Singing the Healer’s Art

Singing the Healer’s Art

By Dr. Sheri Palmer, Teaching Professor

Although I have taken students many years to Ecuador, a few experiences will always be in my memory.

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to take one of the first groups of nursing students from the United States to the only welfare psychiatric hospital in Ecuador. After visiting the psychiatric hospital for the first time, my feelings were mixed with sadness and emotion.  The complex of buildings was old and vast. Cement walls and chain link were prominent features throughout the facility.

We were shown where the younger male patients were, and it was indicated that“over here” were the “forgotten” patients, those who had been left at the hospital many years ago by their families. Patients were everywhere in their tattered, drab clothing; however, they were clean.  Most had no shoes, but of course I had to remind myself we are at the equator.  A large part of their living occurs outside as the weather is temperate most of the year.  I didn’t worry for their physical well-being (after all it was dinner time, and the workers were busy setting up the long tables for the meal, a soup with a big plate of rice).

We passed through ward after ward of patients sitting or standing around the premises.  Sometimes we were led on one side of the chain link fence to see the patients on the other side, and other times we were led inside the wards where we were surrounded by patients.

As we were a large group of North Americans, we drew much attention.  I had the uneasy feeling of being on display, yet ironically, I felt that the patients might also feel like they were on display.  Many times some of the patients would come up to us for a handshake or a hug.  Students were caught off guard by this and many were reticent to touch.  As I hugged and shook hands with as many patients as I could, many students also felt more at ease in saying hello and giving of themselves to the patients. Our tour complete, we passed through the gate to the other side and piled in our van.  The mood was somber and quiet.  Everyone was lost in thought.  Here we were in Ecuador with such high hopes of helping all the sick and infirm, yet we were overwhelmed with feelings of despair.  I felt the Spirit tell me that in this circumstance we could heal with singing, and not just any songs; they needed to be songs of faith and love about Christ and His mission to earth.

The students agreed readily with the idea. Permission to visit the hospital the next Sunday was granted.  We spent the week singing and practicing heartily in the van wherever we went.  Favorite songs were chosen, parts were practiced, and we were ready. The next Sunday afternoon we came again to the psychiatric hospital ready to sing!

We sang two or three hymns in each building. The long drab cement walls provided excellent acoustics. The students’ voices blended beautifully and the hymns seemed even more beautiful in Spanish.  Many patients came over and sat on the ground in front of us, some came to stand by us and sing, and some even knelt with hands together in prayer.  We felt like angels.  The Spirit was strong.  The sweet nuns who guided us around were amazed at many of the songs we sang. Upon leaving each ward, hugs and handshakes were freely given by the students.  We all felt love in our hearts for these patients.

The last ward we visited was the “Children’s Ward.”  We didn’t have the chance to visit this one previously, so I was hoping this would not be a shock for the students.  After walking amongst various bed-ridden children, who were obviously not only mentally handicapped but very physically handicapped, my heart was breaking. I was wishing we had something more to give. We stood in our little semi-circle and started to sing “I am a Child of God.”

One of the patients, a teenager, started getting really excited and swinging her arms, hopping up and down, and screaming.  My first thought was that this was a mental patient who was excited.  But after the nuns helped calm her down, it was apparent the girl was also crying and saying, “I know this song, I know this song!” Two of the students brought the girl into our little choir circle and we all sang the song together. Many of us had tears flowing down our cheeks. We had found a child of faith within these cement walls of the psychiatric hospital! We finished our little repertoire of hymns, and had to tear ourselves away from our new-found friend.

Again, upon passing through the gate and piling in our van, the mood was somber, but reflective. The spirit had helped us touch and heal others in a place where we weren’t sure how it could be possible. We were able to “Sing the Healer’s Art” in Ecuador.

 

 

 

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A Veteran Relies on His Heavenly Friend

BYU College of Nursing sponsors a Utah Honor Flight experience each spring for local veterans. Participants travel to Washington, D.C. for three days to visit war memorials built to honor their service in World War II or the Korean War. Nursing students join the trip to practice the knowledge they have learned in clinical practicums regarding veteran support and care.

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Russell Hansen and Jeff Peery

I had the privilege to accompany my neighbor last year as his guardian. Russell Payzant was 96 years-old and served in WWII as a mechanic in the United States Navy. He worked at the Alameda Naval Air Station in California until discharged. His total time in the military was 3 years, 3 months, and 3 days.

