and partner with other business to administer flu shots, along with a drive-through flu clinic every fall.

Last year, the nurses administered more than 2,000 flu shots throughout Pueblo and Southern Colorado, conducted nearly 2,500 blood pressure checks and nearly 300 cholesterol screenings.

“When they come in every month, they remember every employee,” said Tracy Lynn Mozley benefits coordinator for the county. “Whatever the topic is that the employee has expressed interest in, the nurses are very willing to sit with those people and make sure they deal with the people in those seats as best as they possibly can.”

Cresswell said the service is invaluable to the county, in part because the only cost is for the supplies. But it’s more than that.

“They’re amazing,” she said. “They’ll come in and do flu shots or cholesterol screening for the guys in public works that don’t make it to the health fair and it’s like they’re from Disneyland. They’re just the happiest people in the world. They’re a hidden gem in this town.”