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Alternative Pediatric Clinical Placement in Metro Detroit

Since there are limitations for pediatric clinical rotations in a traditional setting around the Metro Detroit area, Henry Ford College (HFC) is seeking to rectify that with its Alternative Pediatric Clinical Placement (APCP) program. The APCP program provides HFC nursing students with an environment conducive to the pediatric course objectives, which is predominantly growth and development.

The APCP works closely with a Detroit Head Start & Early Head Start program. Members of the HFC nursing faculty serve on the Head Start Health Advisory Board. Alternatively, a representative from Head Start serves on the HFC Nursing Program’s Advisory Board.

Nursing students are exposed to children who are marginalized due to a multitude of issues, such as but not limited to poverty, hunger/food insecurities, English as a second language, parental literacy concerns, barriers to health care access, and violence/abuse. They work with the children within the classroom setting, following the classroom’s daily routines set by the Head Start teacher.

Observation of growth and development is primary. Nursing students also witness various services that are provided to the children on-site, including vision and hearing screening, dental screening, speech therapy, behavioral management, et al.

One of the assignments for nursing students is developing an activity that teaches good health to the children that is age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate. Examples of this are hygiene habits, including handwashing, healthy food choices, fire safety or stranger danger.

Pediatric simulation is also incorporated in the APCP to provide the students with pediatric acute care experience. This begins with an introductory simulation experience, where the goal is obtain vital signs and assessment of an infant using a Sim Baby in order to illustrate the unique differences between adult and infant care. Other simulation experiences include asthma, pediatric airway management, among other scenarios.

Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Mich., is a comprehensive public college serving 18,000 students each year in southeast Michigan. HFC is dedicated to preparing students for a rapidly changing world and workplace by offering more than 100 associate degree, career and university transfer programs. HFC also specializes in customized workforce development training for business and industry. The College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission ( Since its founding in 1938, HFC has been the gateway for thousands of students who seek affordable, high-quality post-secondary education. To learn more, please visit us at or on Facebook, Twitter, Linked in, and on YouTube. You may also call 1-800-585-4322.

Special thanks to Peggy Kearney, MSN, RN, for sharing her story. If you have a story to share, email Ana Walker at and you may be featured on our website. If you're facing clinical placement problems, check out ACEMAPP to learn how they can help to address your needs.



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