Tag Archives: nursing

Nurses with Shin Guards

By Quincey Taylor

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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.

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Image courtesy of McKenzie Phillips.

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Three Nursing Student Experiences with Ohio Internship

By Mindy Longhurst

all threeImage of Christin Hickman, James Reinhardt and Cortney Welch at The Ohio State University. Image courtesy of Hickman.

Three College of Nursing students were able to research with some of the best mentors in the field of cancer research this summer with The Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSUCCC). The experiences that they had this summer were once in a lifetime (to learn more about how they received the internship opportunity read our previous article https://byunursing.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/a-really-good-big-deal/). Christin Hickman, Cortney Welch and James Reinhardt were able to work with a team of fellow researchers on a certain topic about cancer or cancer-related research. The team that they worked with involved a statistician, a PhD supervisor and a few other research students. In Ohio, a study was conducted that focused on a wide range of health topics, from this information each of the students focused on one aspect of the questionnaire for possible correlations. Following the summer’s research, they worked on publishing an article about their research and presented to a room full of PhD professors on their research findings.

templeImage of Christin Hickman and others at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Columbus, Ohio temple. Image courtesy of Welch.

Christin’s experience

Christin Hickman, a fourth semester nursing student, wanted to participate in this internship experience to see if she wanted to do research full-time in the future. During this time, Hickman focused on colorectal cancer, which is a very preventable form of cancer through regular colonoscopy screenings. Hickman was able to see if there was a difference in knowledge and awareness of colorectal screening rates for those who live in urban areas versus rural areas. Through studying and research, she discovered that in Ohio there is little difference in the knowledge and amount of screenings in rural versus urban participants. The experiences that she had in Ohio helped her to prepare for the future and understand more about how research works. Hickman explains, “This experience helped me to secure my destiny. It feels like research is really what I want to do with my life.” In the future Hickman wants to study more about precision medicine and genetic research.

cortney welch with posterImage of Cortney Welch with her poster that was presented to PhD professors of her research findings. Image courtesy of Welch.

Cortney’s experience

Third semester nursing student, Cortney Welch, enjoyed her time in Ohio. She was able to research if there was a correlation in social cohesion in communities and colorectal cancer screenings. By the end of the summer, she was able to conclude that there is not a correlation in social cohesion in communities and colorectal cancer screenings. Along with the research, Welch was also able to work in a blood sample lab for patients who are using clinical trials for cancer treatment. She was able to help centrifuge, aliquoted blood and labeled the blood samples. Welch loved the experience that she received in both research labs. Welch says, “The internship was a growing experience. When I came home from the internship, I felt accomplished that I had experienced my first taste of a full-time job. I had learned how to do research, how to write a paper. I felt like it was a great use of my summer. It was hard and it was frustrating at times and tedious but I think it was well worth my time. I learned a lot.”

all three with HimesImage of Hickman, Reinhardt and Welch with assistant professor Dr. Deborah Himes. Image courtesy of Hickman.

James’ experience

James Reinhardt, a fourth semester nursing student, was able to focus his research on preventing cancer through a research study on men’s overall health. He studied at-risk participants on how they rated their health. Reinhardt tried to understand why some men would rate their health as poor. Since many of the participants did not take the survey throughout the intervention process, it was very difficult for Reinhardt to come to any conclusion about why these men rated their health as low. However, throughout the process in Ohio, Reinhardt learned many lessons. Reinhardt expounds, “I hopefully will be able to better see road blocks in future research projects. My overall experience was great! We did get to work along with medical students and students from different schools so that was a cool mix to be in. I got to learn how research is vital.”

Overall, the College of Nursing students had a great experience in Ohio. They were able to learn and grow to become better nurses. They are now taking the skills that they learned in Ohio and are implementing them into their current nursing studies.

From Tourette’s to Nursing School

By Calvin Petersen

Jared Lorimier understands first-hand what suffering from a medical disorder is like. He developed the motor and vocal tics of Tourette’s Syndrome when he was eight years old.

“I was really confused about why I had Tourette’s and it caused me a lot of grief and pain,” says Jared, a native of Nederland, Texas. Much of that grief came from elementary classmates, who teased Jared about his disorder.

