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Emory nurses provide health care services to migrant workers in South Georgia

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Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing faculty and students traveled to Moultrie, Ga., June 15-25 to provide valuable health care services to migrant farm workers and their families. Nursing faculty and students make the annual trip to the rural, agricultural community as part of the Farm Worker Family Health Program.

There are more than 100,000 migrant and seasonal farm workers in Georgia. Migrant farm workers face more complex health issues than the general population because of the physical demands of their jobs, pesticide exposure, poor access to health care services, and substandard housing conditions.

Participants in the Farm Worker Family Health Program spend two weeks each June providing health care services to seasonal farm workers and their families in a four-county area in south Georgia, which includes Colquitt, Tift, Cook and Brooks counties. The nursing volunteers examine children by day and set up mobile clinics to treat adult farm workers in the evening.

"The care received in our program may be the only health care these workers and their family members receive the entire year," says Judith Wold, PhD, RN, a clinical professor in the Emory School of Nursing and director of the Farm Worker Family Health Program.

Emory student nurses also conduct health screenings for migrant children to include vision and hearing, well child check ups, health education, and hemoglobin tests. Adults receive physical assessments and referrals for further evaluation for chronic health issues screenings for blood pressure, hemoglobin, glucose, and other tests deemed necessary.

The most common ailments faced by farm workers are muscle strains, back problems, urinary tract infections, dental problems, skin rashes and eye infections.

Student photos and blogs highlighting their experiences are available at

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