Category Archives: College of Nursing Students

Everyone Has Something to Give: Kendall Semones

IMG_1555

Semones and her husband enjoy the beach together. Photo courtesy of Semones.

By Quincey Taylor

As a nurse, sometimes it’s the small moments that confirm to you that the path you’ve chosen is the correct one. The same goes for fifth semester student Kendall Semones, who strives for balance in a sometimes-hectic student life.

Her desire to join the medical field started when she got a job as a medical assistant in high school. Semones loved interacting with patients and helping individuals despite the oftentimes precarious position they are in. However, when it came to the medical procedures it was another story. On her first day, Semones passed out due to nerves. It was then that she questioned, “Is this the direction for me?”

However, after finding the why she had decided to try it out, everything became a lot easier. She says, “As I continued through that and working to focus on the patient, it helped to have a purpose and focusing only on that purpose.” She was able to work through the nerves and now looks forward to learning new medical procedures, “as long as they’re not on me,” Semones laughs.

Since getting into the program, Semones has loved learning nursing from a unique BYU gospel perspective. She is grateful for the spirit’s influence in her experiences, and says, “I think that the gospel instills a lot of confidence into my practice because I can go in knowing that I have extra help.”

IMG_3483

Semones (red, fifth from the right) attributes many life lessons learned to her time in Tonga. Photo courtesy of Shelly Reed.

This past summer, Semones was able to participate in the Tonga section of the clinical practicum for the public and global health nursing course. This was a life-changing moment for her. She remembers a particularly touching experience:

“I was on the pediatric floor and there was a patient who was getting a dressing change. He was just a little, little kid and the nurse was really focused on getting the dressing done. The boy was in so much pain and he was super terrified just because they had limited resources. So my friend and I decided to go over. I went over and I held the little boy’s hand and talked to him. Of course, he was still in pain, but you could definitely see in his face a certain level of comfort after that. It was just from being there with him. Even though my role wasn’t huge, I didn’t help participate in an important step of the procedure or wound care, it was still meaningful for him. It was a very meaningful moment for myself as well.”

IMG951814

Semones and other nursing students enjoy performing in the BYU Luau, showing their love for the country of Tonga. Photo courtesy of Semones.

She walked away from her international experience knowing that, “Everyone has something to give. Whether that’s a nursing student, or a nurse with limited resources, or even a young patient, everyone has something to offer… They have special gifts or skills that they can share with others.”

As she has striven to achieve balance in her life, one thing Semones believes is that people are the most important. If she could give one piece of advice to herself when she entered the major, it would be that sacrificing human relationships just to have a better grade will never be worth it. She says, “It means if my friend calls me up and they’re having a bad day and they want to talk, they’re more important than an extra hour of studying for a test.”

 

Undergraduates’ Poster Wins Third Place in International Nursing Conference

IMG_8547.JPEG

Students Alyssa Hildt (left) and Abby Anderson celebrate a win against professionals in the forensic field! Photo courtesy of Hildt.

By Quincey Taylor

When fifth semester students Alyssa Hildt and Abby Anderson were presented with an opportunity to flex their research muscles, they didn’t hesitate. Partnering with associate teaching professor Dr. Leslie Miles and associate professor Dr. Julie Valentine, these students went on to win third place at the International Association of Forensic Nurses Conference in New Orleans for their research and poster presentation.

Miles-IAFN2019-final.jpg

The winning poster, demonstrating changes that should be made in pain management for sexual assault victims.

The idea for measuring the treatment of pain that sexual assault victims receive originated with Miles. She saw that there was a lack of research on the topic, especially considering that information regarding this topic only started being collected after assault cases in 2017. After Hildt and Anderson were recruited to help her with research, they were given the task of performing detailed research as well as creating the poster presenting their research.

After completing their poster, the duo submitted their abstract to the International Association of Forensic Nurses Conference and were accepted, along with around 25 other submissions. They presented their research alongside those of professionals, many with PhD’s, DNP’s, and years in the field. They answered questions to those at the conference with flying colors.

