FSC nursing students present research
on pet-friendly shelters for Polk County
LAKELAND, Fla. (Dec. 8, 2004) - Three Florida Southern nursing majors completed their senior community project by assessing the health and safety needs of Polk residents who recently used the county's disaster evacuation shelters. Their research indicated the need for pet-friendly evacuation shelters in Polk County.
Deborah Dougherty, Nona Young and Patricia Thompson, all registered nurses, found that the Red Cross and Emergency Management personnel excelled at providing information to shelter patrons about such concerns as preventing food-borne and water-borne illnesses and watching for safety hazards in the post-storm environment. Unfortunately, many residents chose not to leave their homes - no matter how unsafe - because their pets could not go with them to the shelters. The nurses gathered information from officials around the country to guide them in preparing a proposal for pet-friendly shelters in Polk County. They presented their recommendations recently to Pete McNally, program manager of Polk County Emergency Management.
"The pet friendly shelter issue is certainly a critical one for all emergency planners across the country," said McNally. He commended the students and their professor, Dr. Mavra Kear, for "their interest and extensive research to find a solution to this complex problem. "Polk County is also very interested in creating such a shelter and will use much of the material compiled by these ladies as we move forward toward this goal." McNally expects to begin the project in the near future.
"These students did an outstanding job pulling together a community service project that illustrates a willingness to tackle challenges in order to provide the best care to residents of our community," said Kear. "I am very proud of these students who clearly demonstrated the abilities of professional registered nurses."
About Florida Southern College
Founded in 1885, Florida Southern College is a private, comprehensive, United Methodist college with a liberal arts core. The college maintains its commitment to academic excellence through 38 undergraduate majors and distinctive graduate programs in business administration, education, and nursing. Florida Southern has a 14:1 student/faculty ratio, provides strong student/faculty mentorship programs, boasts 24 NCAA Division II national championships, and is ranked by U. S. News and World Report as one of the top ten Southern Comprehensive Colleges-Bachelors. Located on scenic Lake Hollingsworth, Florida Southern is the home of the world's largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.