Day 25: Homework


Hi bloggers!

Today has been busy, which is good! I have been working on the “Eat Healthy, Be Active” workshop from home on my computer. The website I posted last time has LOTS of information and content material regarding this program.

Michelle Hewitt from MWR has agreed to host the workshop in mid-March but has requested that we target the program toward youth and that we don’t contradict the information in other existing programs (NOFFS & MISSION NUTRITION). While this is very exciting, I will be busy for a while reading the instructor guide for each workshop (there are 6) and each contains about 30 pages of information! It’s important as an instructor that you read all the material before teaching. Today, I have read the Front Matter which includes: Introduction to workshops, supplies, and tips for workshop facilitators. There’s also a handout for each workshop (6 total) and so today I start with 1, called “Enjoy Healthy Food That Tastes Great”. I began to read the instructor manual as well. Lots of homework! Good thing the material is interesting! 🙂

I am learning more and more on program development and gathering resources. I’ve done LOTS of emailing with professionals in the field and learning the importance of both the content/information in the email as well as your choice of words.

I have a couple more confirmations for participants in the Family Fun & Fitness event. I learned after writing that email how important it is to provide past populations at the event and how much attraction they get. That is very important to the vendors and determines their attendance and participation to events.

By networking with so many different people and organizations, it makes me excited to one day be a health professional. I feel that this internship experience, along with my college courses, has already prepared me and made an impact on my future career. The potential for success is definitely there! I also enjoy what I do. Working on the “Eat healthy, be active” workshop is something I have a passion for and also feel comfortable teaching on.

Here is a link to a video that goes along with Workshop 1 that I read today. Enjoy!

Daily hours: 8

Total hours: 163


Day 24: Monday & More Research


Today I have been following up with some of the responses to Family Fun & Fitness. So far, the CDAC has confirmed and will be there. Hooray! I’ve also been working on some of the logistics with this event. We seem to have a shortage in tables for the vendors to set up stations. I am researching further into this. Perhaps Naval Hospital Pensacola has some tables that we could use?

Now into more research on “Eat Healthy, Be Active”

The workshop consists of six sessions, one-hour each and is based on dietary guidelines for Americans, 2012 and 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. I researched content material for “Eat Healthy, Be Active” on the Navy & Marine Corps Public Health website and found a power point presentation with lots of information. I printed it all out to read and research additional ideas or materials for the workshop we will administer in March.

Next, I called Michelle Hewitt and left a message regarding her involvement in hosting the workshop as Mr. Sherrard and I will teach it. This workshop will include lesson plans, learning objectives, talking points, hands-on activities, videos, and handouts. It has been designed for community educators, health promoters (like me 🙂 ), dieticians/nutritionists, to teach to adults in a wide variety of community settings.

6 Session Topics include:

Enjoy Healthy Food That Tastes Great

Quick, Healthy Meals and Snacks

Eating Healthy on a Budget

Top Tips for Losing Weight and Keeping it Off

Making Healthy Eating Part of Your Total Lifestyle

Physical Activity is the Key to Living Well

Implementation is the next big step. Forming the workshop group(s) and acquiring workshop items such as cooking utensils, food items, handouts, etc. is what I am working on now. The following website provides webinars and the complete workshop series for “Eat Healthy, Be Active”  The program material is all on this website and it is what we will use to teach the class. The rest of my afternoon has been spent reviewing and reading this material.

*Interesting fact: March is Navy Nutrition Month

Daily hours: 8

Total hours: 155

Day 23: (02/22)


Today I created an email to send to the health clubs & non-profit organizations, inviting them to the Family Fun & Fitness event. After creating the email, I researched non-profit health organizations in Pensacola, FL to ensure that I wasn’t leaving anyone out. The email was sent to the presidents of all Health Leisure & Exercise Science Clubs at the University of West FL. I also sent it to the American Red Cross, Center for Drug & Alcohol Council (CDAC), Area Health Education Center (AHEC), American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, Department of Health in Escambia County (tobacco & general services), message therapist Molly Warren from UWF, and Breast health from NHP.  I made phone calls to each of these individuals as well and followed up via this email:

To all health professionals,

My name is Breanne Watts and I am a Community Health Education student at the University of West Florida. I am currently doing my internship with Deployment Health & Wellness at the Naval Hospital Pensacola. My supervisor is James Sherrard. We feel that your organization/club would be a great contribution to our upcoming event.  Naval Hospital Pensacola and the Navy Exchange respectfully invite you to participate at our Family Fun & Fitness Event on Saturday, April 20 from 11 AM to 2 PM.