IMG_1018

Miles accompanied the students to the conference, providing assistance when needed while also leaving them the freedom to figure things out on their own. Photo provided by Hildt.

Hildt explains, “Leslie was right there in case we needed her. It was nice to be introduced into research as a student because we get so much guidance from our professors, but they also give us a lot of freedom.”

When asked what it was like working with Miles, Anderson laughs, “Oh my goodness, we love her. We call her research mama.” She loved working with the professors and says, “They’re so fun and so wise and they know what they’re doing. They’re on top of it. We learned so much from them.” Miles and Valentine have provided them with advice as the two students continue their journey into grad school.

IMG_6323.JPG

The research provided the students a chance to get to know their professors on a personal level. Photo courtesy of Hildt.

They plan on presenting their poster at other conferences, sharing their findings with as many nurses and students as possible. They are both passionate about defending at risk populations within their careers and look for ways to do what they can to help.

IMG_8532.JPEG

While they were nervous at first, after beginning their presentation Hildt and Anderson knew they had been well-prepared. Photo courtesy of Hildt.

When asked about the advice they’d give to other students trying to do research with BYU professors, Anderson says, “Be persistent and persistent and persistent. Reach out to professors, reach out to people that are researching things that you’re interested in. I wasn’t sure I knew what I wanted to research, but because I was persistent and going to meetings and listening to people’s ideas it ended up being such an incredible and eye-opening experience, not only for my career but for my life.”

Hildt adds, “Professors might not have any need for research assistants at a certain time, but they might later on.  I know Julie saves emails from students who she wants to remember when she needs someone in the future.”

IMG_9497.JPG

Having a friend during clinicals brings a light into the whole experience. Photo courtesy of Hildt.

Through this experience, Hildt and Anderson have become very close friends. A ribbon wasn’t the only prize they walked away with, but also a long-lasting friendship built on a challenging experience. They plan on applying to the same grad school but in different departments, remaining a part of each other’s lives.

IMG_9729.JPEG

A matching Halloween costume was essential for this dynamic duo. Photo courtesy of Hildt.

Fall 2019 DAISY Award Winners Announced!

The College of Nursing at Brigham Young University continues to partner with the DAISY Foundation to recognize nursing professors and students who show extraordinary compassion. After the death of Patrick Barnes at the age of 33 from complications of an autoimmune disease, the Barnes family decided to do something positive to honor him. They established DAISY—an acronym for diseases attacking the immune system—to thank the nurses who cared for him and to recognize exceptional nurses around the world.

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Students

Daisy_Award - Fall_2019-2

Noel (middle) with Dean Ravert and her husband, Hamilton

The College of Nursing announced that it’s student award, The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Students, went to Allison Bingham Noel.

Alli was nominated by her peer Keeley Austin, who writes: “Any person who meets Alli knows she is a special person. She has an infectious positive attitude and a laugh that makes everyone smile. I attended my global health clinical practicum with Alli in Fiji, and every day I became more impressed with her ability to connect with others. She became a role model for me as she found the ones who were in need and addressed those needs with her talents.

For example, we were assigned to teach a group of third-grade Fijian students about the human body. Many of our activities required the children to jump, run, and dance, and we did not account for any children who might have disabilities. When we started the lessons, I saw Alli sitting at the back of the group with a student in a wheelchair. She was attentive and helped that student participate in ways that were adjusted to meet his needs. I couldn’t believe how quickly she was able to assess the situation and find a solution. She constantly looks outward, so when she is faced with situations like this one, she adapts well. I know I can be the kind of nurse that doesn’t just go through the motions or goes according to plan. I will achieve this by following Alli’s example of compassion and seek out and address individuals’ needs.”

The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty

Daisy_Award - Fall_2019-5.jpg

Hunsaker (second from the left) with Dean Ravert and her family. 

