Category Archives: Events

Experiential Learning: TeamSTEPPS

By Mindy Longhurst

group photo

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.

Advertisements

Nurses with Shin Guards

By Quincey Taylor

received_249630995738740_1541627770886_001

Nursing students get ready for a game. Image courtesy of McKenzie Phillips.

If any injuries occur on the intramural soccer field, the injured can trust that they are in good hands. This fall semester, a team completely comprised of BYU nursing students came together to play intramural soccer. As these students strengthen their bond as a team, they prove that nursing students do much more than just study.

These students have grown closer as they play together. Elizabeth Eide, nursing student and team member, says, “We always have such a fun time, even if we’re losing. The sense of camaraderie is unlike any that I’ve felt with other teams. We know each other, we like each other, and we have each other’s backs! The sense of friendship and teamwork is incredible. It’s been an awesome season.”

These students become closer as they get to know each other outside the NLC. Rachel Sorenson comments, “It’s just so fun to do something not nursing-related with nursing friends!”

Julia Littledike adds, “A lot of the other teams we play, when they find out we’re a nursing team, always make comments like, ‘Oh, we’re in good hands now’ or ‘We’re safe.’ I think that’s pretty funny.”

Come out and support our team this Saturday at 10am.

received_704822883207616_1541627770938_001

Image courtesy of McKenzie Phillips.

Honoring Veterans on a Utah Honor Flight

By Mindy Longhurst

image

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.

8456

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.

8457

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.”

 

 

Peery Film Festival: College Hosts Films for Students

peery

By Quincey Taylor

Starting on Friday, November 2, the BYU College of Nursing is hosting two different films during the Peery Film Festival. Both will be free of charge. It will be a great opportunity for students to get together and support their university, as well as a fun time enjoying high quality films about the medical field.

To start off, there will be a showing of Leave No Trace on Friday, November 2 at 5:45 p.m. at the Varsity Theater. This film received great reviews, including 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. It tells the true story of a father and daughter that lived for four years undetected in Forest Park, a beautiful nature reserve in Oregon. After being discovered, they must assimilate into normal society, a task made difficult by the veteran father’s PTSD and inability to function around other people. This film is extremely relevant for students to understand the difficulties that veterans, as well as their children, face and how nurses can help as healthcare administrators.

The following week on Tuesday, November 6, the college is hosting a showing of Shout Gladi, Gladi – a  2015 documentary about efforts to help African women suffering with obstetric fistula. It will show at 5:30 in room 1060 of the HBLL. This medical condition, which is caused during childbirth, consists of damage to the bladder that severely inhibits women’s urinary control. An estimated two million women in Africa contract obstetric fistula during labor per year. These women are often rejected by society and live in isolation. This debilitating condition can be completely cured with simple medical procedures, which are easily available in developed countries. The documentary—filmed in Kenya, Malawi, and Sierra Leone and narrated by Meryl Streep—follows the story of nurses who make a push to eradicate the condition and save these distressed women. These women are released not only from a life of bodily suffering, but also reintroduced into society as newly independent individuals.

Both events are free. For other dates and times available check out peeryfilms.byu.edu.

Graduate Student Experiential Learning

By Mindy Longhurst

maren with students on boatGraduate student, Maren Topham and assistant teaching professor, Daphne Thomas with undergraduate students in Tonga. Image courtesy of Topham.

The College of Nursing undergraduates participate in a Public and Global Health study abroad during the spring of their senior year. This experience allows them to learn more about a different culture and study nursing techniques from other parts of the world. In some instances, a graduate student will come and be a mentor figure for the undergraduate students. With the help of a Graduate Mentoring Assistance Grant, graduate student Maren Topham was able to mentor others in the Kingdom of Tonga this past spring.

teaching childrenTeaching Tongan children about hygiene. Image courtesy of Topham.

Topham was able to supervise some of the clinical rotations, teach the undergraduate students and supervise the work with the nurses in Tonga. The purpose of the public and global health clinical is to be completely submerged in another culture. Topham says, “In nursing you take care of a variety of people. I learned valuable lessons that will help me with my career. We had many different cultural experiences. We wanted to learn about how they view family, healthcare and religion.”

blood pressureA nursing student taking someone’s blood pressure. Image courtesy of Topham.