As his guardian, I was responsible for his well-being and looked after his healthcare and medical needs. The first night we were together, he could not find the medicine for his glaucoma prevention. We searched every inch of his suitcase twice but could not find it. When asked if the drops were needed, he told me, yes, or he’d go blind.

Now the panic began (I did not want to be the first Honor Flight guardian to harm their veteran).

I called the flight medic for our group to ask her opinion. Apparently, the drops were needed. Since it was a prescription, we would not be able to get a replacement that night, and we must find them.

I turned to Russ for guidance. Ironically, I was one of his church leaders at the time, yet I felt no inspiration for the situation. The thing that impressed me most about him was his faith in God. Without hesitation, he said he’d ask his heavenly friend for help.

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Russ spent several minutes in prayer, on his knees, pleading with the Lord to allow him to find the eyedrops. I did the same, but he had a true connection to heaven. Moments later he got up, went to his suitcase and looked again. In a “secret” pocket was his medicine, placed there securely by his loving wife (who didn’t want it to get lost).

I looked repeatedly, but he had searched—searched for support from his Father.

Our time together was amazing! The rest of the weekend went well and we learned a lot about each other. I grew to appreciate him in so many ways.

Before our trip, he considered himself ‘only a mechanic in the war.’ However, after being greeted by cheering crowds in airports, at war memorials, and during a welcome home gathering with the National Guard, Russ considered himself a war hero. And for the next nine months, he had many stories to share with family and friends about his travels.

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Russ giving President Franklin D. Roosevelt some advice!

My friend passed away February 19, 2017; I am fortunate to have known this man.

Nursing: Doing the Lord’s Work on the Lord’s Day

As we begin the month of December, one theme we often hear is just how busy and commercialized the holiday season is getting. Whether we’re hunting for Black Friday deals, booking plane flights, buying Christmas presents, putting up decorations, or planning holiday get-togethers; it’s really easy to forget the true meaning of the Holiday season – to gather together with friends and family to commemorate the birth of our Savior.

For members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, gathering to remember the Savior is something they’ve been encouraged to do every week. Each Sunday, members are encouraged to gather in chapels across the world to learn about Jesus Christ and to strengthen one another. Members are also encouraged to refrain from activities like working or making purchases on Sundays. It’s part of their effort to “keep the Sabbath Day holy”. But for some members of the church, “keeping the Sabbath Day holy” isn’t that simple.

“The first thing that comes to mind when I think of the Sabbath is that it’s a day of rest,” shares associate professor Bret Lyman. “Although, in my career, it certainly hasn’t always been a restful day.”

Senior woman is visited by her doctor or caregiver

Ever since he was a teenager, Lyman has worked as a certified nursing assistant in hospitals and nursing homes. Like many medical professionals, Lyman has often spent his Sundays changing catheters, applying bandages, and helping patients get to the bathroom. But Lyman says that working on Sundays never stopped him from trying to keep the Sabbath day holy.

“When I worked on Sundays, the Sabbath was a day when I was little bit more mindful about why I was it was necessary for me to work that day. I thought a lot more about how what I was doing related to the things that the Savior would do.”

For Lyman, it wasn’t hard to find connections between what he was doing and what the Savior would do.

“One thing that I was always impressed with was the story of Savior washing the disciples feet. If you think about it, that’s kind of gross. I mean the disciples walk around in sandals all day, the roads were made of dirt, and they worked hard, so they probably sweat a lot. Their feet must have been just gross! So for the Savior of the world to wash somebody’s feet; that’s a real act of humility!”

“When you’re doing nursing care, a lot of it is kind of “dirty-work”. You’re taking care of people’s most basic needs (taking them to the bathroom, cleaning them up, dealing with blood and body fluids, etc.). If you think about it, you are providing basic service; the same way that Christ was doing that basic service of washing the disciples’ feet. You are doing what the Savior would do.”

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Lyman says that in some ways it was easier to serve people as the Savior would when he worked on Sundays, compared to other days of the week.

“One of the delightful things about working on the Sabbath was the lighter atmosphere. On Sundays, there aren’t as many tests and procedures going on. Patients generally have a lot more family members come to visit, so there are more people to interact with. That means there are more people I can support and more opportunities for me to spend time with my patients and take better care of them.”

“When I think of the Savior, I think of how he was always providing service to his fellow-men,” associate teaching professor Ron Ulberg adds. “As nurses, that’s what we do 7 days a week, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.”

