Nursing & Allied Health Department.jpeg

NURSING & ALLIED HEALTH DEPARTMENT

STUDENT PRESENTERS

Organized By Presentation Subject Material

CURCA Logo.png

DANIELLE ANDREASSON '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Decreasing falls among elderly patients, a proposed evidence based practice project

Background/Introduction: Elderly patients are more at risk for falls and readmission to hospitals and facilities related to falls. In the United States, 20-30% of elderly patients who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as bruising, hip fractures, or head trauma. Nearly, 3 million older adults are seen in the emergency department due to a fall. This is due to the normal physical and mental changes that develop in relation to aging. Currently, there is only short-term data on possible changes to fall risk preventions. Objective: To obtain long-term data of the stated method and evaluation of implementing multi-disciplinary interventions for falls in elderly populations. Methods: A qualitative and quantitative study that uses data collected from the facilities that show the occurrence of falls as well as interviews and discussion groups with staff members on the new interventions that will be implemented. This study will take place over a six-year period to obtain long-term data as well as be implemented in both rural and urban facilities. Results: The results section will discuss the anticipated changes related to the current annual elderly falls within the specific facilities, as compared to falls after the study has been conducted, with implemented interventions. It would also discuss the staff’s perception of the effectiveness and ease of implementation of the interventions in relation to previous standard interventions. Implications: Multi-year data collection on effectiveness of multi-disciplinary fall risk prevention in the elderly population. This information is beneficial to creating further studies and possibly standardizing a new fall risk prevention for facilities with elderly patients.

CURCA.png

MEGHAN GUIMOND '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Decreasing falls among elderly patients, a proposed evidence based practice project

Background/Introduction: Elderly patients are more at risk for falls and readmission to hospitals and facilities related to falls. In the United States, 20-30% of elderly patients who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as bruising, hip fractures, or head trauma. Nearly, 3 million older adults are seen in the emergency department due to a fall. This is due to the normal physical and mental changes that develop in relation to aging. Currently, there is only short-term data on possible changes to fall risk preventions. Objective: To obtain long-term data of the stated method and evaluation of implementing multi-disciplinary interventions for falls in elderly populations. Methods: A qualitative and quantitative study that uses data collected from the facilities that show the occurrence of falls as well as interviews and discussion groups with staff members on the new interventions that will be implemented. This study will take place over a six-year period to obtain long-term data as well as be implemented in both rural and urban facilities. Results: The results section will discuss the anticipated changes related to the current annual elderly falls within the specific facilities, as compared to falls after the study has been conducted, with implemented interventions. It would also discuss the staff’s perception of the effectiveness and ease of implementation of the interventions in relation to previous standard interventions. Implications: Multi-year data collection on effectiveness of multi-disciplinary fall risk prevention in the elderly population. This information is beneficial to creating further studies and possibly standardizing a new fall risk prevention for facilities with elderly patients.

CURCA Logo.png

SHAUN MATEUS '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Decreasing falls among elderly patients, a proposed evidence based practice project

Background/Introduction: Elderly patients are more at risk for falls and readmission to hospitals and facilities related to falls. In the United States, 20-30% of elderly patients who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as bruising, hip fractures, or head trauma. Nearly, 3 million older adults are seen in the emergency department due to a fall. This is due to the normal physical and mental changes that develop in relation to aging. Currently, there is only short-term data on possible changes to fall risk preventions. Objective: To obtain long-term data of the stated method and evaluation of implementing multi-disciplinary interventions for falls in elderly populations. Methods: A qualitative and quantitative study that uses data collected from the facilities that show the occurrence of falls as well as interviews and discussion groups with staff members on the new interventions that will be implemented. This study will take place over a six-year period to obtain long-term data as well as be implemented in both rural and urban facilities. Results: The results section will discuss the anticipated changes related to the current annual elderly falls within the specific facilities, as compared to falls after the study has been conducted, with implemented interventions. It would also discuss the staff’s perception of the effectiveness and ease of implementation of the interventions in relation to previous standard interventions. Implications: Multi-year data collection on effectiveness of multi-disciplinary fall risk prevention in the elderly population. This information is beneficial to creating further studies and possibly standardizing a new fall risk prevention for facilities with elderly patients.

CURCA.png

KRISTINA SAVITSKAYA '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Decreasing falls among elderly patients, a proposed evidence based practice project

Background/Introduction: Elderly patients are more at risk for falls and readmission to hospitals and facilities related to falls. In the United States, 20-30% of elderly patients who fall suffer moderate to severe injuries such as bruising, hip fractures, or head trauma. Nearly, 3 million older adults are seen in the emergency department due to a fall. This is due to the normal physical and mental changes that develop in relation to aging. Currently, there is only short-term data on possible changes to fall risk preventions. Objective: To obtain long-term data of the stated method and evaluation of implementing multi-disciplinary interventions for falls in elderly populations. Methods: A qualitative and quantitative study that uses data collected from the facilities that show the occurrence of falls as well as interviews and discussion groups with staff members on the new interventions that will be implemented. This study will take place over a six-year period to obtain long-term data as well as be implemented in both rural and urban facilities. Results: The results section will discuss the anticipated changes related to the current annual elderly falls within the specific facilities, as compared to falls after the study has been conducted, with implemented interventions. It would also discuss the staff’s perception of the effectiveness and ease of implementation of the interventions in relation to previous standard interventions. Implications: Multi-year data collection on effectiveness of multi-disciplinary fall risk prevention in the elderly population. This information is beneficial to creating further studies and possibly standardizing a new fall risk prevention for facilities with elderly patients.

CURCA.png

GRACE BENSON '21

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Ethical Dilemmas and Moral Distress in NICU Nurses

Moral Distress is a common feeling for Neonates Intensive Care Nurses to experience in their daily work. One reason for this distress results from caring for infants that are less then 24 weeks gestation (age of viability) with multiple complex diagnoses. In this scholarly project, current data was gathered and analyzed to explore the moral distress of nurses who care for an infant less then 24 weeks gestation. Five peer- reviewed, scholarly articles about this topic were reviewed. The literature included qualitative and quantitative research with the intended audience of medical professionals. These articles discuss interventions in which medical professional can use to provide safe and moral care. Evidence demonstrates it is difficult to act in the best interest of an infant when many parties are in involved. The best way to act in the best interest of the infant is to provide continuity of care, work and communicate as a team and appreciate culturally competent and sensitive care. The evidences provides valuable interventions for nurses to provide the best care to an infant. When the nurse acts in the best interest of their patient, this helps to eliminate moral dilemmas. This evidence based practice project will provide education to nursing staff on the evidence based effective strategies to decrease moral distress with the hope of future practice including some of these interventions.