Assistant teaching professor, Daphne Thomas, was able to accompany Topham. It was exciting for Thomas to see Topham mentoring others. Thomas expounds, “Maren was a role model for the undergraduate students! You get to build a relationship with students that you can’t get anywhere else.” A nursing student explains, “I think having a graduate student enhanced our experience because we could have an example of applying the classroom to ‘real life’. We try to do that as nursing students, but we do not yet have that experience! It was great to see how Maren brought education and application together!”

peopleNursing students in Tonga. Image courtesy of Topham.

The experiences and events that they had in Tonga will help everyone to become more loving and compassionate nurses. While in Tonga, they were able to learn more about rheumatic fever and heart disease. This disease in more common in Tonga and is usually a result of untreated strep throat that negatively effects the heart valves. The students were able to learn from the nurses in Tonga about how they treat rheumatic fever and they discussed the ways that it is treated in the United States. Topham loves to be able to learn more about how other countries perform healthcare and how others learn.

weavingA nursing student learning how to weave a rug. Image courtesy of Topham.

The Graduate Mentoring Assistance Grant is given to a certain number of graduate students throughout the university who will be using the funds for experiential learning. This type of learning includes having experiences that help graduate students mentor undergraduate students. With this grant, her whole time in Tonga was financed. The grant even allowed them to be able to have transportation to go into more communities, learning more about the Tongan culture and healthcare system. The experiential learning program allowed Topham to have a life changing experience.

pretty tongaThe beauty of Tonga. Image courtesy of Topham.

Alumna Receives the President’s Volunteer Service Award

By Mindy Longhurst

pence and swensenImage of Melissa Swensen with Second Lady, Karen Pence. Image courtesy of Pence’s Twitter.

BYU College of Nursing alumna, Melissa Swensen (BS’99) received the President’s Volunteer Service Award in April! She received the award from Second Lady, Karen Pence, from Pence’s office on the White House grounds.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award is given to members of the community who exemplify a remarkable amount of service hours for a cause or organization. There are different requirements for the different levels of awards (children, teens, adults). Swensen received the bronze President’s Volunteer Service Award for her 100+ hours of service she has done in a 12 month time period.

Swensen volunteers as a nurse with the American Red Cross to help those at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Swensen works with those who have served our country who are currently suffering from PTSD or TBI.

awardThe President’s Volunteer Service Award. Image courtesy of Pence’s Twitter.

The President’s Volunteer Service Award comes with a certificate, an award pin, medallion or coin. The award also comes with a letter from the President of the United States.

Pence even mentioned Swensen on her Twitter page saying, “As part of National Volunteer Week, had the privilege of presenting the President’s Volunteer Service Award to military spouse, Melissa Swensen. She volunteers as a nurse w/the @RedCross at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence @Fort_Belvoir. Congrats! You are amazing!”

guestsSwensen with guests. Image courtesy of Pence’s Twitter.

The volunteer work she does for those who need it really is amazing. But, what is even more amazing is that during her time she has volunteered, Swensen is also getting her psychiatric DNP at George Mason University. In addition, she is a mother of five children and her husband serves in the military! Melissa Swensen really is an amazing lady. Congratulations!

Welcome New Students Fall 2018!

By Mindy Longhurst

IMG_3850As a new semester starts, the College of Nursing welcomes a new class of future nurses to the program! It is an exciting time of the year. A total of 67 new undergraduates were admitted this semester, eight of which are returning from previous deferment.

A standard of excellence continues within the college considering the average BYU GPA for admittees is an incredible 3.88, along with an ACT score of 30. The average age is 21 consisting of 64 females and 3 males.

IMG_3860Associate dean and Assistant professor Dr. Katreena Merrill.

The program is well represented with students from across the country and even internationally. There are students from Peru and Canada, while 12 different states are represented including: Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

The newly accepted students attended an orientation and dinner last night. These first semester nursing students spent the time getting to know their fellow classmates and learned about the mission, values and creed of the College of Nursing.

Students expressed why they gravitated to the field of nursing. Callie Livingston explained that she was injured frequently and discovered that she loved the care that she received from nurses. Another student, Laura Wilcox, had a strong desire to become a nurse after a dog bit her badly. She said that the nurses gave her feelings of peace. “The nurses inspired me! It made me realize that nursing is more than just physical healing— it is also about emotional and spiritual healing.”

Congratulations on getting into the College of Nursing program!