Ulberg spent 25 years of his career working in an intensive care unit (ICU) the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Salt Lake City. Work in the ICU is one of the most demanding and stressful careers in the nursing profession. But Ulberg says when it comes to Sabbath day observance, the small and simple things are often what matters most.

“I think a lot of it has to do with your attitude and the way we interact with people; just being a kind, caring individual. Any opportunity that you have to lift somebody (it doesn’t have to be a major thing), to make their lives a little happier and their smiles a little bit bigger can make a huge difference.”

 

 

 

The Healer’s Art

As a part of the 50th anniversary of the BYU College of Nursing, a book was compiled called “The Healer’s Art: 50 stories for 50 years.” It has been 15 years since this book was first published and these stories were shared. We plan to regularly post selections from this book to help each of us remember and cherish the experiences of nursing and learning the Healer’s art. 

 Healer’s Art

Maile Wilson

As I entered the hospital for my second ICU clinical, I was expecting a normal, uneventful day. My patient, who was in a coma took little care, so I helped my nurse with her other patient, a 25 year old male. He had been in a car accident and was now a quadriplegic.

I was not sure what to expect from this patient because I had never taken care of a quadriplegic before. The nurses had been talking about how quadriplegics were the worst patients, especially when they learned how to “click” their teeth to draw attention. When we went in for our morning assessment, I was amazed at how young this patient looked. I realized he was only a few years older than I and would be paralyzed for the rest of his life. He would have to have someone take care of him his whole life. He was single, and now would probably never marry. My heart was saddened with the thoughts of his future and I admired his will to live.

I helped with his care throughout the morning. After the nurse and I were almost caught up and finally sat down, he started to click. My nurse started to grumble and complain about how he did not need anything, and that he was so demanding. Since I was not doing anything, I volunteered to go check on him. Through some careful lip reading, I found out he was hot (he had a fever all day) and wanted some cold water on his head. My heart swelled with sympathy as I realized he couldn’t even scratch his nose or put a washcloth on his head by himself. His request was small, but I wanted to make him comfortable, so for about 20 minutes, I sponged his head with cool water, washed his face, and dampened his hair. His eyes rolled back as he enjoyed the cooling sensation of the water. I talked as I worked and it was amazing the information I learned about him, even though he had a tracheotomy.

The more I served him, the more I loved him and wanted to help him. When other people would do treatments for him, I made sure I was there and they were careful and gentle. There was a connection between us, I as the nurse, and he as the patient, because I spent the extra 20 minutes with him.

It turned out to be a wonderful, yet hard and challenging day. I learned a lot about myself and about true nursing. When I started the day, nursing was just a matter of giving a bed bath, administering medications, and assessing. But as I left, nursing was caring. Caring to spend an extra minute to straighten the sheets, so he would not have to lie on a wrinkle; caring to make sure he was comfortable before I left the room; and caring to make a difference, however small in this man’s life.

As I look back on my nursing experiences, it is the time where I connected with patients and cared for their needs that I remember. I don’t remember when I placed my first catheter, or started my first IV, but I remember those with whom I spent time, nursing their physical and spiritual health. As nurses become busier, I hope I will still be able to feel that connection with patients and be what everyone imagines a nurse to be: caring.

 

Critical Care at 33,000 Feet

As a part of the 50th anniversary of the BYU College of Nursing, a book was compiled called “The Healer’s Art: 50 stories for 50 years.” It has been 15 years since this book was first published and these stories were shared. We plan to regularly post selections from this book to help each of us remember and cherish the experiences of nursing and learning the Healer’s art. 

Critical Care at 33,000 Feet

Elaine Bond

On a return flight home from the Middle East, our plane was somewhere over the Atlantic. My fellow passengers were a varied ethnic group, mostly Arab, many East Indian, some Europeans, and a few Americans. Most of us had been on board for over nine hours, from our Amman, Jordan embarkation site and were tired and somewhat crotchety. Other passengers joined us during a refueling stop in Shannon, Ireland. We were about two hours out of Shannon when an overhead announcement asked if there was a doctor or a nurse aboard. I could tell by the tone of voice this was no ordinary request.