CURCA.png

TESS BILODEAU '21

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

An Educational Intervention on Promoting Early Mobilization to Prevent Adhesive Capsulitis

The insertion of pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) is a fairly common procedure done for patients on cardiovascular and telemetry units in a healthcare facility. These devices aid in controlling the heart rhythm of patients with various pre existing conditions. There are multiple risks associated with undergoing this procedure. A commonly overlooked complication is adhesive capsulitis, or frozen shoulder. This scholarly project proposes to provide education to staff on this complication and postoperative light upper extremity movement in an effort to decrease the incidence of adhesive capsulitis with their patients. A review of the most current, up to date literature was conducted on scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. These articles consisted of randomized controlled trials, prospective observational studies and obtained qualitative research. The evidence summarized that early mobilization and simple upper extremities movements were safe and effective in preventing adhesive capsulitis in patients who underwent a pacemaker or ICD insertion. This project focuses on promoting patient education at the bedside for the appropriate patient population, therefore providing patients with the understanding and knowledge to prevent this complication from occurring in the future.

Lauren Blakeley - lblakeley_nursing_pict

LAUREN BLAKELEY '21

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JENNIFER PAPPAS, NURSING

Effectiveness of Contact Tracing

Contact Tracing has been done extensively to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In Westfield’s school systems, the Health Department has worked to keep schools open by isolating and quarantining school staff and students. From interning at Westfield’s Health Department, I noticed that there have been numerous quarantined cases that had tested positive during their two-week period of quarantine. If these cases weren’t identified, quarantined, and then followed up on, the spread of COVID-19 in these schools would increase significantly, possibly causing the schools revert back to remote learning. I am studying the effectiveness of contact tracing, looking specifically at how the efforts from local health departments and the Community Tracing Collaborative have prevented outbreaks of COVID-19 in schools, workplaces, and communities as a whole.

CURCA.png

HANNAH BROWN '21

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Promoting Weight Maintenance with Patients Going Through Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer Treatment

Background - Working in a cancer center all semester I have been surrounded by patients whose weight is affected by different chemotherapies. Patients with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy often have difficulty maintaining their weight. Evidence supports interventions to assist these patients to maintain their weight. Objective- To conduct a literature search on the topic and provide education to the nursing staff to assist their patients overcome this problem. Methods- A literature search using electronic databases CINAHL and PubMed resulted in 5 scholarly sources. The search further explored the best food choices for patients undergoing chemotherapy to maintain the patients' weight. Results- Based on the research conducted it was concluded that it is most common for women with breast cancer to see weight gain when they are receiving chemotherapy. The cause of the weight gained varied with different research studies. Some studies suggested it was side effects of chemotherapy, menopausal status, and BMI prior to treatment. Food options were identified to help maintain their weight. Implications- This evidence will be presented to the nursing staff at a cancer center caring for these patients. The results have helped gain insight into the cause of weight gain and this can help in future practice to try to best care and accommodate the patient as well as what diet to suggest to help prevent and maintain weight changes.

CURCA Logo.png

OLIVIA CASTONGUAY '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Evidence Based Practice Project - Pet Therapy

College students are under intense amounts of stress to produce and complete academic work of high standards. This study aims to determine, in college students struggling with anxiety and depression, how does incorporating the use of emotional support animals into a treatment plan compared to taking only pharmacological therapy affect the incidence of panic attacks and depressive episodes? Research shows that college students are at an increased risk of anxiety and depression due to age, yet counseling centers aren’t available, overrun, or are considered embarrassing. It has been found that animals can act as therapy and reduce anxiety and depression through the natural release of chemicals in the brain. To test this hypothesis a PDSA cycle was developed. Students would be asked to sign up for pet therapy sessions. Prior to the session they would report demographic data including if they currently take medication for anxiety and depression and if they have regular exposure to animals. Students would report their level of anxiety and depression using the Hamilton anxiety and depression rating scales prior to and after taking part in pet therapy. Responses would be analyzed through a pre and post paired analysis. These results will suggest if incorporating pet therapy into the treatment plan of college students has the potential to decrease anxiety and depression in this age group. On this basis, the concept of pet therapy should be taken into account when developing counseling centers on campus.

CURCA.png

ALLA DUKAN '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Evidence Based Practice Project - Pet Therapy

College students are under intense amounts of stress to produce and complete academic work of high standards. This study aims to determine, in college students struggling with anxiety and depression, how does incorporating the use of emotional support animals into a treatment plan compared to taking only pharmacological therapy affect the incidence of panic attacks and depressive episodes? Research shows that college students are at an increased risk of anxiety and depression due to age, yet counseling centers aren’t available, overrun, or are considered embarrassing. It has been found that animals can act as therapy and reduce anxiety and depression through the natural release of chemicals in the brain. To test this hypothesis a PDSA cycle was developed. Students would be asked to sign up for pet therapy sessions. Prior to the session they would report demographic data including if they currently take medication for anxiety and depression and if they have regular exposure to animals. Students would report their level of anxiety and depression using the Hamilton anxiety and depression rating scales prior to and after taking part in pet therapy. Responses would be analyzed through a pre and post paired analysis. These results will suggest if incorporating pet therapy into the treatment plan of college students has the potential to decrease anxiety and depression in this age group. On this basis, the concept of pet therapy should be taken into account when developing counseling centers on campus.

CURCA Logo.png

OLIVIA KOWAL '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR:  PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Evidence Based Practice Project - Pet Therapy

College students are under intense amounts of stress to produce and complete academic work of high standards. This study aims to determine, in college students struggling with anxiety and depression, how does incorporating the use of emotional support animals into a treatment plan compared to taking only pharmacological therapy affect the incidence of panic attacks and depressive episodes? Research shows that college students are at an increased risk of anxiety and depression due to age, yet counseling centers aren’t available, overrun, or are considered embarrassing. It has been found that animals can act as therapy and reduce anxiety and depression through the natural release of chemicals in the brain. To test this hypothesis a PDSA cycle was developed. Students would be asked to sign up for pet therapy sessions. Prior to the session they would report demographic data including if they currently take medication for anxiety and depression and if they have regular exposure to animals. Students would report their level of anxiety and depression using the Hamilton anxiety and depression rating scales prior to and after taking part in pet therapy. Responses would be analyzed through a pre and post paired analysis. These results will suggest if incorporating pet therapy into the treatment plan of college students has the potential to decrease anxiety and depression in this age group. On this basis, the concept of pet therapy should be taken into account when developing counseling centers on campus.

