Monthly Archives: February 2020

2020 Professionalism Conference Recap

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During the Professionalism Conference, nursing students were able to connect with each other and talk to recruiters.

By Lyndee Johns



Patient baths.

Trauma care.


On Monday, February 24th, the 2020 Professionalism Conference was held at the BYU Wilkinson Student Center. Nursing students from every semester gathered to connect with each other, learn from a variety of nursing professionals, and enjoy some tasty J-Dawgs.

In the morning presentation, keynote speaker Dr. Kathleen Vollman gave a presentation about the research surrounding patient baths and oral hygiene. “This is the power of nursing,” Vollman said, referring to how cleaning patients’ mouths helps reduce pneumonia cases. “Something simple, scientific, that can make a huge difference in patient outcomes.”

After the presentation, students met with various recruiters and company reps, including Intermountain Healthcare, Utah State Hospital, and UNA.

After the break, students attended various breakout sessions.

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Participants attended two breakout sessions.


In a session entitled “ABCs, Not Just the Alphabet: Prioritizing Trauma Care,” trauma director Geri Jean Lundquist shared a story about her first fatality, a nineteen-year-old girl that had died in a car accident. “We can’t save everybody,” said Lundquist. “But if we can learn about priorities, we can do the best we can.” Lundquist listed various scenarios with participants, having them practice finding trauma priorities through the question, “What’s going to kill them first?”

In his session “Strategies to Counter Vaccine Hesitancy,” Dr. Bill Cosgrove discussed the benefits of the HPV vaccine and various strategies to encourage parents to allow their children to be vaccinated. His main advice? Approaching the parents with the mindset of giving their child a gift will allow for greater results than going in for a fight. “Essentially, if I focus on this is a wonderful gift they can give to their child, it works.”

In another session, legal nurse consultant Linda Swenson gave students advice as to how to avoid medical malpractice. One of her tips was making sure that patients have the correct medication. In a chilling example, she told a story about a woman in an assisted care facility who had received a prescription for methotrexate, a powerful chemotherapy drug, by mistake. No one caught the error, and the woman ended up dying. Swenson encouraged students to trust themselves and to question random prescriptions that don’t fit the patient’s medical history.

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Alumni Laura Young encouraged students to be involved wherever they work as an RN.

BYU alumni Lauren Young gave students tips for their first year as a resident nurse. She talked about how she had wanted to work in the ICU after graduation, but got a job in the progressive care unit. “I didn’t get my dream job . . . But it actually ended up being the best possible job for me and I loved every single second of it,” she said. Young encouraged students to be happy wherever they end up as an RN, to be humble and teachable, and to get involved.


Vollman also gave a presentation about how to recognize and manage sepsis.

In the closing session, speaker Jamie Schanbaum—a GKS spokesperson, US para-athlete, and survivor of meningitis—spoke about “Life After Meningitis.”

After contracting meningitis at age twenty, Schanbaum had to have her legs amputated below the knee and her fingers amputated. She eventually became a U.S. Paralympic cyclist, even winning a gold medal in 2011. She is an active advocate of the meningitis vaccine.

Many students remarked how inspired they were by her story. “It makes nursing feel real,” said one student. Another said how good it was to hear from the patient’s perspective, and another was “encouraged to fight for change.”

Students were able to walk away from the conference with a vision of life after nursing school: lives as advocates, leaders, and healers.

Teaching Professor Dr. Kent Blad Receives Award for Critical Care Nursing Excellence


The college is proud to support our faculty in their accomplishments and pursuits. Photo courtesy of Blad.

By Quincey Taylor

Last week, our own faculty member teaching professor Dr. Kent Blad was recognized for his “superiority in critical care clinical practice and education.” He received the 2020 Norma J. Shoemaker Award for Critical Care Nursing Excellence and was presented with a plaque of honor by the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

This award honors Norma J. Shoemaker, RN, MN, FCCM, who was the Society of Critical Care Medicine’s first executive director. Her career spanned decades during which critical care evolved into a recognized specialty. She nurtured the organization, helping it become the professionally respected, international and multiprofessional organization it is today. This award is meant to push critical care nurses to seek excellence, never settling for less than that.