Jared eventually learned how to control his Tourette’s, which ultimately inspired his decision to become a nurse. “I know there are people out there that are confused about why they have certain diseases and confused about why their health isn’t the best. I just want to be there to comfort people with things like that.” His compassion and ability to overcome difficulty makes Jared a perfect fit for BYU’s nursing program.

Jared Lorimier Profile

While Jared is open to what the future brings, he currently hopes to work in a NICU. He believes that it “would be rewarding work and a really spiritual experience.”

Up for the Challenge

Although Jared always knew he wanted to be in the medical field, he decided to become a nurse only recently. “When I think of nursing, I think of the challenges that the nurses are faced with and I’ve always liked challenges,” says Jared. One of his biggest challenges is his demanding weekly schedule.

Not only is Jared taking rigorous first-semester nursing courses, but he is also on the BYU track team, which takes up nearly 20 hours of his week in practices alone. Furthermore, Jared is a counselor in his YSA ward bishopric. Even with all this, he still manages to find time to watch ‘The 100’ and ‘Stranger Things’ with his wife.

On top of handling a heavy schedule, learning the basics of medical attention will be an added challenge. While such challenges would make some apprehensive, Jared only smiles in anticipation with confidence that he can do it all.

Jared Lorimier 2

A Pair of Nurses

Jared is one of just four males admitted to BYU’s College of Nursing program this semester. “When I first decided that I wanted to apply to nursing school, of course I thought of the stereotype of being a male nurse, but honestly it didn’t deter me. I think it’s important, especially with the growing need of nurses, for males to break that stereotype.”

Moreover, of the four first-semester male students, Jared is the only one who is married. His wife, Madeline, is thrilled at his decision to become a nurse because she’s going to school to become one herself. “We’re both super excited to learn from each other,” says Jared.

Even though Madeline was preparing to become a nurse before Jared, things worked out so that they could start their studies at the same time, with Madeline at Utah Valley University and Jared at BYU. “Now that I’m here, I want to make sure I get everything I can out of this program,” concludes Jared. If he demonstrates the same level of determination and empathy he has so far, there’s no doubt that he will.

The Girl Who Loves Getting Sick

By Calvin Petersen

There’s a reason people say things like, “I’m going to avoid it like the plague!” Most people are worried, even terrified, of becoming sick. Most. Not Erin Ward. A student in her first semester of BYU’s nursing program, Erin actually looks forward to getting sick.

Erin told her classmates that getting strep throat was the best thing that happened over Christmas break at her home in Virginia Beach. “Everyone looked at me like I was really weird,” says Erin. “I love, love getting sick. And this is terrible, but I do, I love getting sick.”

To her, getting sick is the perfect excuse for Erin’s mom to make chicken noodle soup, bring her warm blankets and allow her a day of uninterrupted sleep. “I think it’s a really nice feeling. Everybody wants somebody to take care of them once in a while.” Understanding what it means to receive devoted care is just one reason why Erin feels at home in BYU’s College of Nursing.

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A 9th Grade Prophecy

Erin’s 9th grade chemistry teacher was the first to tell her that he thought she’d make a great nurse.  “That’s so sexist! You’re saying that because I’m a girl,” thought Erin, “I’m going to become a chemical engineer.” However, several chemistry classes later, she realized chemistry just wasn’t for her. Erin instead fell in love with volunteering at local hospitals where caring for patients took on a more spiritual aspect.

“I just really wanted to do what the Savior would be doing. And I thought ‘If the Savior could be anywhere, He would be administering unto the sick.’ So I started volunteering at hospitals. I was fourteen and then I kept going all the way through senior year in high school.” She became a certified nursing assistant (CNA) and worked at the hospital every summer, providing basic care to patients.

An Angel in the Cardiac Unit

During one of her volunteer shifts at the hospital, Erin took ice chips to a bed-bound woman in the cardiac unit. She stayed after her ice delivery to give the woman some company. At one point in their conversation, the woman smiled warmly at Erin and said reverently, “I see the light of Christ all around you. You glow like you are an angel.” Erin was moved by her words and was surprised to find out that the woman wasn’t LDS.

“That was an amazing experience,” says Erin. “That was probably the first time I realized that the little things really can make a difference. I just brought her ice chips and talked to her, which made an impression on her, and more importantly, made an impression on me.”