In support of the Commissary’s spring case-lot sale, the NEX throws an annual event to help support their endeavor.  Vendor demonstrations, educational information, product and service knowledge, and activities for adults and children are offered.  Vendor participation includes recreational safety, stress information, whole family fitness programs, CPR, exercise equipment demonstrations, sport and recreation clubs, and community organizations (i.e. American Diabetes Association, etc.).   Aside from vendors, we will also offer complimentary food samplings from various local restaurants, as well as, children activities such as dunk tank, surf simulator, and moonwalk.  A fun filled day at the NEX.

The event is located at Corry Station, outside between the two mall buildings.  Circuit training equipment will be set up outside for demonstrations as well.   We ask that you provide a table and station to represent your organization at this event.

Thank you for your consideration.  We look forward to your response and/or your confirmation.  You may contact me directly at 678-386-8254.  I will be more than happy to discuss this event with you.

After working on this event, I spoke with Mr. Sherrard and he suggested that we teach a Community Workshop called “Eat Healthy, Be Active” that has been organized by the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center. He would like to teach the workshop sometime in mid-March and suggests that Michelle Hewitt from MWR hosts it. I will be working on this project more next week!

Daily hours: 8

Total hours: 147

Day 22: Research & Resources

Today I spent time doing two things, both including some research & resources. First, I spent time making a list of all possible vendors that could participate in the Family Fun & Fitness event on April 20th at the NEX. Andrea Beck who is the event coordinator at the NEX has left me to find vendors representing both health and Naval Hospital Pensacola. Therefore, I made a list of outside or civilian world resources that could participate as well as those health professionals I know and have already shadowed from NHP. Andrea is interested in having some health related clubs from UWF & Pensacola State College to attend the event as well so I did research on those and made a list of contacts. I created an email that I would like to send to all possible vendors. I am thinking some non profit organizations such as AHEC, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, American Heart Association, FL Department of Health in Escambia County, and the Center for Drug and Alcohol Council would all be great possibilities.

Next, I did some research for potential health educator job opportunities within the military. I used this website as my search engine: results were not what I was hoping for and were rather disappointing. I searched within San Diego, CA because once I graduate, that may be where we move. I’ve heard that the hospital out there is huge and the potential job opportunities are high however, I found 0 results for health educator positions. Perhaps it is just bad timing and I plan to look back periodically to check for new listings.

Daily hours: 8

Total hours: 139


Day 21: President’s Day

Happy President’s Day! The office is closed, my supervisor is unavailable today, so I am working from home and organizing my thoughts.

First, I spent some time calculating my internship hours for the remaining part of the semester to ensure I am on track. So far so good! My goal is to complete 360 hours by April 26th. I am excited for what is to come with this learning process and opportunity.

Next, I sent some emails to a couple of health professionals in the hospital that I haven’t been able to shadow yet. This includes Bob Thomas from MWR and LCDR Tracy Skipton who is the psychiatrist and works for Mental Health. I also reviewed a list of training sessions that was emailed to me by Michelle Hewitt, the Department Head of MWR. These sessions include Mission Nutrition, CPR/AED (which would be a refresher for me), NOFFS, and CFL training. By attending these trainings, I will have a good idea of what MWR offers and how they assist the military community with fitness/exercise and nutrition.

Daily hours: 3

Total hours: 131

Day 20: (02/15/13)

On Friday, I attended my own doctors appointment at Naval Hospital Pensacola in the Family Medicine Clinic. I was happy when they made a special initiative to ask if I was a smoker. I think it’s important that health professionals ask rather than just have the patient circle yes or no on a piece of paper. After my 8am appointment, I went over to the VA Clinic to have a meeting with Mr. Sherrard. However, upon arriving I was informed that Mr. Sherrard was out of town for family matters. He will not be back until next Friday. Therefore, I am on my own until then and plan to use this time to develop something on my own, create materials, and take some initiatives towards our Family Fun & Fitness event. I realize that when I become an employee one day, emergency situations will come up. Rather than sitting back waiting for direction, I need to make a proactive approach and get things done on my own. Speaking of my future career, I will also use this time to research some possible job opportunities within the military and what some of the requirements are.

Daily hours: 3

Total hours: 128

Day 19: Tobacco Cessation Certified!

Today I worked more on my tobacco cessation presentation specific to fitness and nutrition and developing a plan for life without tobacco. Below are my notes and presentation. This goes along with the Quit Now tobacco cessation program. It was my last night at the AHEC facilitator class and I am now a certified Tobacco Cessation Facilitator, yippee!

Develop a plan for life… Without tobacco

For this session, we will be focusing on developing a healthy plan for your life without tobacco.

*ASK: When are some of your favorite times to use tobacco?

Correct, one could say that they enjoy using tobacco after meal times or even in place of meals.

