Category Archives: College of Nursing Faculty

New Staff Members: Robert Dickerson and Jon Hardy

robPhoto of Dickerson. Photo courtesy of Leo Liang.

By Quincey Taylor

With the start of the new semester, the College of Nursing welcomes two new staff members to the family. Robert Dickerson will be joining the IT department in administration, and Jon Hardy is taking over as the new Nursing Learning Center Facilities Supervisor. We look forward to getting to know these men a little better and hope their transition is smooth.

Dickerson completed his undergraduate at BYU Idaho studying software engineering. When asked about how he found out about this open position, he laughs, “That’s a funny story.” In Santa Clarita, California, he was part of the singles ward council. The ward council was looking for ways to get members more active in the local self-reliance classes put on by the stake. As part of this motivation, they decided to attend the classes and be an example.

Dickerson attended the classes for twelve weeks without much expectation. He was looking for a job at the time, but did not expect the class to result in his next career path. That’s where he was wrong. The facilitator of the class told him about the opening posted on LinkedIn for a senior software engineer at the College of Nursing, and he applied. He says, “This ended up being one of the best jobs I can find right now in my career. I’m really happy and grateful for this job.”

Outside of work, Dickerson enjoys playing volleyball and being a great uncle to his four nieces and nephews. He taught improv comedy for a year and performed it for three. He loves his family and always looks forward to a trip to the temple.

In the future, Dickerson plans to get a master’s degree in computer science at BYU while continuing working. He says about his new life here in Provo, “I know this is where I need to be.”

jonHardy and his wife and kids. Photo courtesy of Hardy.

As the new NLC Facilities Supervisor, Hardy will act as the ‘man behind the curtain,’ ensuring everything in the Mary Jane Rawlinson Geertsen Nursing Learning Center is running smoothly.

BYU has been a part of Hardy’s life for as long as he can remember. He is originally from Spanish Fork, so he always lived close. His father has been working at BYU for thirty years, currently in the Treasury Services. Hardy had been looking for an opportunity at BYU for a while now, and was overjoyed at this new opportunity to follow in his father’s footsteps.

Before the College of Nursing, Hardy studied at UVU. He also worked as their head custodian over the Student Life and Wellness Center. He graduated from UVU with a degree in technology management.

Hardy is married with two kids, ages four and six. His wife, Olivia, is from Wyoming. The two met here at BYU as students and coworkers.

Outside of work, Hardy enjoys playing board games and spending time with his family. He also loves hiking and the outdoors in general.

Hardy looks forward to helping streamline as much as possible in the simulation lab, making it easier for all participants. “I’m excited,” Hardy exclaims, “to be working with all of the great nursing students and faculty here.”

 

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Fulbright Scholar Award: Dr. Sheri Palmer

By Mindy Longhurst

20181022_114839_HDRAn image of teaching professor Dr. Sheri Palmer with people from the National University of Asuncion. Image courtesy of Palmer.

Teaching professor Dr. Sheri Palmer has had an incredible year spending time in Paraguay for two significant nursing projects including a Fulbright Scholar Award.

Studying teenage pregnancy in Paraguay

This past August, Palmer with two other faculty members and five nursing students went to Paraguay on a research project to learn more about teenage pregnancy in Paraguay.

Palmer first came to love the people of Paraguay while serving a welfare mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shortly after receiving her RN license thirty years ago. Since her time in Paraguay as a missionary, she has had a strong desire to go back and serve the people that she loves. While pondering this, Palmer came in contact with a nursing student named Rachel Trujillo who also served a mission for the Church in Paraguay. As they discussed their love for the people, Trujillo remembered the high teenage pregnancy rate in Paraguay and wanted to do something to help. She discussed this with Palmer and they decided to get a research team together to learn more about the teenage pregnancy rate in Paraguay.

(Watch a video about Trujillo and Palmer deciding on what to research in Paraguay https://youtu.be/BKjP1zyPqY0)

To study the teenage pregnancy, the students and professors went to Paraguay to interview local leaders and teachers about what might be contributing to the high rate of teenage pregnancy. Of these interviews, nursing student Julia Lee says, “We asked what is the frequency of teenage pregnancy here, what risk factors contribute to a teenager getting pregnant, what is happening now to prevent or reduce teenage pregnancy, and what suggestions does this person have to reduce teenage pregnancy.”

