Tag Archives: BYU

Nursing Staff and Administration Receive SAERA Awards

Photo courtesy of BYU Human Resources

By Jessica Tanner

Three of our incredible staff and administration have recently been recipients of the Staff and Administrative Employee Recognition (SAERA) Award: Kathy Whitenight, Cherie Top, and Cara Wiley. These amazing women have displayed levels of continual learning, innovation, and care that have improved the College of Nursing and BYU. The University-sponsored SAERA Award recognizes those who have shown competency, respect for sacred resources, integrity, teamwork, exceeding customer expectation, respect for all individuals, innovation and accountability. These women have definitely achieved that.

Kathy Whitenight

Kathy Whitenight

Competency: Striving for excellence and sharpening skills on a continuous basis, 2018.

“As an assistant dean, Kathy Whitenight is essential to the workings of the college of Nursing,” writes Dean Patricia Ravert, who nominated her for the award in 2018. On receiving the award Whitenight reports, “I know when other people are getting the awards but I had no idea I was submitted. So it was a big surprise and really an honor to get it.”

There were several reasons why Dean Ravert nominated Whitenight in the competency category. Whitenight has kept up with legal matters, managed updates in physical facilities, and overseen human resources.  Another major department she oversees is Risk Management, where she helps students get the care they need in case of incident or injury. In this duty, Whitenight demonstrates personal care to each student. “They have my cellphone; they can call me 24/7,” she explains. “I’ve only gotten one call in the last year at 3:00 a.m. but I want them to that. I’d rather have them do that than not get the care they need and the financial coverage.” Whitenight keeps up on policies and procedures to help students avoid potential problems.

On Whitenight’s wall hangs James C. Christensen’s painting The Widow’s Might. “I have this picture on the wall,” she explains, “because…most of the things [we do] are done through tithing dollars. And that’s the widow’s mite.” Working with finances, Whitenight handles sacred resources with great care and respect.

Whitenight has to learn continually to keep up with technology and policies. “Each day something new could come in that I’ve never experienced before. And that’s what makes it exciting.”

Cherie Top

Cherie Top:

Exceeding Service Expectations: Serving the needs of others beyond what is expected, 2018

Cherie Top, the Graduate Program and Research Secretary, was awarded for exceeding service expectations. Associate Dean and Professor Jane Lasseter nominated Top after seeing her interact with the students that would come up to apply for the graduate nursing program. “When we have our new applicants coming in they have to do a writing prompt,” Top explains. “And when they come in for their writing prompt we take their photo so that we can use it for the interview…So I make them take a picture up against the wall right next to Jane’s office. In her letter she talked about how I’m really nice to them because they come in and they’re really nervous for the writing prompt.” She helps to put these students at ease as they apply for their future.

Top is also consistently helpful and kind to the other faculty and staff. In fact, the people she gets to work with are her favorite part of her job. “The thing I like most about working here is the environment and the people that we work with. I feel like the staff and the faculty are a really close-knit group but they’re also really inviting.” She immediately felt included when she started working at BYU almost four years ago.

As for receiving the award, Top says, “I was super, super surprised. I didn’t even know they did those awards,” she admits with a laugh. “And they kept it a really good secret—they did it during college assembly and it was just a normal college assembly and I didn’t know it was going to happen.” It was a pleasant surprise, and the clock she received (the SAERA Award trophy) sits shining on her cabinet.

Cara Wiley

Cara Wiley

Innovation: Finding ways to improve products/services to change the way work is accomplished, 2019

Advisement Center Supervisor Cara Wiley was nominated for the SAERA Award by Associate Dean and Associate Professor Katreena Merrill in the innovation category. This was prompted by Wiley’s push for and implementation of an orientation class for first-semester nursing students.

“Before, the students had nothing,” says Wiley. When she became part of BYU nursing advisement, there was no orientation at all for nursing students. An orientation dinner was introduced, but it still was not enough. Wiley remembers, “I researched…other schools here at BYU who have limited enrollment programs, and they had orientation meetings.” It seemed to work for them, so Wiley worked to implemented it in the College of Nursing. It eventually turned into a 390R class so students could have it in their schedules.

“We’re trying to develop emotional intelligence, students’ resiliency, and [also] working on perfectionism,” Wiley explains.  “It’s literally meant to orient them, [to say], hey, this is what it’s going to be like in the nursing program.” Students are able to meet future faculty and learn about a wide variety of subjects. Wiley reports it is a work in progress. “We just keep tweaking it, trying to make it better, trying to help them come in and learn how to be resilient in the first semester so that when they hit the harder semesters, they can handle it.”