The goals of this session are to:

  • Identify goals for a healthy lifestyle
  • Increase awareness of how other lifestyle changes can contribute to a tobacco free life

The objectives to help meet these goals include:

  • Developing one new personal nutrition/health eating goal
  • Develop one new personal exercise/physical activity goal
  • List three ways to reward yourself

*ASK: Does anyone have a set quit date in mind yet?

*ASK: Share what you have learned about yourself regarding the quitting process in the last week?

*DISCUSS: Successes, challenges, and if they have quit, how long have they been smoke free?

Education on Nutrition and Exercise

Nicotine is responsible for increasing your metabolic rate. Due to the higher metabolic rate when using tobacco, the ex-tobacco user now has a lower basal metabolic rate and burns 100 to 200 fewer calories daily.

[Side Note:  Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body burns at rest to maintain normal body functions. It is the amount of calories per day your body burns, regardless of exercise. It changes with age, weight, height, gender, diet and exercise habits.]

Burning fewer calories daily can result in weight gain (which may be a concern to some of you). However, you would have to gain 100 pounds before the health effects of gaining weight would outweigh those of continuing smoking. Also, nicotine can serve as an appetite suppressant- many people rely on this to keep their weight down.

#1 Weight Gain

When you quit smoking and the nicotine leaves your body, you may experience the following:

  • Short-term weight gain:
    • About 1/3 of quitters gain weight (about 1 lb per week for the first 6 weeks after quitting)
    • Check your weight regularly to see how quitting affects you; each body is different

*REMEMBER: weight gain does not happen to everyone (only 1/3 of quitters) and the amount is usually less than 10 pounds.

  • A need for fewer calories than before because of the body’s lower BMR (less energy, less calories, less food).
  • An improvement in sense of taste and smell within one week of quitting
  • An increase in hunger that is due to the decrease of nicotine in the body (once again, nicotine can serve as an appetite suppressant).

What can you do to avoid weight gain once you quit tobacco?

  • Maintain or increase your physical activity level to increase the number of calories your body uses. (In other words, burn off those extra 100-200 extra calories you may inherit)

*SHARE: Ways in which you already do good things relating to nutrition and exercise or physical activity?

  • Be aware of how much you eat at each meal so that if your appetite increases you can eat smaller portions and meals or eat small snacks frequently
  • Stay busy
  • Make lifestyle changes and alter your daily routine to help promote healthier eating habits and exercise patterns

#2 Physical Activity/Exercise

Becoming physically active is a healthy way to control your weight while also taking your mind off tobacco. Exercise increases your energy, promotes self- confidence, improves your health, and may help relieve stress and depression caused by the lack of nicotine in your body.

  • A reasonable goal includes at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day on most days of the week
  • Either done all at once OR
  • In several short spurts (10 minutes here, 20 minutes there, as long as it adds up to 30 minutes)
  • Increasing the number of calories burned each day will offset the change in metabolism caused by the lack of nicotine in the body. (As we recall, the BMR changes from certain factors- as we know already- nicotine is one, but exercise habits is another)

*ASK: Which hobbies do you enjoy that double as forms of exercise or physical activity?

Daily hours: 8

Total hours: 125

Day 18: Sick day

Hi bloggers! Well, today has not been the best of days so far. Although I have gotten caught up on my blogging from Wed/Fri last week! Sorry about the delay… I have come down with a cold and it’s the pits! I started feeling bad on Friday night and was hoping by Monday that it would be gone, but it’s still here 😦 Anyway… on to important things! I was supposed to shadow LaNora Glaze who is the Diabetes Educator at NHP but when I arrived this morning, they said that she was in a meeting all day. That was a bummer! BUT, since I am really not feeling the greatest today, it worked out I guess. After that, I scheduled an appointment with my PCM in the Family Medicine Clinic (since I was already there) and got some meds, so hopefully I will feel better soon! I left the hospital and drove over to the VA Clinic and visited Mr. Sherrard to check in with him. He advised me to go home and work on my presentation for Wednesday (which I was planning on doing anyway), and so I did! Mr. Sherrard and I are going to have a meeting on Wednesday to discuss the Family Fun & Fitness event and  what all we can do to get involved. I got an email back from LaNora Glaze and we rescheduled my shadowing opportunity for the 18th of March. I will be spending the rest of my afternoon reading about nutrition and exercise within the tobacco cessation and working on my presentation for Wednesday.

Daily hours: 7

Total hours: 117

Day 17: (02/08/13)

On Friday, I completed my 8 tobacco cessation modules on the computer, hooray! [Pictures of my certificates are below :)]I made some phone calls for the family fun & fitness event in April and spoke with Andrea Beck again who I am forming a “committee” with from the NEX. We are continuing to brainstorm ideas for the event and possible vendors. I spoke with Amanda Pavlich who works for AHEC and who is also the one teaching the tobacco cessation class I am attending to see if she would be interested in participating in the Family Fun & Fitness event with Naval Hospital Pensacola. I will discuss more with Jim on Monday regarding this event.