(Watch a video about the interview process https://youtu.be/nCzNfEdv7rY)

While they were in the schools in Cerrito, they would teach the girls from ages 8+ about maturation and sex education. They also provided each of the girls with a Days for Girls kit. This kit included underwear with built in washable pads so that the girls would be able to be clean during their menstrual cycle. Third semester nursing student Cortney Welch says, “I think teaching Days for Girls was really beneficial to those we were able to reach out to.” Trujillo expounds, “I think it will make a big difference, especially since our guides are now going around with Sheri, teaching the curriculum to other people. It has been cool because we have left other people in place to continue the legacy.”

(Watch a video about the Days for Girls program https://youtu.be/KA46WPHvqK8)

The 10 day research experience for the nursing students and faculty members was a great experience! Megan Hancock says, “I loved it! The entire time I was there I felt blessed to be there. It was nice knowing that what we are doing would lead to interventions that actually work because we were researching what is and what is not working.”

Fulbright Scholar Award

For six weeks from mid-October to the beginning of December Palmer was able to stay in Paraguay to help teach the nurses, teachers and students about nursing with her Fulbright Scholar Award. The Fulbright Scholar Award allows Palmer to be a visiting scholar to the national university in Paraguay (National University of Asuncion). Palmer was able to teach nursing classes to faculty members and students of the college in five different cities. She was able to teach at the Paraguayan Nursing Association, at private hospitals, public hospitals and at the Ministry of Health.

20181022_154935An image of Palmer with other medical professionals in Paraguay. Image courtesy of Palmer.

This is the first round of a two year experience in Paraguay for the Fulbright Scholar Award. The second round will be next March and April and the third round will be sometime in 2020. Going back and helping the Paraguayan people over the course of two years will help Palmer to make the biggest difference possible.

The love that Palmer has for the people of Paraguay is so evident, she lights up when she speaks about the people she has met while there. When Palmer would introduce herself and start her classes in Paraguay she would always try to explain the love that she and others have for the Paraguayan people. She explains, “Almost every time I was able to tell them about my mission, I would tell them that they were important. Just being able to express my love for them. It was neat to let them know that people think about you and care for you. We want the best for you.”

Palmer wants all of the nurses in Paraguay to feel empowered and to know that they are affecting so many lives. She says, “Empowering nurses is so important. One of the reasons I was there was to help empower the nurses, help their value of nursing to be greater in the country, to be looked upon as a worthy profession.” When she left the different cities she was teaching in, she did not realize the impact that she would have on others, just like the nurses in Paraguay do not always understand the impact they have on others.

Palmer is currently preparing for her next phase of the Fulbright Scholar Award. Palmer is eagerly looking forward to her next return to Paraguay!

To read more about Palmer’s experiences with her Fulbright Scholar Award read her blog https://palmerfulbrightinparaguay.wordpress.com/.

We Will Miss You Colleen!

By Mindy Longhurst

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An image of Colleen Tingey. Photo courtesy of the College of Nursing Media Team.

Colleen Tingey, the Mary Jane Rawlinson Geertsen Nursing Learning Center (NLC) Supervisor, has worked for the College of Nursing for 14 and a half years. Her largest contribution to the College of Nursing has been with the recently renovated NLC. This project was completed and the new NLC facility was opened in Fall 2014.

The new area is a total of nearly 11,000 square feet, expanded 4,000 feet from the original center built in 2001. The NLC has six full-simulation rooms with high-fidelity manikins, four debriefing rooms, five exam rooms, a nine-bed skill lab, a four-bed walk-in lab, and two procedure training areas. Each area is flexible and can be reconfigured in a variety of ways according to class needs.

Tingey was able to participate in almost all the different stages of the renovation of the NLC. She was able to help with preparation before the renovation took place, she was able to help with the blueprints and with the architects. Tingey had a hand in focusing on every detail in the NLC from the sinks to the storage space.

In the past ten years, the number of student encounters in the NLC has doubled. Student encounters are essentially any learning experience that the students have had at the NLC including labs, walk-in labs and classes that take place in the NLC.

