Upstate nursing students have begun a smoking cessation program at the Amaus health clinic in downtown Syracuse.
Co-coordinators Caroline Berrios, Karen Vitkus and Bridget Brotzki are all bachelor’s trained RNs in the master’s level Nurse Practitioner program.
A total of 15 students in the College of Nursing have undergone training to help with the free program, which is in a pilot phase this semester.
The students are applying for grants to help pay for nicotine patches, gum and oral medicines used to help smokers quit.
“Since most of the patients at the Amaus clinic are smokers and they lack access to health care, they have more barriers to smoking cessation than the average person,” Caroline said. “They need extra help. The patients we have seen are very serious about quitting smoking and we are working hard to supply them with nicotine replacement therapy. ”
Anyone who wants to stop using tobacco can call Amaus at (315) 424-1911 or stop in at the clinic, 259 E. Onondaga St. in Syracuse at 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays or noon Thursdays. (The clinic moved last year across the street from its previous location.)
At the clinic, nurses will work with each participant to come up with an individualized and realistic plan to quit. The program is free and open to anyone, not just clients of Amaus, a free clinic that provides health care to the underserved.