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Empowered to Serve: Implementing Community Stroke Outreach Using Peer Educators to Improve Readiness to Act Among Local Community Members

Omelchenko, Nataliya; Saban, Karen, L.; Andresen, Pamela; Klopp, Audrey; Lau, Janice

Journal of Neuroscience Nursing: April 2018 - Volume 50 - Issue 2 - p 111–115
doi: 10.1097/JNN.0000000000000344

ABSTRACT The purpose of this project was to develop a community-based volunteer group of peer educators to provide stroke education to local residents aimed at increasing stroke awareness and action readiness using the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s “Empowered to Serve” evidence-based curriculum. The “Don’t Miss a Stroke” module addresses the recognition of stroke warning signs, actions to take during a stroke, and stroke prevention. A total of 16 volunteers were recruited and subsequently trained. Six volunteers organized community events during the initial 3 months of the project, reaching more than 300 community members. Most participants (84.9%) identified as female, with a mean age of 63 years. Analysis of variance revealed significant improvements in knowledge regarding stroke immediately after the class, which was present 1 month later (F2,144 = 4.832, P = .009). This approach to raising community awareness about stroke emergencies was effective and did not require significant financial investment. Easy access to the curriculum and availability of free printed materials minimized the overall program costs and enhanced the quality of the educational content.

Questions or comments about this article may be directed to Nataliya Omelchenko, DNP APRN SCRN ANVP, at Northwest Community Hospital, Arlington Heights, IL.

Karen L. Saban, PhD RN APRN CNRN FAHA, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Pamela Andresen, PhD RN, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Audrey Klopp, PhD RN NHA, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Janice Lau, APRN CNS, Northwest Community Hospital, Arlington Heights, IL.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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© 2018 American Association of Neuroscience Nurses