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by Martin Valdez, student writer

Hawai‘i Loa campus residents, starting fall 2007, have the opportunity to consult an Advice Nurse if they aren’t feeling well or need advice on a health issue. Nurse Laura, assistant Professor of Nursing Laura Dower, M.S.N. A.P.R.N. F.N.P., is available to see residents two days a week, Mondays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in an office space in Lehua Hall on the Hawai‘i Loa campus.

An advice nurse is a new position to HPU and an added benefit to students living on campus. It’s an opportunity, Nurse Laura explained, to “empower students to learn more about self-care.” She also reminds students that an advice nurse doesn’t diagnose or dispense medication, but rather advises clients about “what you can do at home” or tells them that they should “go be seen at the ER or by a doctor.”

“ Most students just need some reassurance and someone to say you’re going to be OK!” Nurse Laura added.

Rebecca Lopez, a residence halls and HPU alum turned staff, said that “having a advice nurse is fantastic!” Lopez added that there has been a need for this simply because the Hawai‘i Loa campus is isolated.

“ It is great just to get advice without the intimidation of going to the hospital,” added Lopez, who is the Residence Life coordinator. And “it relieves a lot of pressure and stress parents might have for those residents who come from the mainland and abroad.”

Dower, originally from North Carolina, has been a registered nurse for 20 years and now lives in Kailua. Experienced in gerontology, she is an advice nurse at Kaiser and a family nurse practitioner. She has been teaching with HPU for four years.

“ This is a great added benefit and a good step in making this campus a better place to live,” said Alex Sterling, a junior resident advisor

Ideally, according to Nurse Laura, HPU would offer a full health service clinic on campus for all HPU students, a benefit not only for the student body but also for the nursing students who would have the opportunity to practice.

 

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