CURCA Logo.png

DANA PETROSEVICH '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Evidence Based Practice Project - Pet Therapy

College students are under intense amounts of stress to produce and complete academic work of high standards. This study aims to determine, in college students struggling with anxiety and depression, how does incorporating the use of emotional support animals into a treatment plan compared to taking only pharmacological therapy affect the incidence of panic attacks and depressive episodes? Research shows that college students are at an increased risk of anxiety and depression due to age, yet counseling centers aren’t available, overrun, or are considered embarrassing. It has been found that animals can act as therapy and reduce anxiety and depression through the natural release of chemicals in the brain. To test this hypothesis a PDSA cycle was developed. Students would be asked to sign up for pet therapy sessions. Prior to the session they would report demographic data including if they currently take medication for anxiety and depression and if they have regular exposure to animals. Students would report their level of anxiety and depression using the Hamilton anxiety and depression rating scales prior to and after taking part in pet therapy. Responses would be analyzed through a pre and post paired analysis. These results will suggest if incorporating pet therapy into the treatment plan of college students has the potential to decrease anxiety and depression in this age group. On this basis, the concept of pet therapy should be taken into account when developing counseling centers on campus.

CURCA Logo.png

KAYLA WHITCOMB '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Evidence Based Practice Project - Pet Therapy

College students are under intense amounts of stress to produce and complete academic work of high standards. This study aims to determine, in college students struggling with anxiety and depression, how does incorporating the use of emotional support animals into a treatment plan compared to taking only pharmacological therapy affect the incidence of panic attacks and depressive episodes? Research shows that college students are at an increased risk of anxiety and depression due to age, yet counseling centers aren’t available, overrun, or are considered embarrassing. It has been found that animals can act as therapy and reduce anxiety and depression through the natural release of chemicals in the brain. To test this hypothesis a PDSA cycle was developed. Students would be asked to sign up for pet therapy sessions. Prior to the session they would report demographic data including if they currently take medication for anxiety and depression and if they have regular exposure to animals. Students would report their level of anxiety and depression using the Hamilton anxiety and depression rating scales prior to and after taking part in pet therapy. Responses would be analyzed through a pre and post paired analysis. These results will suggest if incorporating pet therapy into the treatment plan of college students has the potential to decrease anxiety and depression in this age group. On this basis, the concept of pet therapy should be taken into account when developing counseling centers on campus.

CURCA Logo.png

KAYLIN CARPENTER '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR:  PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Exploring the Impact of Palliative care with Oncology Patients

Background- Palliative care is supportive, specialized medical care with the aim of improving wellbeing and lessening suffering in individuals with serious illnesses. Palliative care is underutilized, despite cancer patients facing many physical, emotional, and psychosocial symptoms. Globally, only 14% of patients who need palliative care currently receive it. Previous research studies that integrated palliative care into standard oncology care showed an improvement in quality of life, specifically in elderly, cancer patients. Objective- Based on the evidence, this project plans to evaluate the impact of palliative care when used in addition to standard oncology care, on elderly cancer patients’ quality of life. Methods- Proposal of a qualitative study with oncology patients over the age of 65 who are attending two oncology centers and receiving palliative care. This study will occur over a three-month period. The participants will be complete pre and post-survey about the impact of palliative care on their quality of life. Results- Potential outcomes will be presented regarding the type of care (standard oncology or palliative care & standard oncology care) for patients with cancer, and it’s impact on quality of life and patient satisfaction. Implications- The incorporation of the evidence supporting palliative care will provide information that will be impactful to the future of oncological care in elderly patients. If further support is beneficial, providing patients with palliative care along with the standard oncological care will improve patients physical, emotional, and psychological well-being and become the standard of care.

CURCA.png

GRACE KING '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Exploring the Impact of Palliative care with Oncology Patients

Background- Palliative care is supportive, specialized medical care with the aim of improving wellbeing and lessening suffering in individuals with serious illnesses. Palliative care is underutilized, despite cancer patients facing many physical, emotional, and psychosocial symptoms. Globally, only 14% of patients who need palliative care currently receive it. Previous research studies that integrated palliative care into standard oncology care showed an improvement in quality of life, specifically in elderly, cancer patients. Objective- Based on the evidence, this project plans to evaluate the impact of palliative care when used in addition to standard oncology care, on elderly cancer patients’ quality of life. Methods- Proposal of a qualitative study with oncology patients over the age of 65 who are attending two oncology centers and receiving palliative care. This study will occur over a three-month period. The participants will be complete pre and post-survey about the impact of palliative care on their quality of life. Results- Potential outcomes will be presented regarding the type of care (standard oncology or palliative care & standard oncology care) for patients with cancer, and it’s impact on quality of life and patient satisfaction. Implications- The incorporation of the evidence supporting palliative care will provide information that will be impactful to the future of oncological care in elderly patients. If further support is beneficial, providing patients with palliative care along with the standard oncological care will improve patients physical, emotional, and psychological well-being and become the standard of care.

CURCA Logo.png

ANGELA PAINE '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR:  PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Exploring the Impact of Palliative care with Oncology Patients

Background- Palliative care is supportive, specialized medical care with the aim of improving wellbeing and lessening suffering in individuals with serious illnesses. Palliative care is underutilized, despite cancer patients facing many physical, emotional, and psychosocial symptoms. Globally, only 14% of patients who need palliative care currently receive it. Previous research studies that integrated palliative care into standard oncology care showed an improvement in quality of life, specifically in elderly, cancer patients. Objective- Based on the evidence, this project plans to evaluate the impact of palliative care when used in addition to standard oncology care, on elderly cancer patients’ quality of life. Methods- Proposal of a qualitative study with oncology patients over the age of 65 who are attending two oncology centers and receiving palliative care. This study will occur over a three-month period. The participants will be complete pre and post-survey about the impact of palliative care on their quality of life. Results- Potential outcomes will be presented regarding the type of care (standard oncology or palliative care & standard oncology care) for patients with cancer, and it’s impact on quality of life and patient satisfaction. Implications- The incorporation of the evidence supporting palliative care will provide information that will be impactful to the future of oncological care in elderly patients. If further support is beneficial, providing patients with palliative care along with the standard oncological care will improve patients physical, emotional, and psychological well-being and become the standard of care.