There is no doubt that Blad is deserving of such an honor. Photo courtesy of Blad.

Dr. Blad has worked tirelessly at the BYU College of Nursing, focusing special attention for his passion for helping veterans. He is extremely worthy of such an award and has the college’s full support. As a veteran himself, Blad has a special understanding of the struggles and needs of his patients. He works to instill a love for veterans in his students and finds unique opportunities for his students to learn about them, including the annual Honor Flight.

As part of the award, a poster display featuring Dr. Blad will be hung at the 2020 Annual Congress. In addition, he received an honorarium for $1,000. Blad is grateful for the recognition and humbly accepts the award for his efforts.

2020 USNA Convention Recap


Future BYU SNA president Jessica Daynes (fifth from the right) worked hard with her team to make the USNA Conference on Saturday a success. Photo courtesy of SNA publicity director Kami Christiansen.

By Quincey Taylor

On February 15, 2020, nursing professionals came together to educate and connect with the next generation of nurses. At the Utah Student Nurses Association 68th Annual Convention, students learned why nursing truly is a work of heart.

Attendees had the chance to choose from a plenitude of breakout sessions to hear about a variety of topics, from opioid usage to LGBTQ+ nursing to labor and delivery. Three BYU faculty members had the chance to speak. Associate teaching professor Dr. Craig Nuttall spoke about altitude sickness, assistant teaching professor Scott Summers covered hypothermia and heat illnesses, and assistant teaching professor Dr. Noreen Oeding delved into neonatal nursing. Each one spoke with passion and a conviction for their topics.


Everyone was excited to hear from this year’s speakers. Photo courtesy of Christiansen.

Next year’s BYU SNA president Jessica Daynes said about the experience, “It was a great opportunity for nursing students and pre-nursing students to network with other professionals. A chance to meet other nursing students from outside of Utah is super useful. Once I graduate, I will be able to go to come of my friends I made at these conventions and open up a lot of opportunities.”

The keynote speaker was Joan Otten, who has dedicated her life to preventing child abuse. She shared the touching story of her granddaughter who was a victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome. This tragedy was the spark that motivated Otten to participate in local legislature, eventually passing Miley’s Law in 2017. This law resulted in the creation of the Utah Child Abuse Registry, which would allow parents and guardians to make informed decisions about who spends time with their children. Daynes remarks, “It definitely got the tears flowing.”


Daynes looks forward to next year’s events. It should be an exciting time for SNA. Photo courtesy of Christiansen.

Daynes is excited to continue working with SNA next year and to continue to create other unforgettable experiences. Her and her board members have many exciting plans for the future. She says, “It’s going to take work, but I’m ready to do my best.”


What to Expect at Night of Nursing 2020


NON watch parties will be hosted at various locations across the nation; Photo courtesy of the Spokane, Washington chapter

By Lyndee Johns

The seventh annual Night of Nursing is only days away.

Seven days, seven hours, 51 minutes and 55 seconds to be exact.

54 seconds.

53 seconds.

52 groups across the nation will gather in various locations on February 27th, 2020, to watch the broadcast by Dr. Sandra Rogers at 6:30 MST. Dr. Sandra Rogers is the current international vice president at BYU and the previous college dean.


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Los Angeles Night of Nursing party; Photo courtesy of Wendy Hart

The informal watch parties hosted by nursing alumni and BYU-alumni chapters across the nation will each have different activities as decided by the hosts. The starting times will also be decided by the hosts. Each party will include refreshments, time to mingle with alumni and other nursing students, games, raffles, and the opportunity to watch the broadcast. The broadcast should last half an hour, meaning that the party itself could last between 90 minutes and two hours.


The party provides a chance for nursing alumni from BYU and BYU-Idaho to reconnect and a chance for current nursing students to talk with alumni. However, everyone (including alumni from other schools) is welcome to attend!

Raffle Prizes

Raffle prizes at the different host parties include water bottles, copies of the book Nurses at War, College of Nursing t-shirts, and much-coveted BYU socks. (Seriously, everyone loves these socks.)