Wiley has enjoyed being a part of the orientation class. “It’s nice for me, for the advisement center, to be involved in this orientation class because the students get to know us.” It also brought about the nomination for the SAERA Award. Though she was shocked to get the award, she was also grateful. “I haven’t gotten an award like that in my 14 years of being here and it was really nice to be recognized by my boss…We’ve been doing a lot of changes, and now we’re seeing the results.”

 

Earthquake at the MTC: Nursing Students Participate in Mock Mass Casualty Incident

By Jessica Tanner

Watch the video of the mock Mass Casualty Incident here!

In the cool, dark tunnels beneath the Provo Missionary Training Center, 100 victims cried out for help. At 4:00 pm on March 30, 2019, an emergency call was answered by BYU Emergency Medical Services and College of Nursing students, who quickly came to the rescue. They handled the situation with level heads and caring hands, treating scrapes and bruises, broken bones and shock. Within a few hours, victims had been treated and cared for.

Similar emergency simulations takes place each semester for fifth-semester nursing students, organized by BYU EMS. Each time is a different situation and location. The most recent disaster was an earthquake. BYU theatre students volunteered to be earthquake victims, with fake wounds and ripped clothes to set the scene. Some had scratches and bruises, others missing eyes or fingers, some had broken bones, and others had glass embedded in their wounds. Once in the tunnel, these students did not hold back in acting the part of a victim—wounded and afraid, calling out for help and for loved ones.

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BYU EMS carry an earthquake victim

Nursing students and EMS rushed in from various locations, including BYU campus and near-by homes. They searched along the tunnel for those in critical condition. Amidst a cacophony of moans and screams, they were able to identify which victims were in the most need by a wristband that identified their vitals and condition. They tied red tags on victims in critical condition, yellow tags for less serious injuries, and green who were not in need of urgent treatment. Most victims, however, fell into the first two categories.

Students set up a treatment center with incredible speed—a large tarp near the tunnel entrance with medical supplies at the ready. EMS carried red-tagged victims to the treatment area. Here, nursing students and EMS were direct and compassionate as they asked questions, such as “What is your name?”, “Can you hear me?” or “Where does it hurt?” They reassured the victims, saying, “We’re going to take care of you, all right?” as they called out for oxygen and gauze. Working together, nursing students and EMS were able to treat those in need.

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A nursing student treats and calms an earthquake victim

“I hope that they’ll see another side of healthcare,” says associate teaching professor Dr. Blaine Winters on what he hopes the nursing students have learned from the simulation. “They’re usually in a very controlled environment in the hospital and when things happen outside of a hospital it’s not controlled, it’s chaos. So I wanted them to get an understanding of what goes on before the patient gets to the hospital. And then also to be able to function if they were to be put in that type of situation; to at least have a little experience of what they could do as a nurse in the field if they had to.”

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Nursing students and BYU EMS work together to treat patients

One important skill students learned, besides basic treatments, is communication. Fifth-semester nursing student Jaylee Bastian says, “We were working with other EMS as well as the patients, so it was good to know how to communicate and be open and friendly especially with the patients because they were in such dire circumstances.” Even though those “dire circumstance” were simulated, participants like Bastian were fully engaged in the process.

Emergencies happen. But being prepared for these situations, not only through study but through practice, can calm chaos and save lives.

 

The Anatomy and Chemistry Survival Guide

By Jessica Tanner

Finals are almost here. Fortunately, so is Emerie McQuiston, a second-semester student working as a first-year student mentor. While she focuses on mentoring pre-nursing students, especially as they balance Chemistry 285 and Human Anatomy homework, the strategies she gives are universal. So, whether you need some study tips for finals or are looking to do the prerequisites in the coming semesters, this study guide can help you not only survive but thrive in your classes. It may even help you form lasting friendships.

McQuiston had a lot of insight, but she knew that her methods wouldn’t work for everyone. She reached out to friends and classmates to come up with a study guide for her students. “It [is] beneficial to have people that are similar to them but also a ton of different opinions because everyone learns a little bit differently.” Here is what McQuiston and her peers recommend:

Anatomy and Chemistry Survival Guide

I asked some of my classmates what they thought helped them most in Human Anatomy and Chem 285. These classes can be tough, and I thought that it would be beneficial for some to have multiple opinions on how to succeed. I hope you can find something on this list that helps you. You are going to do great this semester!

