By Mandi Enger
Anxiously anticipating graduation this May, regular-track nursing students assembled at the Dawson Campus on March 23, 2012 to exhibit Senior Community Project Presentations to Nevada State College students, faculty, and staff.
Each year, last-semester nursing students partner with community organizations to develop their clinical, communication, and research skills in a practical setting. In collaboration with each partnering facility, student groups select a research topic based upon a current need within the organization. During the research process, students are hands-on, providing patient care and working with medical staff and administration. At the end of the study, students provide recommendations based upon their research findings. In many cases the student recommendations are adopted by the organizations.
Our senior projects truly help us research information that can be used to help the community as a whole, said Germania Skidmore, a presenting nursing student. It’s exciting to see our research being considered for implementation.
Expanding upon clinical work, the senior nursing community projects are one of the final steps in preparing well-rounded nurses who are ready for the challenges of the field.
Because education typically takes place in acute care facilities, students are somewhat unfamiliar with community centered nursing efforts, stated Carol Dahn, a lecturer in the School of Nursing. However, through community projects, students learn case management skills and become aware of and comfortable with resources that will be available to them once they join the workforce.
This semester, the three groups of senior nursing students selected Family Home Hospice, Southwest Medical Associates Urgent Care, and the Clark County School District as their partnering community organizations and were eager to share their respective recommendations for projects including Nutrition at Life’s End, Promoting Diabetic Compliance, and Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking.
Nutrition at Life’s End
Discovering the need to treat both patients as well as family members in home health environments, students in the Family Home Hospice clinical group developed an educational pamphlet outlining the decreased need for fluids and nutrition at life’s end. Designed for the comfort and understanding of patient’s family members, the pamphlet is currently in review for possible integration into the standard care provided by Family Home Hospice.
My family has been a user of home health providers and now I have a true understanding of both the patient and care provider side, said Winnie Wegner, a student in the group. I appreciate the work and dedication required for the job and I’m very interested in pursuing this career path.
Promoting Diabetic Compliance
Partnering with Southwest Medical Associates Urgent Care, the second group of nursing students discovered the need for clear and consistent post-urgent care direction for diabetic patients. In efforts to support patients post-care and help prevent future emergency complications, a packet was developed consisting of diabetic class registration information, a nutritional outline, primary care physician recommendations, and additional information on diabetic care.
Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking
The final group of students joined with Clark County School District (CCSD) to research the sex trafficking of minors and develop resources for health care providers, educators, and social workers. The students organized a presentation outlining warning signs of domestic minor sex trafficking, screening questions for possible victims along with a process for assisting those involved. The research presented by the NSC students to CCSD school nurses, staff and administrators is now being developed into a simulation lab by the Consolidated Simulation Center of Las Vegas that will be utilized on an ongoing basis by both the University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine and the Masters of Nursing program at the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
It’s important to provide our students with the opportunity to present their work to the NSC community especially pre-nursing students who will see the amount of professional work and exposure our nursing students receive, said Dee Riley, a lecturer in the School of Nursing. We’re extremely proud of the work exhibited this semester and look forward to the future achievements of our upcoming BSN graduates.
By Mandi Enger