In Fall 2016, Electronic Health Records (E.H.R.) were implemented into the NLC. This has helped the students tremendously to learn how to use the E.H.R. system at BYU before using a similar E.H.R. system during their clinical rotations at hospitals. This system has helped the students to perform better and be more comfortable during clinical.

Tingey says, “It is very hard to leave BYU.” She has loved being able to work at BYU and for the College of Nursing. After retirement, Tingey wants to focus on increasing her skills in quilting, sewing, yard work and canning. But, most importantly, Tingey looks forward to spending more time with her five children and nine grandchildren.

Experiential Learning: TeamSTEPPS

By Mindy Longhurst

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An image of the TeamSTEPPS research team at the American Hospital Association annual conference. Left to right: Kapri Beus, assistant teaching professor Stacie Hunsaker, Camry Shawcroft, Amber Anderson, Sara Durrant Weeks and assistant teaching professor Michael Thomas. Image courtesy of Shawcroft.

Many nurses know that Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS) is a teamwork system developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the Department of Defense to improve communication and teamwork in healthcare. While studies have validated its clinical use, research on how to incorporate it into a nursing program is limited.

Assistant teaching professor Dr. Michael Thomas, has created a second-semester, peer-taught nursing course that focuses on TeamSTEPPS. The Teaching Assistants (TAs) for the course instruct the class. The four TAs for the communications course are also Research Assistants for Thomas and assistant teaching professor Stacie Hunsaker. Their research focuses on the most effective ways to teach the TeamSTEPPS tools and objectives to fellow nursing students and how to help faculty members implement the TeamSTEPPS tools and objectives throughout the program.

Thomas, Hunsaker and the four TAs (Amber Anderson, Kapri Beus, Camry Shawcroft and Sara Durrant Weeks) were able to present their research findings at the American Hospital Association annual conference in San Diego last June.

Anderson explains, “I loved the conference! I feel very grateful to be a student here at BYU, specifically in the nursing program where the faculty members are so engaged in the student’s learning. And they provide us with such amazing opportunities to be involved in the professional world, to help train us to become leaders in the future.” The experiences of being able to present their findings at a national conference helped to build confidence in their nursing and leadership abilities.

Presenting their findings at a national conference was a new experience for the TAs. In most nursing schools, undergraduate students do not get the opportunity to help with the research process. As a result, most of the people who attend these conferences are already established in their career. Shawcroft says, “Those that attend the conference are healthcare educators, hospital administration and other medical professions there too. We talked about the peer teaching model and talked about going to other faculty and thinking of ways to incorporate TeamSTEPPS throughout the program. We talked about the evaluation tool that we created. Stacie talked about a new handoff tool that they made based on TeamSTEPPS. Basically, just what we are doing as a college to implement TeamSTEPPS.”

The nursing students were the youngest people at the conference. Anderson expounds, “It was really great because there were a lot of people who were amazed that we were undergraduate students. Because generally, the people that we were presenting to they are already working in the hospitals or they are care managers in their facility. It was neat to have a student’s perspective as to how to best teach it to other students. We had some academic professionals there as well who were able to come and really took some of our ideas and incorporated that back home.”

After their presentation, many individuals came up to them asking for more information about what they do. Shawcroft says, “After we presented, there were some people that were interested. I remember there was a lady that was from another nursing college and she was really interested in the peer teaching method. There were a lot of people that were just very supportive of students participating in the process and implementing the TeamSTEPPS tools and objectives throughout the program. Some were impressed and supportive that some undergraduate students were given the opportunity to do what we were doing.”

Overall, the students were able to use the knowledge that they have gained throughout learning and teaching about the TeamSTEPPS program and helped to spread this information further.

Honoring Veterans on a Utah Honor Flight

By Mindy Longhurst

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An image of Sandra Rogers and Mary Williams with their veterans before leaving for Washington D.C. Image courtesy of Rogers.

Once a year, the College of Nursing sponsors a Utah Honor Flight. An Honor Flight is meant to recognize and show appreciation for those who have served and sacrificed for our country. During this experience, these veterans are each assigned a guardian to take care of them. The veterans fly from Salt Lake City to Washington D.C. where they are able to look at many historical and memorial sites for the wars they served in.