Chemistry:

  • (Savage) After class each day, go through your notes and do as much as you can on the problem set. Doing it as you go helps so it’s not as much work at the end, and also gives you the opportunity to ask for help if you need it.
  • Block out at least one TA reviews in your schedule. Treat it like another class and try not to miss.
  • Form a study group and try to meet at least once a week.
  • For study groups, try to find a regular time during the week to hold your meetings. Setting a regular time allows you to be more prepared to contribute and/or come up with questions beforehand.
  • Find study groups that you can also be friends with. That way, studying is fun while being productive, rather than just stress.
  • There is a walk-in tutorial lab in W151 BNSN. They are open most of the day and there are always TAs to help with homework or studying. Some suggested just doing homework in the lab so you can ask questions as they come up.
  • Reach out to your TAs! They are very well qualified to help you. They can bridge the gap between your professor and you.
  • Notice how the material is applying in your life. The more you think about it, the more it will stick.

Anatomy:

  • Teach everyone you can about what you learn: your roommates, your mom, everyone! Repetition is key.
  • Regularly schedule time in the lab. Block out your schedule at some point each week.
  • Find good study groups as soon as possible.
  • Repeat from above but…Find study groups that you can also be friends with. That way, studying is fun while being productive, rather than just stress.
  • Focus your study on the learning objectives for lecture.
  • For the terms, breaking them down and understand all parts makes them easier to remember.
  • Look up pictures online of different body parts you are studying so you can get used to seeing a variety of bodies.
  • Go to open lab and study with different students. Finding out how other people study and remember things can be very beneficial.
  • When it comes to the final, go through the body head to toe, making sure you know everything.
  • Go to at least one weekly review each week.

Of course, don’t feel like you have to do all of things to do well in these classes! Find something that works well for you and stick with it.

…..

McQuiston enjoys being a student mentor. “I love it! I love helping pre-nursing students especially…I feel like it really does make a difference for them,” she says. “I wish that I had someone close to me that I could ask questions [to] about the program before I got in.” She has decided to pay it forward and help others.

One of the best rewards has been the friendships she has made both from student mentoring and her study groups. “I have even connected some of my students together because they are all pre-nursing,” she explains. “And I have students that have formed friendships through that.” Yes, studying hard is important, but why not make friends at the same time? By following McQuiston’s survival guide, you won’t just pass your classes, you will look back on rewarding experiences and life-long friendships.

Good luck with finals everyone!

 

 

Minors That Complement a Nursing Degree

By Mindy Longhurst

A nursing degree from Brigham Young University provides students with a comprehensive education including a diverse range of healthcare-related subjects. Though a minor will add to a student’s already heavy workload, learning about fields that are complementary to nursing is beneficial. Global women’s studies and gerontology are two subjects that line up perfectly with a nursing student’s career goals.

Global Women’s Studies Minor

The newly created global women’s studies minor encourages students to be more compassionate and caring when interacting and caring for women. Learning more
about women, especially from a global perspective, can help nurses to be more effective in the workforce.

Nursing students can complete this minor without delaying graduation or adding too many extra classes to their schedule. It requires only a three-credit Introduction to Global Women’s Studies course, two one-credit colloquium classes, two three-credit elective sessions such as women in science and women’s health issues, and two nursing classes they are already taking: the public and global health nursing course practicum and the nursing capstone project.

According to the program outcomes for the minor, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the ways that different institutions, issues (such as media or religion), and factors (such as the workplace) intersect with and affect women’s lives. They should be able to demonstrate knowledge of the worldwide contributions of women to history, culture, politics, health, science, religion, and family.

The program also expects that students will read, write, and think analytically. They will be able to conduct research using primary and secondary sources and communicate that research effectively in oral, written, and multimedia presentations. Delsa Richards, the nursing undergraduate studies secretary, believes that receiving a minor in global women’s studies will encourage nursing students to become better nurses. She says, “Nursing students and professionals interact with many women. Having a deeper understanding of women will increase their compassion and capacity as a nurse. It is an interdisciplinary minor to gain an in-depth understanding of the ways that gender plays a critical role in the lives of women and men. This will help the students learn more about the people that they are going to help.”

Gerontology Minor

Given the nation’s aging population, the gerontology minor is a valuable addition to a nursing degree. Gerontology involves caring for elderly individuals and handling their health needs. Students who minor in gerontology will learn about the aging process and its psychological and sociological implications. They will also learn how to improve their elderly patients’ quality of life and how to help them get the most out of their later years.