CURCA.png

HANNAH TRIPP '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Exploring the Impact of Palliative care with Oncology Patients

Background- Palliative care is supportive, specialized medical care with the aim of improving wellbeing and lessening suffering in individuals with serious illnesses. Palliative care is underutilized, despite cancer patients facing many physical, emotional, and psychosocial symptoms. Globally, only 14% of patients who need palliative care currently receive it. Previous research studies that integrated palliative care into standard oncology care showed an improvement in quality of life, specifically in elderly, cancer patients. Objective- Based on the evidence, this project plans to evaluate the impact of palliative care when used in addition to standard oncology care, on elderly cancer patients’ quality of life. Methods- Proposal of a qualitative study with oncology patients over the age of 65 who are attending two oncology centers and receiving palliative care. This study will occur over a three-month period. The participants will be complete pre and post-survey about the impact of palliative care on their quality of life. Results- Potential outcomes will be presented regarding the type of care (standard oncology or palliative care & standard oncology care) for patients with cancer, and it’s impact on quality of life and patient satisfaction. Implications- The incorporation of the evidence supporting palliative care will provide information that will be impactful to the future of oncological care in elderly patients. If further support is beneficial, providing patients with palliative care along with the standard oncological care will improve patients physical, emotional, and psychological well-being and become the standard of care.

CURCA.png

ISABELLA CASTRO '21

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

How Covid-19 Has Impacted the Dying Process of Hospice Patients

Life has not been the same since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Similarly, neither has death. Hospice patients and their loved ones have been severely affected. Under previous circumstances hospice has been able to provide compassionate care across numerous disciplines. This includes, but is not limited to nursing, social work, religious/spiritual services, volunteer services, and even music or pet therapy. Today, these interventions are drastically limited due to the risks presented by Covid-19. The purpose of this project is to research the impact Covid-19 has had on the dying process and explore possible solutions to better support hospice patients. A literature search was conducted, and six peer-reviewed scholarly articles were selected and analyzed. Based on this research an evidence-based practice change using the Plan Do Study Act Model will be implemented into the clinical setting of Good Shepherd Community Care in Newton, Massachusetts. Overall, this project has the means of improving the dying process of hospice patients and their grieving loved ones during the time of the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Fiona Cioch - fcioch_nursing_IPV.JPG

FIONA CIOCH '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Proposing Inclusion of Training on Intimate Partner Violence with University Residential Life Staff

Residential assistant (RA) staff at universities are frequently the individuals that students approach when they are having issues at school academically or personally. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is, unfortunately, a common issue that university RA staff needs to be aware of, but many people who have had no training in this area report feeling unprepared to intervene. This project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational intervention implemented among university RA staff to improve their ability to identify and intervene in situations involving IPV. A literature review was conducted on peer-reviewed articles and the evidence concluded that using a pretest to evaluate current knowledge on IPV, having participants attend training sessions on IPV, and then using a posttest to evaluate an increase in knowledge was an effective intervention method. Training topics include IPV and participants’ understanding of the subject, things to assess for when working with people who have experienced IPV, and role playing to allow participants to put these skills into action. The FADE (focus, analyze, develop, execute) quality improvement model was effective in developing an educational intervention and implementing it in practice. This project proposes that an educational intervention developed using the FADE framework will increase staff knowledge on IPV. RA staff who have completed the proposed training will be able to confidently identify students experiencing IPV and intervene appropriately. Staff who are trained will be able to provide support and refer students experiencing IPV to appropriate resources with the goal of preventing further harm from IPV.

CURCA Logo.png

MOLLY DESAUTELS '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Impact of Prenatal Education on Pregnant Women Confidence and Anxiety

Background: Women’s feelings prior to the labor experience are proven to be notably lacking in confidence and high in anxiety before receiving education. There is significant evidence to support prenatal education for women to reduce anxiety and optimize the experience of labor itself. Objective: Design and evaluate the impact of a prenatal educational experience on pregnant women’s confidence and anxiety before and after the course as well as after birth. Methods: Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidence Based Practice Model provides a structure to create, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a prenatal education plan. The Roy Adaptation Model provides the theoretical framework that supports the effectiveness of prenatal education and maternal confidence. Evaluation of the project’s effectiveness will be analyzed using data from focused questionnaires collected pre and post class and post childbirth. Practice implementation will be done through a focused questionnaire. The classes will be limited to 10 women and a support person if they wish. Results: The efficacy of the classes will be evaluated using data on anxieties and preparedness towards childbirth. Analysis of the pre and post class levels of maternal stress will be compared. Implications: The implications of implementing this program could be an increase in maternal confidence and a decrease in anxiety related to the labor experience for women who participate in a prenatal education class.

CURCA.png

MADISON GAGE '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Impact of Prenatal Education on Pregnant Women Confidence and Anxiety

Background: Women’s feelings prior to the labor experience are proven to be notably lacking in confidence and high in anxiety before receiving education. There is significant evidence to support prenatal education for women to reduce anxiety and optimize the experience of labor itself. Objective: Design and evaluate the impact of a prenatal educational experience on pregnant women’s confidence and anxiety before and after the course as well as after birth. Methods: Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidence Based Practice Model provides a structure to create, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a prenatal education plan. The Roy Adaptation Model provides the theoretical framework that supports the effectiveness of prenatal education and maternal confidence. Evaluation of the project’s effectiveness will be analyzed using data from focused questionnaires collected pre and post class and post childbirth. Practice implementation will be done through a focused questionnaire. The classes will be limited to 10 women and a support person if they wish. Results: The efficacy of the classes will be evaluated using data on anxieties and preparedness towards childbirth. Analysis of the pre and post class levels of maternal stress will be compared. Implications: The implications of implementing this program could be an increase in maternal confidence and a decrease in anxiety related to the labor experience for women who participate in a prenatal education class.