The College of Nursing was also pleased to honor associate teaching professor Stacie Hunsaker with The DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nursing Faculty.

Stacie received entries from several students, each one showing her level of compassion in nursing.

Hannah Hoffman writes, “I spent time with Stacie during a veteran clinical practicum. One Sunday while in Washington, D.C., an older woman fell leaving the church building and twisted her ankle. Stacie first addressed the immediate medical concern but then took time to listen to the women’s concerns, calm her fears, and ease her anxiety.”

Another nomination says, “I had only been in Stacie’s class for three weeks when I was admitted to the hospital. Stacie took time out of her extremely busy schedule to come and visit me. It meant the world to me. The care, concern, and compassion Stacie has for individuals are exemplary and beyond admirable!”

An additional student shares, “Stacie goes above and beyond to help those around her thrive. She took the time to tell me my strengths and applaud me, helping me to feel confident at a time that I was struggling to feel competent. She shared experiences from when she was a young nurse, and then laugh! The situation helped me realize that we could laugh at mistakes and the things we were stressing.”

Emily Henstrom says, “During third-semester, Stacie would set lunchtime for her clinical group, not because she had to, but because she wanted to spend those moments with us and get to know us. She has shown me so much love since I met her, and I can’t imagine my college experience without her.”

Both Hunsaker and Noel were presented with a unique sculpture as a symbol of their recognition. The small wooden token is called “A Healer’s Touch.” Each piece is hand-carved by members of the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe.

Each semester, the College of Nursing opens nominations for additional DAISY Faculty and Nursing Student Awards. The call for submissions is your opportunity to nominate someone that reflects compassion and is an example of the Healer’s art.

 

Student Spotlight: Skylar Tangren

w fam

Tangren (far right) with her family. Photo courtesy of Tangren.

By Corbin Smith

One of the goals of the BYU College of Nursing is to help each student find their niche while in school. The college hopes that students will be introduced to an endless numbers of possibilities while in the program. For example, this week, the College of Nursing hosted a special Career Night for all current students, and exposed them to the many different ways that their skills can be applied to serve today!

For 5th semester student Skylar Tangren, though, she was able to find her niche on her own. She found it in an unusual way: a Facebook post! However, her journey to become an LPN nurse started long before that moment she signed into Facebook that day.

w homie

Like it often does, Tangren’s path to becoming a nursing student and then a LPN nurse started in high school. As she approached graduation, she began to put serious thought into what she was going to focus on once she arrived here on campus. “I really liked English, and I still really love that kind of stuff,” she says, “but the opportunity I had to volunteer in the hospital really made me want to be a nurse.”

What is it that happened in the hospital that got Tangren so excited to be a nurse? There were two experiences, in fact, that fueled that fire inside her. First, she had the chance to get some hands-on experience as she shadowed her mom’s cousin, who is a labor and delivery nurse. Tangren recalls, “I walked in and she said, ‘We are doing a C section today!’ I was so nervous. Surprisingly, it didn’t bother me! I just loved it!”

Another experience came as she worked at the information desk at the hospital. While fulfilling her responsibilities, she made a special connection with a certain patient. “There was one man who would come in for therapy,” she remembers, “And every time he came in he would give me the biggest smile. It wasn’t until the last day that I realized how serious his condition was. It meant so much to me that he would take time out of his busy and tough day to notice me.”

This second experience transformed into a lesson that turned into the foundation of Tangren’s motivation to work as a nurse. “I think at that moment I realized that I wanted to be that person who walks in and helps make people feel better when they’re so vulnerable during that time in their lives,” she says.

This important lesson Tangren learned many years ago has helped her in her current job. Recently she has begun working as an LPN for Horizon Home Health, a hospice home health organization that sends nurses to patient’s homes to receive care.