With my Critical Care senses kicking in, I pushed my call light, stood up, and started toward the front of the plane. A flight attendant hurriedly escorted me to the bulkhead, where a row of portable cribs hung, filled with babies, in front of their mothers’ seats. Another flight attendant handed me a large seven month old baby, Mohammed, who was in obvious distress. My senses were reeling, as I performed my initial assessment. Even as I noted he was seizing and not breathing, the smell of diarrhea and vomit assailed me, and the feel of hot, soiled clothing met my touch. Luckily, I could see his heart was still beating, as his pulse pounded in his throat.

As I stood in the aisle, surrounded by the baby’s young mother, Amal, and other concerned passengers, I tried to block out the confusion so I could function. “Baby, baby, are you all right?” I mechanically asked, extending his neck to assure an adequate airway. When he began to gasp for air, I quickly took stock of the surroundings and determined how to eliminate some of the confusion and get enough space in which to work. Since the plane was not full, I asked the flight attendants to move the other mothers and their babies to new seats. Amal hovered over me, worrying about her son, frantically asking questions in Arabic which I could not answer. Another nurse (Mary Peterson) arrived, saw someone was in charge, and began to return to her seat. Since my background is with adults, and though she was not a pediatric nurse either, I asked her to stay, knowing two heads were better than one, since we needed at least two pairs of hands and someone to communicate.

Mohammed drifted in and out of consciousness, sometimes able to focus on my face, alternating between no respirations and rapid respirations around 50 breaths per minute, with a heart rate of 160 to 180 beats per minute, sometimes seizing and sometimes lying limp. We unbundled him from his blankets and outer clothing. Now at least, we could see more easily whether he was breathing. He was clammy to the touch, leaving me wondering about his underlying problem. I knew he must be dehydrated due to the vomiting and diarrhea. Was he also hyperthermic? Did he have an infection? It was difficult to tell. My limited Arabic, “Marhaba, Kaef Halak? (hello: how are you?) was inadequate for the occasion.

One flight attendant served as a translator and brought the aircraft’s small first aid kit to us. Oh, for my emergency supplies and sterile gloves locked carefully away in the hold below! The first aid kit had a fever scan thermometer inside and we quickly checked Mohammed’s temperature. It was somewhere around 39 degrees, but we did not know whether it was accurate. A nearby grandmother handed us a rectal thermometer, which gave us a more precise reading of 41.2 degrees. We quickly asked for and received a container of ice, which we placed in strategic locations around Mohammed’s body, as we were getting his history from his mother.

She had taken him to see a doctor the day before the flight, when he would not nurse as usual, following several bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. The doctor had given her some acetaminophen suppositories to control his fever and Pedialyte to provide fluid, calories and electrolytes. Mohammed had not resumed nursing, would not drink the Pedialyte from a bottle, and Amal had not known what to do with the suppositories.

Since she had the Pedialyte and suppositories with her, we administered a suppository and mixed Pedialyte in a bottle to try to give him, should he become conscious enough to try to suck. We continued to cool him with cold wet cloths filled with ice. Because he was so dehydrated, his veins were so small. I could not have started an IV, even if I had the equipment and fluids.

Sometime during the confusion, the airplane’s co-pilot came to ask us what we needed to do. I said, “We have two choices: return to Shannon, Ireland or land at the first available airport in North America. This baby will not live until we reach JFK airport in New York.” After conferring with the captain and radioing for additional instructions, the co-pilot returned and reported we had passed the point-of-no-return and must continue forward.

The next two hours were a blur as we sped over the Atlantic to our new destination, racing against time. We continued to cool Mohammed, worrying that we would cool him too rapidly, or that we couldn’t cool him enough. His temperature slowly dropped; down to 39.9 degrees, then 39.4, on to 38.9, down to 38, then into the 37s. We removed the ice and wet cloths and placed him in a clean dry blanket.

The flight attendant brought us a small, partially full oxygen cylinder with an adult face mask. We had to estimate the flow of oxygen and I had to help others understand we couldn’t place the mask completely over Mohammed’s face; we didn’t know how much flow we had and we incurred the risk of having him rebreathe his own carbon dioxide. He soon regained some color in his face and his capillary refill time returned to normal.

He seemed to be awake and we tried to give him the Pedialyte, but he was too weak to swallow. His dark eyes were huge as he tried to fathom what was going on around him. We gave him to his mother to hold, hoping it would provide some comfort and a sense of security for both of them. She was very frightened– on her way to a foreign land to meet her husband, unable to speak the local language, and not knowing whether her baby would be dead or alive in the next minute.