CURCA Logo.png

CARLEY DEVLIN '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Comparing Methods of Incontinence Care Using Underpads and Briefs Regarding Patient and Nursing Preference With Skin Integrity Outcomes

Introduction/ Background- A standard unit practice with incontinence care is the use of briefs and underpads. There is little research on which product produces the best results regarding patient outcomes such as skin integrity, comfortable feeling and satisfaction. Objective- Mixed methods analysis to evaluate the use of underpads and briefs comparing skin integrity with nursing and patient preference. Methods- Patients at a long term acute care facility (N=200) randomly separated into two groups; underpads or briefs for 4 weeks. A pre and post survey given to nurses to determine effectiveness, responsiveness and overall preference. Daily nursing skin assessments will be conducted throughout the study. Nurses will be surveyed on which method they preferred for ease of use and effectiveness. A pre and post survey also given to patients to determine comfort, mobility and overall preference. A pre and post paired analysis will be conducted on the nursing surveys, incidence of skin integrity, and patient satisfactions. To determine our project trajectory a literary search and review of evidence was performed. Results- Hospital staff will gain insight to more reliable and beneficial product outcomes regarding skin integrity, compared to which product patients prefer. Implications- This research could change the standard incontinence product use regarding which product had better outcomes for patients and nurses.

CURCA.png

LIZA GAGNON '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Comparing Methods of Incontinence Care Using Underpads and Briefs Regarding Patient and Nursing Preference With Skin Integrity Outcomes

Introduction/ Background- A standard unit practice with incontinence care is the use of briefs and underpads. There is little research on which product produces the best results regarding patient outcomes such as skin integrity, comfortable feeling and satisfaction. Objective- Mixed methods analysis to evaluate the use of underpads and briefs comparing skin integrity with nursing and patient preference. Methods- Patients at a long term acute care facility (N=200) randomly separated into two groups; underpads or briefs for 4 weeks. A pre and post survey given to nurses to determine effectiveness, responsiveness and overall preference. Daily nursing skin assessments will be conducted throughout the study. Nurses will be surveyed on which method they preferred for ease of use and effectiveness. A pre and post survey also given to patients to determine comfort, mobility and overall preference. A pre and post paired analysis will be conducted on the nursing surveys, incidence of skin integrity, and patient satisfactions. To determine our project trajectory a literary search and review of evidence was performed. Results- Hospital staff will gain insight to more reliable and beneficial product outcomes regarding skin integrity, compared to which product patients prefer. Implications- This research could change the standard incontinence product use regarding which product had better outcomes for patients and nurses.

CURCA Logo.png

CHERYL LATONA '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Impact of Prenatal Education on Pregnant Women Confidence and Anxiety

Background: Women’s feelings prior to the labor experience are proven to be notably lacking in confidence and high in anxiety before receiving education. There is significant evidence to support prenatal education for women to reduce anxiety and optimize the experience of labor itself. Objective: Design and evaluate the impact of a prenatal educational experience on pregnant women’s confidence and anxiety before and after the course as well as after birth. Methods: Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidence Based Practice Model provides a structure to create, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a prenatal education plan. The Roy Adaptation Model provides the theoretical framework that supports the effectiveness of prenatal education and maternal confidence. Evaluation of the project’s effectiveness will be analyzed using data from focused questionnaires collected pre and post class and post childbirth. Practice implementation will be done through a focused questionnaire. The classes will be limited to 10 women and a support person if they wish. Results: The efficacy of the classes will be evaluated using data on anxieties and preparedness towards childbirth. Analysis of the pre and post class levels of maternal stress will be compared. Implications: The implications of implementing this program could be an increase in maternal confidence and a decrease in anxiety related to the labor experience for women who participate in a prenatal education class.

CURCA.png

ERIN PHELAN '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Impact of Prenatal Education on Pregnant Women Confidence and Anxiety

Background: Women’s feelings prior to the labor experience are proven to be notably lacking in confidence and high in anxiety before receiving education. There is significant evidence to support prenatal education for women to reduce anxiety and optimize the experience of labor itself. Objective: Design and evaluate the impact of a prenatal educational experience on pregnant women’s confidence and anxiety before and after the course as well as after birth. Methods: Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidence Based Practice Model provides a structure to create, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a prenatal education plan. The Roy Adaptation Model provides the theoretical framework that supports the effectiveness of prenatal education and maternal confidence. Evaluation of the project’s effectiveness will be analyzed using data from focused questionnaires collected pre and post class and post childbirth. Practice implementation will be done through a focused questionnaire. The classes will be limited to 10 women and a support person if they wish. Results: The efficacy of the classes will be evaluated using data on anxieties and preparedness towards childbirth. Analysis of the pre and post class levels of maternal stress will be compared. Implications: The implications of implementing this program could be an increase in maternal confidence and a decrease in anxiety related to the labor experience for women who participate in a prenatal education class.

CURCA Logo.png

NICOLE LUNA '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Comparing Methods of Incontinence Care Using Underpads and Briefs Regarding Patient and Nursing Preference With Skin Integrity Outcomes

Introduction/ Background- A standard unit practice with incontinence care is the use of briefs and underpads. There is little research on which product produces the best results regarding patient outcomes such as skin integrity, comfortable feeling and satisfaction. Objective- Mixed methods analysis to evaluate the use of underpads and briefs comparing skin integrity with nursing and patient preference. Methods- Patients at a long term acute care facility (N=200) randomly separated into two groups; underpads or briefs for 4 weeks. A pre and post survey given to nurses to determine effectiveness, responsiveness and overall preference. Daily nursing skin assessments will be conducted throughout the study. Nurses will be surveyed on which method they preferred for ease of use and effectiveness. A pre and post survey also given to patients to determine comfort, mobility and overall preference. A pre and post paired analysis will be conducted on the nursing surveys, incidence of skin integrity, and patient satisfactions. To determine our project trajectory a literary search and review of evidence was performed. Results- Hospital staff will gain insight to more reliable and beneficial product outcomes regarding skin integrity, compared to which product patients prefer. Implications- This research could change the standard incontinence product use regarding which product had better outcomes for patients and nurses.

