Community Outreach Activity
Activity Summary: The document describes a community outreach programme on breast cancer screening. Breast cancer screening is one of the best ways of preventing cancer of the breast in women of reproductive age. The event was conducted in a community with the target population being women from the age of 16-45 years. The programme aimed to increase awareness of breast cancer in women of reproductive age and also equip nursing students with skills on breast cancer screening.
Overview: Community outreach programmes are part of the nursing curriculum in schools aimed at equipping the students with practical knowledge and skills on community diagnosis. I was part of the team that organized and conducted an outreach programme on breast cancer. The target population for the activity was women of reproductive age, between the age of 16 and 45 years. Apart from providing awareness on breast cancer, the programme aimed at equipping students with practical skills on breast cancer screening. Qualified nurses from other institutions were part of the screening team, and they guided the students. The programme opened my mind to the importance of breast cancer screening, and it helped me realize how important giving back to the society can be. I was happy to be part of the team that conducted a successful outreach programme on breast cancer screening.
Problem: Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, impacting approximately 1.5 million women each year. Recent statistics indicate that 570, 000 women died as a result of breast cancer in 2015. The figures represent 15% of all cancer deaths among women in the world (George and Ashing, 2017). In the United States, breast cancer incidences and death rates are the highest besides lung cancer. In this year, breast cancer deaths have been estimated to be at 40, 920 because of the increased incidences. Men are no exception in breast cancer although they are less affected. By participating in the screening programme, qualified nurses and students gain more knowledge on breast cancer screening as they help the community.
Solution: Early detection is the best strategy for preventing breast cancer, and it is done through screening and early diagnosis. According to Houssami and Miglioretti (2016), early diagnosis improves the population of people detected at early age allowing them to receive treatment. Screening for breast cancer identifies symptoms before they appear. It is done through breast examination and the use of Mammography. Clinical breast examination is useful in low resource settings when qualified personnel are available.
Opportunity: The community outreach programme aimed at capturing the attention of women that were not exposed to breast cancer screening before. It also pointed at equipping nursing students with skills clinical breast examination. The outreach programme was successful because a total of 85 women were screened for cancer and we got to learn from the nurses on how to do the breast examination. Participating in such activities will improve my practical skills and give me an opportunity to interact with experts.
Programme competencies addressed
- Population health concerns: Women of reproductive age.
- Intraprofessional collaboration: Qualified nurses and students.
- Health disparities: Women between the age of 16 and 45 years.
George, M., & Ashing, K. T. (2017). Detecting & living with breast cancer.
Houssami, N., & Miglioretti, D. (2016). Breast cancer screening: Making sense of complex and evolving evidence.