Monday, August 8th, 2011 - 1:37 pm

Learning by Doing

Students develop patient care brochures for Franciscan Medical Centers

(Kristen Webb is a marketing communication writer in Purdue Calumet’s Office of University Relations.)

Students in the Purdue Calumet English 428 Writing in the Health Sciences class developed patient education brochures for The Franciscan Medical Centers, including St. Margaret Mercy Hospitals in Dyer and Hammond.

The brochures serve to educate patients and caretakers about three illnesses: Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, and adult and child asthma. The brochures were designed to provide helpful information for patients when they return home from hospitalization.

“The completed pieces look wonderful,” said Franciscan Medical Center Director of Educational Services Ina Hodges, who had previous experience working with Purdue Calumet students on similar projects. “The material was well-written, easy to understand and, most importantly, accurate. My experience working with this group was a very positive one.”

The class was divided into teams, each responsible for the complete production of one brochure including, research, writing, editing, design and layout.

“The students learned what it takes to create something for the real world,” Purdue Calumet Professor of English Carolyn Boiarsky said. “This was not a project for which they could be satisfied with a “C”; it needed to be “A+” quality, so they re-wrote, re-designed, and re-worked the entire brochure as needed.”

Rebecca Clifton Bilek of St. John, a senior English professional writing major, said the experience benefited her from an application and career perspective.

“This course has made me very interested in going into the medical writing field as a career,” she said. “It was a great experience, and I am glad to have taken it.”

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