CURCA.png

ALEXANDER POLANCO '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Comparing Methods of Incontinence Care Using Underpads and Briefs Regarding Patient and Nursing Preference With Skin Integrity Outcomes

Introduction/ Background- A standard unit practice with incontinence care is the use of briefs and underpads. There is little research on which product produces the best results regarding patient outcomes such as skin integrity, comfortable feeling and satisfaction. Objective- Mixed methods analysis to evaluate the use of underpads and briefs comparing skin integrity with nursing and patient preference. Methods- Patients at a long term acute care facility (N=200) randomly separated into two groups; underpads or briefs for 4 weeks. A pre and post survey given to nurses to determine effectiveness, responsiveness and overall preference. Daily nursing skin assessments will be conducted throughout the study. Nurses will be surveyed on which method they preferred for ease of use and effectiveness. A pre and post survey also given to patients to determine comfort, mobility and overall preference. A pre and post paired analysis will be conducted on the nursing surveys, incidence of skin integrity, and patient satisfactions. To determine our project trajectory a literary search and review of evidence was performed. Results- Hospital staff will gain insight to more reliable and beneficial product outcomes regarding skin integrity, compared to which product patients prefer. Implications- This research could change the standard incontinence product use regarding which product had better outcomes for patients and nurses.

CURCA.png

STEPHANIE DUQUE '22

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

An Evidence Based Practice Project to overcome Language and Communication Barriers

The ability to communicate effectively with healthcare providers in various healthcare settings is one of the greatest healthcare disparities among ethnic and racial minorities in the United States and globally. A literature search was conducted using a computerized database called CINAHL. Limiting the search to Nursing-Language Barriers-Communication and setting a time frame for publications within the past 5 years resulted in six published articles relevant to the subject. Overall, these studies indicate that language barriers are associated with more emergency visits, longer stays per clinic visit, less understanding of medication regimen and side effects, less clinical visits when indicated, patients feeling uncomfortable and lower patient satisfaction with health services. The studies also indicate that many facilities use “family” or “friend” interpretation services, which can ultimately lead to miscommunication, a knowledge deficit regarding care, and inadequate translation leading to medical errors and insufficient patient education. Improving communication between patients and providers can occur with the use of technological advancements like “stratus” or other virtual medical interpreters. These devices are transitioning into more medical settings as they allow for on-the-spot interpretation services of multiple languages at the push of a button. Using video remote interpreters (VRI) is an innovative method for closing the gap between communication disparities and healthcare. This project will present the evidence and propose incorporation of these technological advancements in a patient care setting using an evidence based practice model.

CURCA.png

RACHAEL FARLEY '21

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Promoting Attendance and Completion of Cardiac

Cardiac Rehab is an exercise program aimed towards patients with previous heart problems who are in rehabilitation and patients recovering from surgery affecting the heart. The program also assists in promoting lifestyle changes regarding education, medication adherence, diet changes and smoking cessation. Research has shown patients who attend weekly and complete the full course have a speedier recovery and less risk of future heart problems. This scholarly project was conducted to investigate all the benefits of going to cardiac rehab versus not going and then to provide this education to staff who will promote the benefits of staying active in the cardiac rehab programs to patients. A literary search was conducted on scholarly electronic databases to attain evidence on the benefits of cardiac rehab. The literature included a systemic review of randomized controlled clinical trials, non-randomized controlled clinical trials, statistical samples, availability sampling, assessment of needs, literature review, expert opinion, qualitative and quantitative research. The evidence concluded that educating patients on the benefits of cardiac rehab results in them being more likely to attend weekly and and complete the program. The evidence also supports patients who complete the full program to be more likely to continue the lifestyle changes after the program. This scholarly project also provides additional resources and advice to help patients make the necessary lifestyle changes and sustain them. Providing this education and resource to the staff hopes to promote improved compliance with cardiac rehab program attendance and completion rates in the future.

CURCA.png

ISABELLA FAZIO '21

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR SHERRI FITZGERALD, NURSING

Contributing Factors to Psychiatric Readmissions

Psychiatric readmissions have been on the uprise since 2010, especially in patients with chronic mental illness and have experienced two or more previous admissions in the past. There are many factors that contribute to readmissions such as length of hospital stay, inadequate discharge plan and lack of or insufficient services following discharge. This research project will examine the factors contributing to readmission of psychiatric patients and analyze methods to reduce readmissions such as how discharge teaching can be improved. An informational poster will be developed then presented to the staff on APTU at Baystate where I am currently completing my capstone hours for nursing. A literature review was conducted of scholarly, peer reviewed articles pertaining to rate of psychiatric readmissions, factors contributing to these readmissions and evidence-based practice changes to begin the discussion of how to reduce these psychiatric readmissions. Evidence has shown that providing adequate time in an inpatient psychiatric treatment unit as well as using teach back for patients prior to discharge to ensure they are aware of medications and scheduled appointments has reduced readmissions. The evidence also found that for patients with a caregiver, including the caregiver in discharge teaching as well as ensuring the patient has access to transportation to appointments and access to medications has reduced the rate of readmissions in psychiatric patients.

CURCA.png

SAMANTHA FLORIO '21

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Drug Eluding Stents vs. Bare Metal Stents: What Produces Less Consequences?

Background Drug eluding stents (DES) have become common practice in the clinical setting, but bare metal stents (BMS) are still used in practice. It’s important to understand the research for why we should use DES, and why BMS are still an option. Objective The objective of this project is to conduct a literature review on the use of drug eluding stents versus bare metal stents. Specifically, comparing the complications postoperatively from these stents, and also the indications for getting a bare metal stent. Methods A literature review was conducted on 6 studies regarding patient complications are getting DES or BMS. One study is a meta-analysis, two are systematic reviews, and all are quantitative studies. Results The results of the studies showed that DES show less incidence of patient complications when compared to BMS. These complications involved major adverse cardiac events (myocardial infarction, death, stroke), restenosis, target vessel revascularization, and target lesion revascularization. BMS indications for use were found to be advanced age, certain cases of ST- elevation myocardial infarctions, and a physician’s perception of patients who are high bleeding risks. Discussion Based on these results, it emphasizes why DES are the standard of care for patients requiring cardiac stents. However, future additional research should be conducted on if advanced age and high bleeding risks are valid reasons for BMS. Also, cost effectiveness of these stents would be included in further research.