BYU Party


Fudge, umbrellas, and other raffle prizes will be won at the BYU party

The BYU campus party—the site of the broadcast—will include Italian sodas, a photo booth, ring toss, and a prize wheel. A doughnut wall is even rumored to appear (but you didn’t hear that from me). Raffle prizes at this location include fudge, umbrellas, and gift cards. The party will begin at 6:00 MST.

The Greatest Prize

In addition to walking away with prizes, new connections to fellow nurses, and great memories, all participants of Night of Nursing will end the night with the greatest gift of all:

A new spatula.


So check to find the Night of Nursing party for your area, and RSVP via the website. If you are bringing any guests with you (again, all are welcome), make sure that you RSVP for them as well.

Come join us for a memorable evening of connection and fun!

The Universal Language of Healthcare – Being a Medical Interpreter


The skills to interpret Spanish in medical settings have become very useful for student Page Turley. Photo courtesy of Turley.

By Quincey Taylor

When sixth semester student Page Turley found herself in Peruvian hospitals with her companions during her mission, little did she know that understanding medical Spanish would soon become her norm.

Turley is one of the few students that has taken the necessary classes to become a Spanish medical interpreter. Even though the skill only requires two additional classes, nursing students that are registered medical interpreters are rare. Turley is hoping to change that. It is by learning about another culture that Turley has truly learned the language of healthcare – love.

When Turley started her Spanish minor, she had no idea that medical interpretation would be part of it. It started when she took a Spanish medical terminology class. She says, “I loved it. It brought back all the anatomy terms I had learned in nursing.” Her professor, Charles Lemon, approached her about taking the follow-up class in order to qualify as a medical interpreter.

Turley was interested, but the class fell on Thursday during her nursing clinicals. There was no way to work it in. However, Professor Lemon saw potential in Turley and wanted to help her in her future profession. “Even though I had clinicals every Thursday, he would meet with me a different day of the week to make up the class I missed,” says Turley. It was through his help and Turley’s determination that she completed the courses.

Turley says, “The College of Nursing emphasizes caring for people holistically. We’re not just treating patients’ physical symptoms, but we are helping them emotionally, mentally and spiritually. One of the aspects of that is providing culturally-sensitive care. Doing a Spanish minor has helped me understand another culture a little better. It will help me be a better nurse.”

During her fourth semester, Turley was able to use her skills during the Spain section of the clinical practicum for the public and global health nursing course. Many students in her section had served Spanish-speaking missions, but they had never learned the medical side of the language. This set Turley apart.

Turley also used her skills during her pediatric rotation. A family came to the hospital with a sick little girl and neither of the parents spoke English. The doctor responded by turning to the online interpreting service normally used. However, in that moment the computer crashed and the service wouldn’t work. Turley remembers, “There was no way for the doctor to communicate with this family. They needed help right away. It felt awesome to be able to step up and say, ‘I can do it for you if you need it.’ It was a good back-up plan.”

After this experience, Turley saw the true value in her skill. She says, “Even if patients speak English it’s hard to go to the hospital and completely understand exactly what’s going on. Add another barrier, and it makes the experience more difficult and scary for them. There is so much risk for confusion. Just being informed can take away some of the scary nature, even if the situation itself doesn’t change.”

By completing the classes, students can become nationally recognized as medical interpreters. They are required to take a test to prove their competency and may be additionally tested at their job.

After graduation, Turley hopes to work in oncology, continuing using her skills as often as possible.

Mary Ellen Jackman: “Go Forth to Serve”



Jackman epitomizes the BYU slogan “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve”; Photo courtesy of Jackman

By Lyndee Johns

BYU alumni Mary Ellen Jackman (BS ’77, AS ’75) encourages BYU nursing students to take the campus message “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve” to heart.

When examining her life, it is clear that Jackman has done this herself.

Jackman has worked for Intermountain Healthcare for 33 years, all but 18 months of those years at American Fork Hospital in labor and delivery.

Last November, Jackman traveled to Honduras as part of a humanitarian trip with Smiles for Latin America—an organization that provides medical and dental services to future missionaries.

In San Pedro Sula, 30 dentists and six oral surgeons set up shop in the local stake center to give fillings and root canals. Jackman assisted as a recovery room nurse. Altogether, they were able to serve 670 prospective missionaries.