I didn’t pay attention to how hot it was in the plane: I thought I was hot because I was working so fast and because of the stress of the moment. However, the heat came back to haunt us later.

The pilot, co-pilot, and chief flight attendant gave regular updates to the passengers about our diversion to Gander, New Foundland, and about Mohammed’s condition. From what I could hear and see, the passengers were understanding and quiet. The mothers and grandmothers in our vicinity gave words of encouragement to Amal and to us, which the flight attendant translated for us. I suggested some Muslim, Hindu, and Christian prayers might be in order as well! The pilot was able to locate Mohammed’s father in New York and get him on a plane to Gander to meet us.

At last, we landed in Gander, where there was an ambulance waiting for us. We hustled Mohammed into the ambulance where they could get an IV started, get some fluid into him, and give him the correct amount of oxygen.

While I was helping with paperwork, both for the ambulance and the emigration officials, one of the flight attendants came to me reporting an elderly male patient was not responding well and asked if I would look at him. When I got to the man, he was slumped in his seat, grey, totally unresponsive, chin on his chest and not breathing! As I lifted his head, I thought, “Oh no! This cannot happen twice on the same plane!” He began breathing and his color began to improve. His initial blood pressure was 60/40 mm Hg and his pulse was 30 beats a minute. I tried to analyze whether his rate was really that slow or whether he was in bigeminy or trigeminy. I could only feel a pulse every second or third beat.

Getting an adult into Trendelenburg in a cramped airplane is no small task! However, Nurse Peterson was creative in getting people out of enough center seats so she could get space for him to lie down. Once again, we needed an interpreter and a spokesman for the gentleman, who was East Indian. We discovered he had taken his Beta Blocker (Atenolol) shortly before the problem arose for Mohammed. Our analysis told us the heat in the plane and the excitement of the emergency landing had exacerbated his normal response; he vasodilated and bradied down.

His blood pressure slowly equalized and his heart rate returned to normal. As he became more alert, he was able to converse with us. He refused to get off the plane and said his daughter could take him to a doctor when we got to New York. Nurse Peterson stayed with him as I finished the paperwork for Mohammed so the ambulance could leave. We periodically checked on the gentleman during our flight to JFK and he experienced no further difficulty.

As I walked off  the plane, five hours late, I thought, “This is just like any routine day in ICU. When the shift starts, you have no idea what care you will need to provide. When a trauma patient arrives, you stabilize, assess, stabilize more, assess more, send the patient off to surgery, deal with psychosocial concerns, get an interpreter for families, save lives, then walk out the door. No one out there can possibly understand the drama behind the work we do. You smile when your significant other asks how your day went, and you answer, ‘It was just a routine critical care day.’ ”

 

Blood, Sweat, and Tears: What Happens When Nursing Meets Rugby

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Nursing student Ali Smith goes in for a hard tackle during a BYU Women’s Rugby match against University of California

For four and a half years, Ali Smith lived what some people might call a double life. By day, Smith was a smiling, gentle-mannered nursing student in one of the most demanding academic programs at BYU. Few would have guessed that by nightfall, Smith’s smiling face would be covered in the blood, sweat, and tears of one of BYU’s most aggressive contact sports.

Smith has been a member of the BYU Women’s Rugby team ever since her very first semester at BYU; a journey that transformed her from an inexperienced benchwarmer to veteran starter in a National Title game. Now a capstone student in the nursing program, Smith has had to take a step away from the rugby pitch to focus on her clinicals. However, she says that the lessons she learned from rugby have helped her become a better nurse.

Smith first joined the BYU Women’s Rugby team as a freshman — long before she submitted her application to the nursing program. Although she had never played rugby before, Smith quickly fell in love with the sport.

“Rugby is a very physical game, but it’s also a very mental game. There are days in practice where you can get really beat up and you’ll ask yourself “Why am I doing this?” You just got beat up for two hours and now you have to go home and do homework for the next three hours! But I really wanted to become better and be the best; whether it was perfecting my pass or perfecting my tackling form. And it was totally worth it!”

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Ali Smith sprints for a try. A try is the rugby equivalent of a touchdown in football.

Starting in late September and going through the month of May, the BYU Women’s Rugby team practices for 2+ hours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This is in addition to strength and conditioning sessions (every Tuesday and Thursday) and games on Saturdays. Despite this huge time commitment, Smith says it wasn’t uncommon for her to stay late after practice to work on passing or kicking with her teammates.