CURCA Logo.png

HANNAH GRISWOLD '21

MAJOR: NURSING

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JESSICA HOLDEN, NURSING

Blood Transfusion Education

Background: In order to prevent sentinel events, nurses need to understand how to safely perform a blood transfusion and how to recognize a transfusion reaction. Since night shift nurses on West 2, a medical-surgical unit at Cooley Dickinson Hospital (CDH), reported blood transfusions being less common at night than during the day, it is important to ensure they are still confident with the procedure. Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the following research question: Among night shift nurses, does blood transfusion education compared to no education increase nurses’ confidence with the procedure? Methods: A tool for nurses to review blood transfusion safety was created in the form of a poster. The poster outlines a checklist for pre-transfusion, intra-transfusion, and post-transfusion steps. Signs of a transfusion reaction, appropriate interventions to treat a reaction, and a blood compatibility chart are also included on the poster. Results: Since the blood transfusion policy at CDH has been changed, the poster will be used as part of an education initiative about the update. Instead of using blood bands as part of the safety process, information will be obtained from patients’ regular hospital bands. A survey regarding nurses’ confidence in blood transfusions will be provided to the agency for them to use upon the completion of this education. Implications: If utilized by CDH, the results of the survey will indicate whether an education initiative involving a poster is effective in increasing night shift nurses’ confidence in performing blood transfusions.

CURCA Logo.png

HAILEY GUEST '21

MAJOR: NURSING

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

"Just Culture" in Healthcare Settings

The concept of “Just Culture” in healthcare focuses on creating a non-blame environment, in which nurses and other working staff can feel comfortable in reporting any mistake made. Evidence supports that some healthcare settings tend to blame the individual which can result in a culture of fear and more errors. Focusing on just punishment of an individual usually does not result in fixing the overarching problem. “Just culture” takes the approach of blaming the facility or organization, creating an environment that is more honest and open. This scholarly project was conducted to explore the evidence on “Just culture” and present how potentially implementing it at a clinical agency could be beneficial. A review of current literature was conducted on scholarly journals and articles that are peer-reviewed. This literature review included a fundamental review of ten reviewed scholarly journals and articles that had multiple observational studies, mixed-methods of quantitative and qualitative data, controlled surveys, frameworks, and several randomized controlled trials. The evidence found that when implementing “Just culture” into healthcare practice, patient safety is improved because employees are held accountable as a collective whole. Another conclusion found is that more employees hold themselves accountable and proactively monitor their work environment before an error can occur. Lastly, just culture improves communication in the work environment, creating fewer medication errors and overall improving the safety of the hospital.

CURCA Logo.png

SHELBY HOULE '21

MAJOR: NURSING

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR SUSAN SCOTT, NURSING

Discharge Education in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit cares for many babies with varying gestation ages, weights, and conditions. Planning of discharge occurs from the first day of hospitalization. Throughout the stay, ongoing education is provided. Discharge education provides information to families on how to safely care for their child independently at home; it helps minimize the risk of morbidity and mortality of the infant. This scholarly project was conducted to analyze current research to determine how integrating video and technology in discharge education compared to traditional methods affect parent confidence. A review of current literature was conducted of scholarly peer-reviewed articles. The literature search resulted in a review of qualitative research, interviews, and observational studies, and practice recommendations. The literature suggests that the utilization of technology, such as videos, presents the information in an easier way to understand and apply to infant care with increased confidence. A combination of written, video materials, and bedside teaching can help address diversity in parent learning styles and has been found to be more effective in terms of comprehension compared to written material and bedside teaching alone.

CURCA Logo.png

HUNTER KADRA '21

MAJOR: NURSING

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR SUSAN SCOTT, NURSING

Pediatric Peripheral Intravenous Catheter Insertion

Background: Pediatric IV insertion can be difficult and can cause severe distress and anxiety to the children and their families. Objective: The purpose of this project is to determine the best methods, given the evidence, to insert PIVs in children in the least traumatic way. Methods: Used terms like “Pediatric IV,” “Pediatric IV insertion,” and “Pediatric peripheral IV” in google scholar in order to find relevant articles. Review of five articles was done through “Research Gate,” “Science Direct,” “ProQuest,” and “BMC.” Results: The results show that age of the child, difficulty level, previous hospitalization, experience of the nurse, and competence of the nurse all contributed to whether or not there were successful IV insertion rates in children. Implications: The methods determined in the studies may be applicable to clinical agencies for staff. Each pediatric patient is unique and each method to insert a PIV should reflect so.

CURCA.png

EMILY MORIN '21

MAJOR: NURSING 

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Empathy Fatigue

The purpose of this research project is to educate about compassion fatigue and to develop methods for the prevention of compassion fatigue in the nursing profession. Compassion fatigue occurs when nurses develop declining empathetic ability from repeated exposure to others suffering. This can result in high turnover rates, nurse burnout, and a lack of patient satisfaction. A literature search was conducted using electronic databases: CINAHL Complete, NCSBN and EMBASE. The evidence includes a Meta-regression analyses which identify factors that may perpetuate these burnout rates. The evidence found that empathy fatigue occurs across many disciplines. Nurses experience compassion fatigue due to demanding environments, overwhelming exposure to suffering, and the consistent demand to give. The consequences of compassion fatigue negatively affect all aspects of healthcare. All nurses are at risk for compassion fatigue. The prevention of compassion fatigue can be achieved through self awareness, self care measures, professional boundaries and education on the concept at both the individual and organizational level. Therefore, an evidence based educational session was developed for nurses in a Springfield area hospital in an effort to begin that educational process on self-care.

CURCA Logo.png

CASEY MURPHY '21

MAJOR: NURSING

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR SUSAN SCOTT, NURSING

Promoting and Maintaining Pulmonary Health for Patients in the Hospital

Background: The literature describes that repositioning patients is key to reducing the risk of the collapse of small airways (atelectasis) and the development of pneumonia. Patients who are not able to independently move around in bed or to get out of bed without assistance, need to be assisted by nursing staff to perform these activities. Objective: To increase awareness by nurses of the importance of getting patients out of bed for two hours per day. Methods An educational intervention the form of a brochure for nurses working on a medical surgical unit. The brochure will be based on the evidence highlighting the importance of placing their patients a chair, in the sitting position for at least two hours during the day. Results: An increased number of nurses will assist their patients out of bed into a chair after receiving the education. Implications: providing an education intervention to nurses will reduce the pulmonary complications associated with immobility on the medical surgical unit.