Because nursing students are already required to take courses in gerontology, it is easy for them to obtain this minor. Any nursing student who does not have a capstone course focused on labor and delivery or pediatrics is automatically eligible for the minor; students who have a capstone project focused in labor and delivery or pediatrics can still
achieve the minor if they want. However, a student must declare the minor to receive it. There are currently 69 nursing students enrolled in the gerontology minor.

Having a gerontology minor inspires nursing students to gain additional skills to help their aging patients. Older people tend to have more complex care because of different social, emotional, and physical issues. Gerontology work also includes understanding which signs of aging are normal and which are not. Associate teaching professor Dr. Blaine Winters assists students who want to obtain the gerontology minor. “I believe
having a gerontology minor will help after graduation,” he says. “The majority of the patients that they are going to take care of in their careers are older adults, so having this knowledge and focus will support them.”

Students Present Research at Global Health Conference

By Jessica Tanner

Congratulations to the students and faculty who presented at this  year’s Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) in Chicago, March 8 – 10. Students presented poster presentations on research done in Vietnam with Professor Karen Lundberg and Professor Cheryl Corbett. Davin Brown, a sixth-semester nursing student, shares about his research and conference experience.

What was your research about?

“Our poster presentation was on [what] we did on our study abroad in Vietnam,” says Brown. Working with Black Hmong and Red Dzao tribes in northern Vietnam, they researched and taught about local health concerns.  The biggest concern is trafficking, followed by topics such as first aid, hygiene, and sanitation.

The group prepared beforehand to spend two weeks in Vietnam by doing research and preparing lessons. They then took what they had learned to local leaders. “We met with lots of these leaders of the tribal communities the things that we knew.” They taught ways to prevent human trafficking and sanitation techniques, following the teacher’s method. Brown explains, “The idea was they could disseminate that information to their families and tribes.”

What was your most memorable experience in Vietnam?

“Everything,” Brown laughs. How could he choose just one? “We trekked all throughout these valleys with these guides that we had taught these health techniques to, and we lived in their houses and we cooked with them…It was really cool. It was really pretty there, too.”

What happened at the conference?

At the three-day conference, there were several speakers and presenters. Two hours a day was dedicated to poster presentations. Researchers set up their posters in a large, open room and learned from one another. “Everyone could just walk around and ask questions about your poster [and] the research you had done,” Brown explains.

Was there other research you found interesting?

“A couple things stood out to me,” Brown says. “One of them was the keynote speaker…She talked about how corruption in healthcare has caused us to lose trillions of dollars in healthcare throughout the world…It was kind of a call to researchers to say, hey, let’s start researching and learn to combat this huge elephant in the room.” There was also a presentation on Google glasses—a special pair of lenses that allowed one surgeon in L.A. to connect to a surgeon in Africa. “The L.A. surgeon can see everything the African surgeon can see and hear and is able to walk him through certain techniques.” That is truly forward-thinking technology.

How did other attendees respond to your research?

“We were one of the few groups that was just undergraduate nursing students,” Brown explains. “For the most part, they were all PhDs or MDs. So that was pretty neat to be there; they all thought it was a neat thing that we did.”

At BYU, presenting research is not just for graduate students. The College of Nursing focuses on helping undergraduate students gain experience through research, mentored learning, and studies abroad. It helps them have opportunities like Brown’s—being able to present research and learn first-hand from other medical researchers across the nation. Students enter into the workforce better prepared to serve.

 

Did you miss Night of Nursing? Here’s a recap!

By Jessica Tanner

Hundreds of nursing alumni. Forty locations. One epic event. Last Thursday, March 7, 2019, was our sixth annual Night of Nursing. Alumni assembled across the country in one great night of fun, laughter, prizes, and inspiring messages.

In case you missed it, here is our recap from the Provo location!

The games. Who can forget Dean Ravert playing “pin the bandage on the wound” or Assistant Professor Dr. Bret Lyman scoring at Operation? Students and alumni also tossed beanbags into a giant Operation board for prizes. Is there a better way to spend a rainy Thursday?

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Students and alumni gather to toss beanbags into the giant Operation board.

The mascot. This acrobatic cougar does not just go to athletic events and games. Cosmo put smiles on everyone’s faces at Night of Nursing. He did flips, played operation, and took photos with attendees.

The broadcast. Dean Ravert reported the highlights of 2018, including our students’ exceptional test scores. Our students had a first-time 100% NCLEX-RN licensure and the American Nurses Credentialing Center certifying exam in 2018. The dean also shared updates, such as the announcement of new faculty and a hint at an upcoming rise in rank from the U.S. News & World Report. (Follow this link to see what it is!) Intermountain Healthcare also presented a gift of $50,000 for student scholarships.