“I love the team dynamic of rugby,” Smith shares. “It’s such a neat experience when you’re able to get into a groove with the people you’re playing with; making good passes and making plays happen. You just get the sense that you’re part of something that’s bigger than you.”

After several semesters on the rugby team, Smith decided to expand her horizons even further. She applied, and was accepted, to the BYU College of Nursing. Suddenly Smith’s already busy schedule became much more demanding.

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Ali Smith with her Nursing peers at the Intermountain Healthcare Complex

“It never felt like I was ‘done’,” Smith explains. “I was constantly doing something. If I wasn’t studying for a test, I was thinking about a play I could use on the field. If I wasn’t in class or doing homework, I was on a run or on the pitch.”

But having a crazy schedule did have its benefits. Between strength training, midterms, practices, and clinicals, Smith says she developed excellent time management skills.

“When I was in class, I was focused on that class. When I was in rugby, I was focused on playing rugby. I didn’t have extra time in my day to practice rugby or give to my classes, so I needed to make every moment count. Most days I didn’t have 5 hours to study for a test; I only had 2-3 hours before I had to go to practice. But for me, that extra focus was a huge blessing because it helped me get everything done and be more productive. It helped me develop self-discipline; I couldn’t just put off my homework till later because I knew I wouldn’t have that time.”

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Once Smith entered the nursing program, she noticed that many of the principles she learned on the rugby pitch could also help her on the hospital floor.

“On the rugby team, I learned to be very encouraging and complimentary towards my teammates; especially when they performed well. They need to know that I’m there for them.”

“Sometimes you are in a game where the player who plays your position on the opposing team is really, really good, and you’re just having an off day,” Smith explains. “But because you have a team, they can help make up for what you’re lacking. I’ve seen that a lot in the hospital. There have been days where things have gotten really crazy and you think “There’s no way I can get to both of these patients at the same time” and just then another nurse will offer to help get meds for your patient. That really makes a huge difference. When you’re on a team, sometimes you can only do so much, but because you have that team dynamic things can still run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.”

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Ali Smith and her teammates, prior to a BYU Women’s Rugby match

This team dynamic is part of what makes the BYU Women’s Rugby team one of the top programs in the nation. The team has only lost three home games in ten years of collegiate competition. Last May, they won a tough semi-final match to earn a place in the National Championship Title game against the 10-time defending champions.

“I felt a lot of pressure walking onto the pitch of that national championship game,” Smith reflects. “I never thought that I would get there or be that good. But our team performed really well. And even though we didn’t win the match, it was still a whirlwind of an experience. To play in that game and represent BYU in that national title game was such an honor.”

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The BYU Women’s Rugby team after the 2016 National Championship match. BYU placed second in the tournament, after suffering a narrow loss to Penn State, 15-5.

Even though Smith may not have another chance to represent BYU on the rugby pitch, she says she’s extremely grateful for the experience and how it’s impacted her future nursing career.

“In a hospital, sometimes people are in critical condition counting under you to perform in really stressful, high-pressure situations. So just like how in rugby you train so we can play in those high-level games; in nursing we learn and gain skills and become good at what we do so that in that moment when someone needs you, you’re ready for it and you’re able to perform under pressure. I think that having experienced that on the rugby pitch, I’m better prepared to handle whatever stressful situation I may encounter as a nurse.”

 

New Visiting Scholar

The BYU College of Nursing is hosting a visiting nursing scholar from China.

Dr. Fen Yang is from Wuhan City in China’s Hubei Province. She will be at BYU through April. During that time, she hopes to complete research on evidence nursing and community management of chronic disease.

“The reason I chose to study nursing is that I want to help people,” she says. “Nursing is a great occupation; patients can feel more comfortable because of nurses.”

While Yang was studying to obtain her doctorate, she met a man affiliated with BYU who helped her extensively with her studies. He told her good things about the university, including the kind disposition of the students and teachers. She also is intrigued by the clinical simulation conducted by the BYU College of Nursing.

“I am curious about it, so I am here,” she says.

Already Yang is coming to love the clean air and water of Utah Valley, as well as the educational climate that favors student independent learning. She also notes differences in nursing practices between the United States and China. In China, nurses focus more on disease care while American nurses focus more on patient interaction and have a larger amount of responsibility.

Her hobbies include walking, bike riding, and reading.