The rest of my afternoon was spent reading about the role of nutrition within the tobacco cessation program. This is the topic that I will present on Wednesday of next week to my tobacco cessation class. So far, this is what I have for my presentation:

  1. First, I want to review the goals and objectives with the group of tobacco users.
  2. I want to ask the group if anyone has set a quit date
  3. Have each participant share what they have learned themselves regarding the quit process in the last week.
  4. Discuss the successes, challenges, and if they have quit or how long they have been smoke free.

The goals of this session are to:

  • Identify goals for a healthy lifestyle
  • Increase awareness of how other lifestyle changes can contribute to a tobacco free life

Objectives for participants:

  • Develop one new personal nutrition/health eating goal
  • Develop one new personal exercise/physical activity goal
  • List three ways to reward themselves

Well, that’s what I’ve been working on so far! On Monday, I will work some more! Have a great weekend 🙂

Daily hours: 7

Total hours: 110


Day 16: (02/06/13)

logo_quitnowOn Wednesday, I spent my day working on the online tobacco cessation modules and attended the tobacco cessation class. The modules I completed today were Motivational Interviewing for Clinicians Treating Tobacco Dependence, Motivational Interviewing in Tobacco Cessation, Tobacco Dependence in Women, and Tobacco Use and Oral Health. For each topic, I took a pretest, listened to an hour long discussion video, reviewed a power point presentation on the subject matter, and then took the Final Exam. A minimum score of 80% was needed on the exam to pass each module and receive the certificate. I actually made above 80% on the majority of the pretests and then finished with 100% on all the final exams. 🙂

Tonight at the tobacco cessation class, we were given the Quit Now Facilitator Manual which is basically a program in a box. It gives the facilitator all the information needed to carry out a tobacco cessation program and also the information that is needed by the patient. We learned in detail about the various Pharmacological treatments and NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy) including nicotine patches, gum, lozenge, nasal spray, and inhaler. The medications administered for tobacco cessation include Bupropion SR, Varenicline, and Chantix. The Nicotine Replacement Therapy does exactly what is says– replaces the tobacco use with other nicotine methods. This helps with the process of withdrawal; the brain depends on that nicotine source, and when you take it away the side effects are not pleasant. It is easier to quit with NRT and actually the success rates are double compared to those who try and quit cold turkey. The medications work a little bit differently, instead of giving nicotine to the body, it blocks the nicotine receptors in your brain so that the smoker does not get a “feel good” sensation after using tobacco. It is advised to start using these form of treatment 1-2 weeks before the smoker’s quit date.

We then did a class activity. The class was given a piece of gum to represent the nicorete gum and a tic tac to mimic the nicotine lozenge.  We were instructed to chew the gum only 5 times and then station it in our mouth behind our lower lip, against the gums. This was challenging to do. We did the same thing with the tic tac. Instead of sucking in it, we were told to station it in our mouths behind our lip or under the tongue. This is how the NRT should be used. If the gum is chewed like regular gum, it will end up in the stomach which has negative side effects. The objective is to put it against the wall of your mouth (like you would with smokeless tobacco) so that the nicotine will be absorbed into the blood stream and little will end up in the stomach.

NRT comes in various amounts of nicotine. The gum/lozenge comes in either 2mg or 4mg. The patch comes in 7, 14, or 21mg. The tobacco facilitator will prescribe the patient the appropriate amount of nicotine depending upon how many cigarettes they are currently using. For example, if I smoked half a pack a day, that is 10 cigarettes. Each cigarette has 2mg of nicotine so that means my body receives 20mg of nicotine each day. The facilitator would advise me to use the 14mg nicotine patch (the 21mg is too much, always want to go lower) and then 3 pieces of gum or lozenge at 2mg each to equal a total of 20mg that I would normally obtain from the 10 cigarettes. *There are 20 cigarettes in 1 pack. *The 4mg lozenge/gum is typically used by heavy smokers.

I learned a lot tonight about the various methods of treatment for tobacco cessation. The key thing to remember is that everyone’s body is different and may not react the same to certain medications. It’s all about finding what works best for your patient and ensuring that they are comfortable with their treatment method. At the end of the class, we were split up into groups of 3 and each given a topic out of the facilitator manual. My partners are Alli and Alex. Next Wednesday (our last night), we will be teaching the class on our topic as if they were tobacco users. Our topic is Nutrition. Stay tuned for details on my part of the presentation! 😉

Daily hours: 8

Total hours: 103