During the trip, Jackman also helped to deliver supplies to an orphanage and maternity kits to a maternity hospital.

Jackman considers the trip a “very rewarding experience.”

“The Saints are very appreciative and very humble,” Jackman says.

In addition to serving people in Honduras, Jackman has made a significant difference in her own American Fork Hospital.

About ten years ago, Jackman noticed a problem during the clinical days where students would come to assist in the hospital: both nurses and students were getting frustrated. Students wanted to share what they had learned in their classes, and the nurses were overwhelmed by simultaneously trying to mentor students and handle patients. “The only satisfaction the nurse gets is if the student is receptive to learn and take direction, not over-anxious to share what they think they know. In real life it looks different,” says Jackman.

Something had to change.

Jackman worked with the instructors, discovering ways to fulfill both the needs of the students and the needs of the nursing staff. “The immediate difference for the nurses may have been that the nurses were given a way to voice their concerns and plans were made to solve problems,” says Jackman.

Another change was the addition of a student orientation day a week before the clinical day. At student orientation, students are welcomed to the hospital and given a tour. During the tour, Jackman gives the students instructions as to how the unit works and how the students can utilize their skills. The student orientation day is meant to “help them feel welcome and that we care,” says Jackman. “We were all students at one time.”

The changes, as Jackman says, “help students come away empowered and that they’ve had a good time . . . The goal is to have a good experience for both our staff and the students. When we’re at ease with our environment, and our feelings count, it provides a fertile field for learning.”

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Jackman has been a blessing to students coming into the American Fork Hospital; Photo courtesy of Jackman

Jackman frequently acts as a liaison for students coming into American Fork Hospital. She has personally mentored many nursing students who have expressed their gratitude in the form of thank-you cards that Jackman still keeps in her scrapbook.

Jackman serves as an organist at the Mount Timpanogos Temple and in her ward. She enjoys gardening and doing temple work. “Most of all, I love to spend time with my children,” Jackman says. She has six children and 22 grandchildren, with another on the way. She hopes to do another humanitarian trip and to go on a mission. Meanwhile, she is serving at the MTC, helping missionaries arriving from third-world countries and that are in need of clothing items and other supplies.

Jackman wants to remind current and incoming nursing students that nursing is, in her words, “a very diverse field.” The skills that they learn at BYU can be used in a variety of different environments, including hospitals, cruise ships, education, hospice and home health. “A nursing education is adaptable at different times of life, to be built on from an AD or BS degree to masters and doctorate levels. Nursing is a blessing to parents with children as they use their skills for their family.”

“‘Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve’ will last the rest of your life.”



Peace Amidst the Storm: Annie Welton Lyman and Davin Lyman’s Journey through Thyroid Cancer


Annie Lyman and Davin Lyman are wonderful examples of strengthening your faith during trials; Photo provided by Annie Lyman

By Lyndee Johns

Last March, nursing student Annie Welton and pre-med student Davin Lyman had their world rocked by two words.

Thyroid cancer.

This wasn’t in the plan. They had only been engaged for two weeks. They had been told by the doctors that the tumor that they’d found in Davin’s thyroid was likely not malignant. A 10 percent chance of cancer.

“So finding out was really traumatic. You hear ‘cancer,’ and it’s just overwhelming and scary and so uncertain, and you just kind of feel like everything’s rocked,” says Annie Welton Lyman, now married to Davin Lyman. “But we just knew we had to go one step at a time, one day at a time.”

It’s been 11 months of “one day at a time.”

Davin’s thyroid had to be removed, along with 20 lymph nodes. This led to an ongoing battle for balance through hormone replacement therapy, weekly doctor’s visits, and medication.

But how have the couple gotten through it?

How have they found peace amidst the storm?

The Gospel

Annie credits the gospel for getting her husband and herself through this time.

“We were able to go to the temple every week, and just relying on the knowledge that what we were doing was right. We knew that our education was right. We knew that our marriage was right, like Heavenly Father had just given us that assurance, and continual assurance. And that’s what made it all— not only bearable, because it wasn’t fun and it wasn’t easy—but it was possible because of that,” says Annie.

Annie says that both her and her husband’s testimonies and their marriage have been strengthened through this ordeal. “It’s given us such beautiful hindsight and such beautiful realization of like, what that did for our marriage, what it did for our careers, what it did for our spirits and our souls and our family.”

