|By Katie Hansen, The Daily News, Jacksonville, N.C.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
And if asking you nicely won't persuade you, maybe a song will.
That's Snowden's hope anyway in the four-minute educational music video she created about the risks, symptoms and prevention techniques of heart disease.
Snowden, a progressive care nurse are
"I thought since it was so popular right now it might work better to get the message out there," she said. And she might be on to something: as of last week, the video had more than 52,000 views.
As a progressive care unit nurse, Snowden sees a lot of cardiac patients, as well as stroke patients and others with complex health issues. One day while sitting at home, she said she was struck with the idea for the video.
"I thought, 'This would be a great way to educate the public,' because part of the healthcare reform and just as what hospitals do. We give mounds and mounds of literature to our patients and not everybody reads them, even though I go over them, they might just throw them away when they get home," Snowden said.
The video was conceived as a way to reach more patients by appealing to "different learning styles," something that is important according to Snowden, while making it fun.
She also wanted to reach kids and teenagers to teach prevention. The story line includes Stephanie exercising and eating healthy snacks with her patients, something she hopes to instill in younger audiences who watch the video.
Snowden has a background in the arts -- her first degree is in theater with a minor in voice. She lived in
"God just really pulled at my heart strings," she said of the volunteering. "I knew that I wanted to do something more with my life."
This video is only the first of what she hopes to turn into a series. Though Snowden hasn't started her next video yet, she does know it will be musical in nature, and it will also cover the topic of oncology, which according to the CDC is the second leading cause of death in
"I know I do want to have real cancer patients (in the video)," she said.
In addition, she wants to keep the music video concept.
"I don't want it to be so serious, because at the end of the video was serious, I want to get the message across, but I want the video itself to be fun and light," she said, adding that she thinks starting off the video on a serious note might turn viewers off from it and the message.
Not only was Snowden inspired professionally to make the video, she has been touched personally by heart disease.
"Heart disease runs in my family," she said. "I actually have high blood pressure and I'm only 31 ... so it can happen really early on and people may not realize that maybe they're going into congestive heart failure. They don't realize why they're short of breath or why their ankles are swelling."
Despite the films catchy and campy beginning, it jumps into the meat of the message, which is staggering. Snowden begins by stating that someone in
But Snowden's purpose is to inform, not scare. The video talks about prevention techniques, and most of them can be managed at home if you are conscientious of your eating and lifestyle habits.
Snowden also takes a moment to talk about maybe some lesser-known facts about heart disease.
"If you don't have a scale at home, I would recommend getting one," she says in the video. "Gaining more than three pounds in 24 hours or five pounds in a week could mean you have congestive heart failure."
For Snowden, education is also making sure people know all the facts.
"Heart disease is not just a heart attack, there's a huge umbrella ... There's so much that's under heart disease," she said, adding that things such as strokes can be symptoms of heart disease.
If anyone can take anything away from the film, Snowden said she hopes they will put down the cigarettes -- for good.
"The biggest culprit in heart disease is smoking," she said.
Lifestyle changes, even small ones, such as eating healthy snacks like apples throughout the day, can affect change.
"I want them to be around longer to spend time with their loved ones," she said.
Snowden enjoys incorporating her musical background with her nursing career on occasion. Sometimes, her patients will ask her to sing to them, including patients in their last moments of life.
"I've had patients who have requested me sing hymns to them when they're dying," she said, adding that she will hold their hands while she sings songs such as Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art. "It's been really rewarding to be able to use that. It's kind of a ministry in itself."
Snowden received recognition for the project from
"'Do you want to have a heart attack' captures the core of the message delivered in Stephanie's video and aptly illustrates
Snowden has been a guest on radio shows in
"I'm proud to say that Stephanie is a co-worker and she is a shining example of what it means to be a Carteret General employee," said Community Relations and Marketing Director
His class starred in the film with Snowden, along with filming, producing and editing it.
Filming took 10 hours to create a four-minute video. The group divided the 10-hour long shoot into two days and the students received a grade for their work in it. Snowden said the students were from the film and theater programs -- some students acted while others filmed and edited. She starred, wrote the script, and sang. The film was shot in a simulation hospital in
"She wrote a good script," Phelps said. When his class received it, he said they turned it into story boards. Then they became the cast and crew for it.
Not only did his students learn about the arm of film making with the project -- tight deadlines and the intense amount of work that goes into a finished product that looks seemless and in a single moment of time -- he said they also learned about the content Snowden was singing about.
Phelps said he was surprised at the success it has had on YouTube already.
"I think it's reaching even an unintended audience," he said, mentioning people who might stumble across while looking for Frozen-related videos. "One of the best ways to learn is through comedy, or musical parody."
Learn more about
Watch the video here: youtube.com/watch?v=D2ieOPhXoCs
See how you can contribute to Snowden's service organization Crayons, Coloring, and Kids by visiting: facebook.com/pages/Crayons-coloring-kids/533181430026349
(c)2014 The Daily News (Jacksonville, N.C.)
Visit The Daily News (Jacksonville, N.C.) at www.jdnews.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services