This year, we had nursing students and faculty members participate in the Utah Honor Flight. Also in attendance was Sandra Rogers, the International Vice President for Brigham Young University. Rogers is the former dean and nursing alum of the College of Nursing.

Both Rogers and associate professor Dr. Mary Williams had uncles who made the ultimate sacrifice giving their lives in the service of their country. Because of these experiences, both were raised in homes where gratitude and appreciation for those who have served our country were readily expressed.

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An image of Rogers with others at the WWII Memorial at the Washington Mall. Image courtesy of Rogers.

Sandra Rogers’ experience

During their time in Washington D.C., the veterans and guardians were able to visit many historical and memorial sites. They first visited the National Archives Museum, where the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are showcased. Rogers explains how impactful this was for the veterans, “I did not anticipate how much the veterans appreciated seeing the archives. It was like it was in their patriotic DNA, it was part of one of the reasons why they had served. These were the documents that set out the freedoms that they were defending and what they were fighting for.”

Following the National Archives Museum, they attended the WWII Memorial where Congressional Contingency from Utah were there to greet the veterans and express their appreciation. While in Washington D.C., they also visited the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Korean Memorial, Fort McHenry where Francis Scott Key penned “The Star Spangled Banner” and they were able to attend the Arlington National Cemetery.

Throughout her experience with the Utah Honor Flight, Sandra Rogers was constantly amazed by the organization and efficiency of the program. There was always someone to help with food and travel. She was impressed with teaching professor Dr. Kent Blad who organizes the event for the College of Nursing global and public health nursing course practicum. Being a veteran himself, Blad has a love for those who have served this country, and that was evident throughout the entire experience.

The ultimate lesson that Rogers was able to learn was about the importance of gratitude. It surprised her during the Honor Flight experience how complete strangers would come up to the veterans and individually thank them for the service and sacrifice they made for this country. She was amazed by the crowds of people in the airports with signs and banners cheering for the veterans. She says, “I looked at these veterans on the bus and I thought about the families that worried about them, the families that prayed for them while they were gone, the families that hoped heaven would watch over their loved one while they were providing this service.” After this experience, she now says that she is more motivated to approach a veteran and ask where they served and to give thanks for their service.

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Image of Williams and Rogers and their veterans at the Korean War Memorial at the Washington Mall. Image courtesy of Rogers.

Mary Williams’ experience

Williams loved the experience that she had during the Utah Honor flight! A moment that she remembers clearly is when the veteran for whom she was guardian visited the Lincoln Memorial. Her veteran served in the Korean War and is an artist. He really wanted to observe the artistic beauty of the Lincoln Memorial. She says of this experience, “At the Lincoln Memorial, my veteran was so desirous to view the Lincoln Memorial. That day the elevators were broken, but he was determined to climb the many steps to the top so he could experience the memorial and he did so with great energy.”

Williams expressed how life-changing this experience was for her. She was able to take the time to learn about their war stories and to learn about their lives. She says, “My life has been changed forever. I was again reminded that freedom is not free. The price for freedom is paid with blood, tears, loss of life and sacrifice of families. I was indeed overwhelmed with gratitude for the men and women who sacrifice so much. Truly, this experience was one of the highlights of my life with love of country and freedom etched on my heart forever and gratitude for those who keep it free never to be forgotten.”

 

 

Experiencing the Czech Republic

By Mindy Longhurst

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The 2018 Czech Republic public and global health nursing course practicum class.

College of Nursing students at Brigham Young University are able to learn more about the Czech Republic’s healthcare system during the Czech Republic public and global health nursing course practicum. For three and a half weeks the nursing students are able to learn and experience the Czech Republic. Formerly a part of communist Czechoslovakia (a satellite state of the Soviet Union), the Czech Republic and its healthcare system have undergone dramatic changes since the country became independent in 1993. The healthcare system is socialized, so it is required for all citizens of the Czech Republic to have health insurance.