CURCA Logo.png

JENNIFER NIXON '21

MAJOR: NURSING

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR KELLY HANSEN, NURSING

Alternative Electrocardiogram Lead Placement

12 Lead electrocardiograms are used in the hospital setting to record electrical signals of the heart. Electrocardiograms are often referred to as ECG or EKG, it is a painless and quick procedure which involves placing 12 electrodes on the patient's body. Electrocardiograms can show abnormalities and arrhythmias of the heart, heart attack and heart failure. In emergency situations it is not always possible to place these leads in the typical location, due to clothing obstructing the site, amputees, and the need for a recording as quickly as possible. This scholarly project was conducted to synthesize and analyze the current research to identify if alternative placement for 12 lead electrocardiograms is as accurate in recording the electrical signals of the heart as standard EKG lead placement. A review of current literature was conducted with four up to date and relevant articles. The evidence concluded that alternative 12 lead electrocardiogram is reasonable in emergency situations. However, there is an increase in the R wave amplitude most commonly in leads I, II and II. The R wave amplitude does stay within the normal range of variations. This scholarly project also proposes a planned test of change based on the Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) model to be used as the foundation to implement evidence-based research into clinical practice that could increase the timeliness of emergency electrocardiogram conduction, and increase awareness of possible increased R wave amplitude with alternative lead placement.

CURCA Logo.png

CATHERINE PLANTE '21

MAJOR: NURSING

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Morse Fall Scale Use in Prevention of Falls on an Acute Medical Surgical Unit

Patient falls during hospitalization are unfortunately a common occurrence. One intervention many facilities use to help prevent these falls is implementation of a fall risk assessment tool. A common instrument used is the Morse Fall Scale (MFS)—a six variable scale that includes history of falling, secondary diagnoses, use of ambulatory aids, intravenous therapy/heparin lock, gait, and mental status. In this scholarly project, current research was gathered and analyzed to determine whether the Morse Fall Scale is an accurate way of identifying patients at high risk for falls and if it is an appropriate intervention. Six peer-reviewed, scholarly articles about this topic were analyzed. The literature included primarily quantitative research and a literature review with the intended audience of medical professionals to compare multiple fall risk assessment tools and determine the best use of the Morse Fall Scale. The articles showed that the MFS is an easy to use, time efficient scale when its cut-off point is determined for a specific setting. To properly utilize this scale, it should be supplemented by nursing clinical judgement and other interventions and not relied on independently. Based on the data synthesized from the literature, this project describes a evidence based practice change using the Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) model. This model can be used as a method of implementing evidence-based research into the clinical setting that could reduce the incidence of falls and increase the specificity and sensitivity of the Morse Fall Scale.

CURCA Logo.png

HANNAH SWANICK '22

MAJOR: NURSING

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Impact of Sexual Education Curriculum Revision on High School Students Based on Perception of Quality Instruction

Background: In the United States the rates of sexually transmitted infection (STI) have continued to rise in persons aged 15-24. There is currently no national curriculum mandate for public schools in regard to sexual education curriculum. Education is a state right, and large variations are found in the content of curriculum regarding sexual education. Objective: Propose implementing educator training using new curriculum standards, and evaluate their effectiveness on students ages 14-18. Record the perceived quality of sexual education from students. Methods: Larabee’s Model for Evidence Based Practice Change provides structure to create, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of sexual education curriculum reform. Evaluation of this intervention's effectiveness will be completed through surveys of students before and after classes. Students will receive education in age cohorts. Results: Classes will be evaluated using the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) standards for sexual education with additional feedback on the curriculum's ability to satisfy personal goals of sexual education. Surveys will be completed before class to evaluate current education and repeated after class to evaluate the newer model. Implications: The implications of implementing this program could be an increase in student and educator confidence in the perceived quality of sexual education for those who experienced the curriculum reform.

CURCA Logo.png

HAILEY TRIPP '21

MAJOR: NURSING

FACULTY SPONSOR: PROFESSOR JOAN KUHNLY, NURSING

Humor in Nursing

Nurses and other healthcare professionals take care of patients of all ages and backgrounds. It is extremely important for a nurse to create a good relationship with their patient in order to establish trust. There may be unique ways to engage in a healthy and professional patient relationship that nurses can leverage. I want to explore the idea of how incorporating humor and laughter in the healthcare setting would, or would not, positively affect the body physically and psychologically. Eight peer-reviewed, scholarly articles about this topic were reviewed. This research will create an opportunity for nurses to learn more ways for a deeper relationship with their patients to promote a safe and comfortable experience, how to cope with their own stress, and build team comradery through humor. There is a gap in research about attitudes nursing students and practicing nurses portray when using humor at the bedside. Based on the information synthesized from the articles, this project describes a potential evidence-based practice change project using the Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) model. This model can be used as a means of implementing evidence-based research into the clinical setting to increase humor used by staff to increase patient outcomes and decrease anxiety. If found effective, the age-old concept of “laughter is the best medicine” has the potential to aid healthcare workers to improve their care by passing on their innate humor to their patients.

CURCA Logo.png

JORDAN WYTRYCH '21

MAJOR: NURSING

FACULTY SPONSOR: JESSICA HOLDEN, NURSING

The Effect of Patient Education on Preeclampsia

Preeclampsia is a serious disorder of pregnancy that is a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality. Research suggests that women do not receive appropriate education on this hypertensive disorder of pregnancy. A lack of education can put mothers at risk for late diagnoses, future health complications, cesarean sections, and premature births. This scholarly project was conducted to examine the effects of education on pregnant patients and to determine whether education leads to better outcomes for those diagnosed with preeclampsia. This project also examines the most effective ways to provide this education to patients and their families. A review of current literature was conducted on scholarly, peer-reviewed articles. The literature included randomized controlled trials, a focus group study, quantitative research, a meta-analysis, and a systematic review. The evidence concluded that educational tools led to increased knowledge about preeclampsia without increasing patient anxiety about it. Providing patient education led to early antenatal care visits, the identification of future health complications, and patient recognition of warning signs, ultimately improving morbidity mortality rates. Furthermore, studies concluded that brochures, mobile apps, online communities, and teach-back were all effective means of educating patients. This scholarly project supports the use of education about preeclampsia in pregnant patients. This information should be used to implement educational programs and tools into patient care to potentially reduce the risks of preeclampsia, future health effects, and morbidity and mortality rates.