Erin West Portrait

Not only does Erin love getting sick, but she also loves the hospital. “People have terrible memories in the hospital and that makes me so sad because for me everything about the hospital is super positive. I even like the smell,” she says. Nursing is evidently the perfect career for her.

A Committed Nurse in Training

Even though Erin was offered a four-year, full-tuition scholarship and entrance to the honors nursing program as a freshman at the University of Utah, she decided to study nursing at BYU. Beginning the rigorous first semester of the program also meant she had to give up taking band class. “In high school, I was third in the state for French horn,” Erin recalls.

Additionally, she stepped down from her student government position for on-campus housing. And although she won’t have time for an American Sign Language (ASL) class either, Erin hopes to use her six years of experience signing on her upcoming LDS mission. To Erin, becoming a nurse means becoming more like the Savior, and that makes any sacrifice worth it.

“The Savior, ministers to the one and nursing is completely ministering to the one. I mean, taking time to bring water to someone or talking to somebody when you’re really busy, that’s ministering to the one. That’s why nurses do what they do, because of those little interactions. I think those little ‘You are an angel’ moments are what keep us going. I think that’s probably what would make the Savior very happy.”

Be a Voice for Patient Safety

The problem is becoming more and more serious. In 1999 Americans learned from the study, To Error is Human by the Institute of Medicine that 98,000 patients die every year from preventable errors in hospitals. In 2013, a study in the Journal of Patient Safety found an increasing number between 210,000 and 440,000 patients are dying from preventable errors each year in hospitals.

This striking statistic is causing many to acUnited Safetyt. Each year, to help health care organizations increase safety, The National Safety Patient Foundation promotes an annual education and awareness week campaign. Patient Safety Awareness Week educates healthcare staff and patients about the importance of preventing errors within hospitals.

As a nurse it is important to start early, practicing good safety habits to keep patients safe and healthy. Patient safety research shows that most errors occur during change-of-shift report.  As a result, a standardized change-of-shift report was created to reduce nurse to nurse communication errors. The following is done:

    1. Require two nurse signatures
    2. Adhere evaluations

These two simple tasks can prevent many complications and can help patients get the correct care they need. For nurses it is important to increase communication during these pivotal moments of  in between care and shift changing.

As a patient it is also important to talk to your healthcare professional to make sure you understand your own care.  Make sure your nurse or hospital staff explain to you any medication, treatments or procedures. Ask the following :

  1. Name of your medication
  2. Purpose of your medication
  3. Time for your medication to be taken
  4. How to take your medication
  5. Side effects of the medication

If you feel your nurse or hospital staff have not answered these questions ask them to do so.

Together, patients and healthcare professionals can eliminate the problem of unsafe healthcare. As everyone works together with better communication, everyone can prevent errors in hospitals every day, and not just during Patient Safety Awareness Week.

Why getting hit by a car will make you appreciate nurses

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Photo credit Wampa-One.

“I’m actually going to get hit,” I think as I take a final look at the car coming towards me. “Why didn’t he stop at the stop sign?” The black metal connects with my bicycle. Smack. Windshield cracks. Crunch. I hit the asphalt. I’m up. Head hurts, swimming, hot, bleeding. Somebody is asking me if they should call 911. Yes. The police come, so does the ambulance. After a flurry of questions I’m off to the hospital.

This wasn’t the first time I’ve been hurt and needed medical care. My hobbies of snowboarding and long boarding have put me in the hospital two other times. But while the incidents have been different, the feeling that comes from being taken care of when I really need it has stayed the same. It’s a feeling of trust and security. It’s a feeling I get as soon as nurses start taking care of me.

Nurses are busy. They are on their feet all day and look after hundreds of patients with different problems. Anyone who has been to a hospital has seen this. As I sat down to get stitched up after the car hit me I told the male nurse I had been on my way home from the new student orientation for the College of Nursing at BYU. He chuckled and said, “I bet they told all the new students nursing is the greatest job in the world. What they don’t tell them is that they are going to be working their butts off every day.”

It amazes me that despite the high demand of their job, nurses are still able to treat each individual patient with compassion and care. Each time I’ve been to the hospital the nurses have listened to me, kept me informed and even joked around with me.