This style and environment is beneficial as nurses and patients are able to develop a deeper relationship with one another. “It is really special because you work with someone you see and talk with regularly. You strengthen the relationship with the patient and the family. It is truly just like a unique friendship!” Tangren explains.

nursing

Tangren has been very successful in her work, and she accredits her professors for teaching her how to make a difference through loving service. “They’re all such genuine people! It makes me think about what kind of person I want to be and how I want to contribute to this world,” Tangren says.

When asked what her biggest piece of advice to new students would be, she said is to invest heavily in relationships with your instructors and peers. Never leave an opportunity on the table to get to know them better and understand their story!

Today, as we work our way through midterm season, take the time to find someone new in class or in the NLC and learn a little bit of their story. Like Tangren says, “Have confidence in yourself. Don’t be afraid.” You never know what you could learn.

Helping Babies Breathe: BYU Students in Fiji

sdfhsdfh

BYU nursing students crossed a river in Fiji to teach about the importance of helping babies breathe.

By Quincey Taylor

During the Fiji section of the clinical practicum for the public and global health nursing course this summer, associate professor Dr. Janelle Macintosh had the chance to teach locals how to help babies breathe. In life-threatening situations, these skills are critical considering they don’t have many of the modern medical luxuries we in the United States enjoy. According to the Health Newborn Network, 40 million women [annually] around the world give birth accompanied by their mothers, sisters, or aunties instead of trained health care providers who could intervene if complications arise. More than 2 million women give birth completely alone.

baby manikin

NeoNatalie simulation manikin helps the students put into play what they’ve learned before the situation arises.

“Helping Babies Breathe” is a low fidelity simulation education that was created by the World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatricians, and around eight other global partners. It is a very structured education system that is meant for low-resource countries. The purpose is to teach healthcare providers what to do if someone gives birth and how to help that baby if it is having trouble.

234

BYU nursing students interact with local Fijians, educating them on this important skill.

A few BYU nursing students, along with Macintosh, took the master training class at the University of Utah. Their goal was to disperse their knowledge to the nursing students and faculty in Fiji.

901

Faculty were excited to learn, and eagerly participated in activities.

When Macintosh was asked how the locals reacted to the program, she said, “They loved it. They actually asked us if we would come back. So we are planning on going back this next year, with the hope that then we can just reinforce the teaching and that they can be self-sustaining.”

sfgjsdfgj

This class, given to the hospital staff in Savusavu, was excited to put their skills to the test.

Living a Healthy Lifestyle in Prison

blur-door-factory-451

By Corbin Smith

 

Sometimes, as a society, it is easy for us to forget that prisoners truly are human beings. We often think of inmates as savages, people who deserve to suffer for the crimes they have committed. We think of people like Ted Bundy or Bonnie and Clyde and it fills our hearts and minds with disgust towards these men and women. Not only that, but we are also scared of jails, only thinking about the horrific stories and rumors we hear. We timidly gaze at the walls as we drive by on the freeway, wondering if what the media tells us is true. Never would we choose to go inside!

That’s not how associate teaching professor Dr. Peggy Anderson thinks! For many years, Anderson has worked with, loved and served those who are currently in prison. In fact, in the past Anderson served as the Relief Society President in the Utah state prison, providing both temporal and spiritual support for the prisoners.

Along with her own personal endeavors, Anderson has begun to invite students to participate in a women’s fireside inside the prison as part of their clinical practicum of the public and global health nursing course. However, this experience is much different than the clinical practicums that take you abroad.

On May 19th, Anderson, accompanied by a group of students, went to the Utah State Prison with the goal to serve, bless and teach those inside. The theme of the fireside was “Enjoying a Healthy Lifestyle.” The focus of Anderson and the students was to help the inmates understand the importance of not only physical health, but also emotional and spiritual health. Speaking of their purpose in the prison, 5th semester student Kayla Brantley says, “The prison is supposed to be a correctional facility. Correction needs to take place and they need help to make that correction for themselves, which is what we are there for.”