During the broadcast, we connected with alumni from classes 1956 to 2018. Nola Jean Davis Whipple graduated in the first BYU College of Nursing class of 1956. Since then she has worked in surgery and heart surgery units.  She established the first nursing office of the U.S. embassy in Guatemala and served in the U.S. embassy medical unit in Kenya. Last week she said hello from St. George, where she now lives.

“We started out giving shots to oranges and then we had to practice on each other,” Whipple remembers. “The school has improved humongously, wonderfully…I am proud to see what it’s become.” Marilyn Wallen, an alum from the class of 1966, also said hello from St. George. “And I still work!” Wallen reported enthusiastically. This earned a cheer from our live audience.

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Eva Stonemen, a former faculty member, addresses the audience with Public Relations Supervisor Jeff Peery.

Professor emeritus Eva Stoneman, who graduated from BYU College of Nursing in 1959, attended the Provo location. She worked for 50 years and has attended every single Night of Nursing event. “Nursing’s a wonderful field,” she added. We are with you on that, Eva! We applaud these women for their contributions and example.

The raffle. It was likely the most intense event of the evening. Each student, alumni, or faculty sat with a ticket or two clutched in their hands, wondering if their number would be called. Throughout the event, they cheered each other on as they won prizes. Several attendees left with goodies, including the ever-coveted BYU College of Nursing socks and Dr. Renea Beckstrand’s homemade fudge.

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A nursing student receives a license plate cover as a prize!

The service. Students, faculty, and alumni brought pairs of socks to donate. We collaborated with Sigma Theta Tau International to provide socks for local refugees.

The alumni. Outside of Provo, alumni gathered to connect in 39 locations. Night of Nursing is wonderful because each area is unique – some had a few alumni and others had dozens, some played games and others served dinner. The important thing is simply getting to know each other. One alum says, “Thanks for creating an opportunity for alumni to connect in communities throughout the U.S.!” Another reported, “The host did a great job of decorating and making us feel welcome.”

One host writes, “We each saw others around the country that we know or went to school with. Thank you for this event to keep us connected!” This is why we love Night of Nursing. The food and prizes are nice, but the friendships we make and keep are much sweeter.

Night of Nursing will return on March 5, 2020!

 

 

Student Spotlight: Kaycen Caldwell

By Jessica Tanner

Kaycen Caldwell never thought he would be a Driver’s Education instructor. A fifth-semester nursing student, Caldwell was introduced to the idea by a roommate who thought he would be good for the job. Caldwell was skeptical, but after trying it for himself he found it to be a decent job. “It’s actually pretty nice,” Caldwell admits. “It’s enjoyable. I like it.” He has now been teaching students to drive for two years.

Caldwell appreciates the job’s flexibility and independence. “[My boss] trusts that I’m there, that I’m teaching what I’m supposed to,” explains Caldwell, “and as long as they pass their tests he’s cool with whatever I do.” Caldwell has found crossovers between nursing and being a Driver’s Ed instructor. For one, working with people. Patients and students alike often require time, attention, and patience. Nurses also spend much of their time teaching and explaining.  “I’m teaching constantly at work, so it helps with that crossover to teaching patients.” Caldwell says.

When he first came to school, Caldwell was not considering nursing. “I wanted to be a doctor because I thought doctors were the ones who had a lot of patient interaction. I figured out that wasn’t the case; it is actually the nurses that do.” After some encouragement from his mother to consider nursing, Caldwell decided to take the prerequisites to see if he liked them. “I liked it a lot,” Caldwell reports. “So I decided to apply for the program. I got in and ever since it’s been something that I know I’m going to like and do well in.”

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Caldwell participates at “Nurseworking” speed luncheon

When Caldwell is not teaching Driver’s Ed or studying nursing, he is playing sports, running for a Lazy Ironman, or hanging out with friends. “Hobbies are kind of endless,” he says. He also taught himself to juggle and crochet and loves reading. “I always have a book I’m reading that’s not related to nursing,” he says.

Approaching his final semester, Caldwell plans his next step by looking back. His most memorable moments have been working in pediatrics and obstetrics and interacting with sick children and their families. Caldwell is grateful that he and his family have been fortunate not to be affected by similar hardships. “I think it was just sitting in those rooms, talking to the families and everything for me to realize that yeah, you’ve got it good.” These experiences has not just given him perspective but also motivation.  “I’m also grateful to be in a position where I can help people who are struggling with those very hard-to-deal-with things in their lives,” says Caldwell. After graduation in December, he hopes to work in the NICU and help those in need.