The Scholarship

Annie also credits a scholarship given by the BYU College of Nursing for keeping them afloat.

In the midst of Davin’s bout with cancer, the Lymans were struggling to pay thousands of dollars in medical bills, while working and dealing with heavy course loads.

Annie went to the BYU College of Nursing to see if there were any type of scholarships available. Although it was outside of the typical scholarship period, the school was able to utilize the C Scott & Dorothy E Watkins Charitable Foundation Scholarship. “We’re both back to school, and thanks to the scholarship, we’re able to be in school and be practicing. But I don’t know, honestly, without the scholarship, what would have happened because neither of us can take on more work. And I think we would have been stuck,” says Annie.


Annie Lyman says that her friends in the nursing program were a great support to her; Photo provided by Annie Lyman

Nursing Training

Annie’s time in the nursing program has been invaluable for providing a better understanding of the diagnosis and treatments. “Both of us are in medical professions,” Annie says. “And so I have been spending the past three years learning about the thyroid and the difference between the thyroid and the thymus and the hormones and all that, so it really helped decrease my fear because I had such a better knowledge of what they were saying. So at least when the doctor gave this diagnosis, I could understand ‘This is what that means,’ and understand the hormones and the balancing.”

The nursing program also helped empower Annie by giving her the tools to do her own research. “I just had different avenues that the nursing program taught me, so I was able to work with the doctor and to give my input and my suggestions and thoughts and stuff like that.”  

Empathy is Key

The Lymans’ months of one-on-one time with nurses and doctors have ensured that they have spent a lot of time with what Annie labels “the good examples” and “the bad examples” of nursing.

The vital difference between the two?


“We’ve had some bad examples with people not being empathetic or understanding, just treating it very objectively, which I understand has a time and a place,” Annie says, “But when you just tell someone they have cancer, it’s a fragile thing.”

However, even from the bad examples, Annie was able to learn an important lesson.

“And so that has taught me the importance of being empathetic and personable with every patient because even though to me . . . I may have treated someone with this condition hundreds of times, it’s still important to be empathetic. It’s their first time receiving this diagnosis.”

On the flip side, the “good examples” were the ones that were concerned for both Lymans. “I’ve learned the importance of taking care of not only the patient, but their caregivers and their family,” says Annie. “Because obviously I was not the one going through cancer, but I was just as worried. It was just as emotional. And so when they took the time to talk to me and care for me as well, it made a huge impact. And so it’s really just taught me that nursing is much more personal and every diagnosis is personal.

“And so empathy is important in every single patient and condition.”

Share the Burden

Annie encourages everyone going through a similar condition to share with friends or family members what has been going on.

“Don’t be afraid to let people in . . . Don’t be afraid to tell them about what you’ve been going through. Because I think sometimes we think we’ll feel like a burden, or we’ll feel like we’re trying to get attention, or it might make someone else uncomfortable if we tell them, but really that’s not the case.”

Annie says that sharing with others helped to quickly connect with them. “It helped them feel like they could share what they were going through, and I hope that our experience has helped others as well.”

In addition to friends and family, Annie says to share our burdens with one other vital person: the Savior.

“There were so many times where I had an assignment due, or we had bills to pay, or I was having a meltdown, and I just had to be like ‘Heavenly Father, I have to just give this portion over to you,’ or ‘I have to let go of this stress, I have to let go of this fear.’ And He let me just concentrate on one thing at a time . . . And I felt like He took most of the burden off.”

Storm Is Over

While the Lymans are still trying to navigate the winds of hormone treatments, the storm appears to have ended.

Though remission has yet to officially be declared, the doctors confirm that the cancer was removed with Davin’s thyroid.

“We’re still balancing and then we’ll still continually do biopsies to make sure that it’s still not there, but we’re pretty sure that it’s gone,” Annie says.

Taking everything that they’ve learned from this experience—the medical knowledge, the importance of empathy, the shedding of burdens, and the compassion of the Lord—the Lymans are learning how to help patients of their own in their respective medical fields.

Their ship may not be in the harbor yet, but they are looking towards the future.