It’s because of this compassion and care that I didn’t question the nurse who started scrubbing gravel out of my raw hand with an alcohol wipe. She explained to me why she had to do it, and even though it hurt more than getting hit by the car I let her scrub. I trust nurses because they know what they’re doing and know what’s best for me.

IMG_1187I don’t think I could ever be a nurse. I got a tour of the College of Nursing’s simulation lab my first day on the job and got woozy just looking at a fake arm with a needle in it. But my aversion to needles and dread of bodily fluids only make me respect nurses more.

With 11 stitches in my forehead and some major road rash everywhere else, I was lucky to come away from the car accident without serious injury. But just as much as I’ll remember getting hit by a car, I’ll remember the way the nurses took care of me when I really needed it.

By Nate Brown—BYU College of Nursing public relations assistant

Laughter: the best medicine

According to The Washington Post, “humor has been shown to decrease health-care workers’ anxiety, create a sense of control, and boost spirits in difficult moments.”

For that reason, we are sharing some humorous stories today from nurses around the country.221fdcec88710d005cdd65ab554f93a1

“On a busy med-surg floor, the doctor stopped to brief me on a patient’s condition: ‘This patient is a fellow physician and my favorite golf partner. His injury is serious and I fear he will not be able to play golf again unless you follow my orders exactly.’

The doctor then began listing orders: ‘You must give an injection in a different location every 20 minutes, followed by a second injection exactly five minutes after the first. He must take two pills at exactly every hour, followed by one pill every 15 minutes for eight hours. He must drink no more and no less than 10 ounces of water every 25 minutes and must void between. Soak his arm in warm water for 15 minutes, then place ice for 10 minutes and repeat over and over for the rest of the day. Give range of motion every 30 minutes. He requires a back rub and foot rub every hour. Feed him something tasty every hour. Be cheerful and do whatever he asks at all times. Chart his condition and vital signs every 20 minutes. You must do these things exactly as I ordered or his injury will not heal properly, and he will not able to play golf well.’

The doctor left and I entered the patient’s room. I was greeted by anxious family members and an equally anxious patient. All quickly asked what the doctor had said about the patient. I stated, ‘The doctor said that you will live.’ Then quickly reviewing the orders, I added, ‘But you will have to learn a new sport.'”

— from Scrubs Magazine

“A hospital posted a notice in the nurses’ lounge that said: ‘Remember, the first five minutes of a human being’s life are the most dangerous.’ Underneath, a nurse had written: ‘The last five are pretty risky, too.'”

— from Scrubs Magazine

“Hospital regulations require a wheelchair for patients being discharged. However, while working as a student nurse, I found one elderly gentleman already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet, who insisted he didn’t need my help to leave the hospital.

After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let me wheel him to the elevator. On the way down, I asked him if his wife was meeting him.

‘I don’t know,’ he said. ‘She’s still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown.’

— from Scrubs Magazine

“One evening while administering medication to an elderly lady the following exchange took place:nursing-quotations-funny

‘Hi, I have your medication for you.’

‘Oh, okay.’

‘I’m gonna give you some Pepcid for your stomach, but I’m putting it in your IV.’

(Patient looked a bit perplexed) ‘Okay. Uhmmm…I have a question.’

‘Oh, what’s your question?’

‘Well, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but I was just wondering …why Pepsi and not Coke?’

— from Scrubs Magazine

I was the only nurse on duty during the morning shift and together with a nursing aide, we were caring for five newborn babies. We liked to talk in shortened sentences to save time and incredibly, we could understand each other easily.

During the shift, one of the babies being monitored was undergoing photolight therapy with standard order of resting intervals whenever her body temperature became elevated. While providing morning care to another baby, our nursing aide shouted from the other side of our unit.

‘Hey, baby G’s temp is 37.6. Shall I kill the lights off?’

‘Wait, I’ll double check the chart.’

Unnoticed by us, a relative approached our area to borrow a pen.

‘Yeah, 37.6 is not safe. Kill it off!’

‘You better be sure. This is not going to be easy! She’s gonna cry hard!’

I glanced at the relative and she was looking positively horrified! She didn’t know that we were just talking about the photolight machine that had a very noisy light switch.”

— from Nurse Buff

Share your fun nursing stories in the comments!