For that reason, students shared small devotionals with the inmates on a variety of topics. Some of the topics shared by the students included self-worth, dealing with stress, strength in Christ and even the Atonement. Brantley and her husband, Adam, also shared their talents in a unique way through a special musical number, singing “I Know My Redeemer Lives” with the ukulele!

While this fireside was beneficial for the inmates, it also was impactful for the students. Talking about his experience with the inmates, 6th semester student James Reinhardt says, “It was cool to be able to feel the Spirit in the prison and even feel the Spirit with them.” Since the fireside, Reinhardt has begun working shifts in the prison and has decided to do his capstone project there too!

It was an unforgettable experience for all who participated in the fireside. The greatest lesson the students were able to learn was that, even though in prison, each of the women attending the fireside are people who have value and worth. “It’s easy to think about what terrible things they could have done to get into prison, but as soon as you meet and see them you remember God loves them and Jesus sacrificed himself so they could be freed,” says Brantley.

 

5 Reasons (Or More) to Take N320 Online

ballpen-blur-close-up-461077

By Corbin Smith

In times past it has been said that nursing courses must be taken in-person to make the greatest impact and maximize learning. Many say that online nursing courses limit a student’s ability to connect with patients and receive quality training and practice. Critics even go far enough to say that nursing courses online don’t prepare students for the real world.

In the face of doubters, the BYU College of Nursing has recently begun to challenge that mindset, by creating a unique online and in-person course for students to take. This effort has been spearheaded by associate professor Dr. Janelle Macintosh. Along with Macintosh, assistant professor Dr. Neil Peterson and assistant teaching professor Dr. Denise Cummins are teaching the hybrid N320 course this semester.

The N320 hybrid class has been a great success, allowing students to learn in a new and flexible way. Soon, all sections of this class will be a both online and in-person. With that in mind and as registration for the winter semester approaches, Macintosh shares with you her 5 reasons why the N320 has been so successful, and how taking it can be beneficial for you!

 

  1. It’s Required! Well, this is obvious! For those of you who are going into your third-semester, this class is required for you to take. In this course you will receive valuable training on the research process in nursing, learn how to identify clinical problems and how to write and communicate effectively in the profession. You will even be able to knock out a GE in the process (after taking N339, too!)
  2. Flexibility with Clinicals – Clinicals can be very stressful, especially in 3rd semester when you have your first 12-hour shift in the hospital to go along with your other classes. By taking a hybrid class like N320, the time commitment to be in class is much less, allowing for more time for homework and clinicals!
  3. Work ahead! – In N320, the student has a lot of control over when to do assignments. Like any other class there are due dates to meet and assignments to complete, but the online set-up allows students to work ahead and do assignments, normally due 3 or 4 weeks in the future. With this course, you can easily take control over your learning!
  4. 1 on 1 Consultations – There are tons of benefits of being able to work with a teacher or professor one-on-one. Teaching can be more personally tailored to the student while students can feel comfortable and safe expressing confusions without worrying about what other students think. Not only is learning enhanced and content mastered more quickly, you can also build strong relationships with your professor that you wouldn’t normally get in a classroom.
  5. Comfort! – Wouldn’t you love to have class in bed while you’re in your pajamas? Professor Macintosh hopes that this format can give comfort to the already-stressed student. “College can be pretty tough and demanding,” she says, “we hope this individualized approach can help ease the strain of everyday college life.”

Now, the final reason, which may not come from Macintosh, but is true nonetheless.

  1. Take a Class from Some Wonderful Professors! – Professors Cummins, Macintosh and Peterson are all wonderful! All of the professors are student-oriented and want you to succeed. Macintosh says “The reason I teach is because I love the students and being able to engage with them.” This upcoming semester the course will be taught by Macintosh and assistant professor Dr. Marc-Aurel Martial! Don’t miss out on an opportunity to learn from them! You won’t regret it!