by Sarah Mummert, Student Public Relations Writer
Where do the passions of students in nursing, business and biblical studies intersect? For seven Cedarville University students, that would be at the Pregnancy Resource Clinic (PRC) of Clark County in Springfield, Ohio.
As a group, these students serve bimonthly as care coordinators.
In 2010, nursing students began serving the PRC as part of their public health nursing clinicals. They were led by Dr. Rachel Parrill, associate professor of nursing at Cedarville from 2005 to 2019. Additional students began serving the PRC through Cedarville’s global outreach office, and it is through this office that students currently volunteer.
The current team of students, ranging from sophomores to seniors, is led by Lauren Hogan, a junior nursing student from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.
In order to serve as care coordinators, students receive training through the PRC, which includes videos and supervised meetings with clients. After the training period, students can meet one-on-one with clients, taking skills they’ve learned in the classroom and using them to serve the people in the local community. The PRC offers many resources, including free pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, along with material services (diapers, wipes and formula) for the baby’s first year of life.
This semester, Hannah Malafy, a senior nursing student from Red Hook, New York, has taken advantage of the ministry opportunity.
“Volunteering at the PRC is a practical way to give women the resources and encouragement that they need to choose life,” Malafy said. “We are showing Christ’s love to those who may not know him as they walk through very difficult circumstances.”
Care coordinators serve as a point of contact for women interested in the services at the PRC. They give the results of pregnancy tests and learn about the needs and medical history of clients in order to discern how to help them the best. They also learn about the support system that clients have in place, if any.
Therapeutic communication, in which students summarize what the client is saying, ask clarifying questions and show compassion and empathy, is one of the skills the students use. Care coordinators focus on mental health as well, knowing that life's stressors can greatly impact a client's decisions and wellbeing.
Working at the PRC gives students a broader perspective on the world and people around them.
“Hearing clients’ stories definitely gives you more compassion for them,” Malafy said. “Our circumstances can be very different, but we are all made in God’s image and all have the same basic needs and desires to be loved and supported.”
Seeing the faithfulness of the staff at the PRC has impacted Malafy as well. They help women face a lot of difficult situations, and it can be easy to get burnt out. The influence of the staff encourages the students to continue using their skills to serve people in their local communities for God’s glory.Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,082 undergraduate, graduate, and dual enrolled high school students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its Bachelor of Science in Nursing, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and the #4 national ranking by the Wall Street Journal for student engagement. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.