Assistant teaching professor, Petr Ruda, is a native of the Czech Republic. He loves the opportunity to be able to teach the nursing students about the culture and let them experience elements of his home country. He explains, “The overall experience was great! All of the students were excited to try new things and be exposed to new environments and cultures. They were able to learn about traditions and learn about the memorials that we visited.”

One of the biggest challenges for the students is the language barrier. Ruda expounds, “The language is difficult, it is a Slavic language. In the bigger cities most people speak English, then we go to the medium sized city where they speak less English, we end at a small village where there is not a lot of people who speak English fluently.” This can sometimes make it difficult for the students to fully understand what is happening. But, this amazing opportunity allows the nursing students to be able to depend on their smiles and gestures to explain what they are doing and how they are feeling. Relying on their nonverbal skills teaches the nursing students the importance of body language, a vital way to express communication.

ptr 2.0Assistant teaching professor, Petr Ruda, in the Czech Republic.

While in the Czech Republic the students work closely with the local nurses and are able to learn more about the complementary and alternative medicine treatments that are used regularly in the Czech Republic. Ruda says, “As part of the health insurance, you can qualify to receive a coupon or receive paperwork for a special treatment. The treatment is done in localized, special clinics. What that means, if you have really bad asthma, you may be advised by your primary care provider to spend some time in a certain area that is specialized for asthma patients.”

For the first time this past spring, the 10 students on the Czech Republic public and global health nursing course practicum were able to attend the Auschwitz concentration camp from WWII. This experience was able to give the students a greater perspective and taught them more about the holocaust. Ruda explains, “We go to help our students understand what has happened and how to stop it from happening again. Auschwitz was the darkest place I have ever seen and experienced. Auschwitz and the holocaust needs to be told and explained to the nursing students. It needs to be taught and shared so this never happens again. The concentration camps still effect those who are in the Czech Republic.”

Another experience that these students are able to receive is the ability to teach the nurses and local nursing students about the healthcare in the United States. Compared to the United States, the nurses in the Czech Republic are understaffed. One student says, “The biggest difference we saw was a lack of nurses. And the nurses who were there had huge workloads and appeared to be underpaid.” In the United States, the nurses have more flexibility in patient care, while in the Czech Republic nurses are more restricted on patient care.

Getting to know a different culture helped the students not only to gain perspective on different countries’ healthcare systems but also to appreciate its citizens, customs and historical events. The students and faculty members who are able to attend the Czech Republic public and global health nursing course practicum, leave the country feeling like they better understand a different culture and are grateful for the many different experiences they had.

DAISY Award Winner: Bret Lyman

Bret Lyman

Bret Lyman with award. Photo courtesy of Zak Gowans.

By Quincey Taylor

The DAISY Foundation is a non-profit organization, established in 1999, by the family of Patrick Barnes. Barnes passed away from complications of an autoimmune disease called Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura at the age of 33. Before he passed, his family saw the dedicated service and kindness offered to him by the nurses responsible for him. After his death, the Barnes family founded DAISY—an acronym for Diseases Attacking the Immune System—to honor their son and express gratitude to exceptional nurses around the world.

The DAISY Award is given to a faculty member at the BYU College of Nursing twice a year. Assistant professor Dr. Bret Lyman was nominated and selected to receive the award this fall semester. He teaches the capstone course and the undergraduate ethics course. Students are profoundly impacted by his dedication to truly learning the Healer’s art and teaching that to his pupils.

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Bret Lyman and his family. Photo courtesy of Zak Gowans.

In the nomination, one student described Lyman as “fully invested in bettering healthcare through both improving the hospital system in his research and molding compassionate nurses in his teaching.” The student told the story of how during their capstone semester, his or her financial aid fell through and he or she became homeless. The student described Lyman’s compassionate service, how he “took the time to listen and was able to connect with the college to find resources so I could finish. This is when I really understood that he cares about the success of his students. Teaching is not just a job for him.”

As this story illustrates, Bret Lyman truly practices the Healer’s art. Lyman finds inspiration from the Savior, and says, “I think when we keep the Master Healer, Jesus Christ, in mind it will keep us grounded. He helps us move past some of our personal imperfections and personal struggles. You know that He is going to be there to help cover that gap between what we can do with our best effort and what needs to be done.”

Watch the video to learn more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4vHTW2M0ak