NEWS & EVENTS
Nursing, 2010
  • Nursing, 2010

     

     

    Attitudes Toward Homosexuality in Older Adults in Healthcare
    Ryan Adams
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    Sexuality is an important part of life even for elderly patients but this is often overlooked by the nursing staff that cares for them. Institutional policies and nursing staff can inhibit the ability of the elderly, especially homosexuals, to express their sexuality. This can lead to social isolation and sometimes outright discrimination. Where does the older homosexual fit in with healthcare providers’ pre-existing sexual beliefs? What needs to be changed to allow for the full expression of their identities? This project reviews current nursing research to identify barriers facing the aging homosexual population and ideas on how to educate nursing staff when dealing with this issue. Generations of homosexual individuals accustomed to living years out of the closet are forced back into invisibility. This can lead to depression, compromised wellbeing, and premature death. With society’s growing elderly gay population there is a new emphasis on allowing the elderly to openly express their sexuality, which leads to advances in healthcare and social options for this specific population.

     

     

    The Use of Non-Nutritive Sucking with or without Sucrose for Pain Relief in the Neonate
    Chelsea Anderson, Stacey Butcher
    Mentor: Jane B. Hutcheson

    Following delivery, a neonate undergoes several minor and major procedures such as a heel stick or circumcision, that cause pain to the infant. During these procedures, different techniques have been practiced to provide pain relief. Examples of pain relief techniques include non nutritive sucking with or without the use of sucrose. To distinguish which method of analgesia provides the best pain relief for the neonate during minor medical procedures. Research articles on neonatal pain relief were obtained and reviewed. Six of the research studies were experimental designs, six were descriptive non-experimental, and one was a descriptive cross-sectional survey. Research findings suggested that both non nutritive sucking with or without sucrose provided some pain relief for the neonate. Several studies preferred the use of sucrose along with non-nutritive sucking as analgesia in neonates. Different approaches such as the face scale, cortisol levels, cry time and vital signs were completed to assess pain relief during minor procedures. The use of non-nutritive sucking, with or without sucrose administration, proved to be beneficial for pain relief in the neonate. More research should be performed to further validate these findings.

     

     

    Effect of Mindful Meditation on Student Stress
    Amanda Belcher, Erika Curtis, Anne Malone, Brittany Seymour, Tiara Smith
    Mentors: Andrea M. Karkowski, Sharon Stout-Shaffer

    The stress of managing new responsibilities can affect the lives of college students. Students rely on different techniques to cope with stress; one method for managing stress is mindful meditation. We used four subscales of the Derogatis Stress Profile to measure the effect of mindful meditation. Using a pretest-posttest design, we compared mindful meditation to a control condition that included education about other stress reduction techniques. The control group overall had higher scores for time pressure compared to the experimental group. Also the control group’s scores for anxiety increased from pretest to posttest while the treatment group’s scores decreased. The limited amount of time to practice mindful meditation for the experimental group potentially limited the strength of the experimental manipulation. Future research could examine methods to better prepare student mentors to teach meditation techniques.

     

     

    Decreasing the Prevalance of Childhood Obesity
    Dawn Brown
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    Within the past 30 years, the prevalence of childhood obesity has tripled in children ages 6-11yrs. Currently, 155 million school aged children worldwide are considered overweight or obese. Studies have shown that 80% of these obese adolescents will become obese adults. Obesity places them at an increased risk for over 35 major diseases such as Type II diabetes, heart disease and cancer. The purpose of this analysis is to investigate methods to decrease the prevalence of childhood obesity. An extensive literature review was completed, including journal articles and research studies, investigating proposed solutions and preventative measures. Although there is little research on how to prevent or treat childhood obesity to date, many programs have been implemented within schools and communities. Examples of health promotion within schools include body mass index screenings, increased health and physical education, and more nutritious school lunches. Emphasis has also been placed on parental education concerning adequate activity levels and proper nutrition at home. Acknowledgement of childhood obesity and the importance of a healthy lifestyle are finally being addressed. With these changes in public programs and parental education, positive outcomes are possible.

     

     

    Medical Students’ Disease and its Impact on Student Nurses
    Nathaniel Butler
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    Medical student disease (MSD) is the development of symptoms and anxiety about diseases being studied by a student. These symptoms are a reflection of normal minor body sensations, such as joint pain and abdominal aches that are manifested into the general schema of a particular disease. Many nursing students have been plagued by MSD upon their initial exposure to pathology, illness, and death. The purpose of this research is to examine the need for early implementation of educational materials explaining the process of MSD. It is essential to study MSD to alleviate nursing students’ stress. I analyzed research literature and data from various case studies. These studies concluded that nearly 70% of nursing students have given a positive indicator of being afflicted by MSD sometime during their education. It is important that MSD and its related anxiety are explained to nursing students because the ability to handle stress influences success in nursing school.

     

     

    Nurses’ Knowledge and Attitudes towards Perinatal Substance Abuse
    Lauren Cassady
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    It is estimated that 11% of all childbearing women give birth to children who are affected by the use of drugs during pregnancy. Major substances of abuse that affect newborns are opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, alcohol and tobacco, all of which can have serious adverse neonatal and long term effects. By conducting research on nurses’ attitudes and awareness of perinatal substance abuse, the need for programs that help nurses develop a plan for effective discussions about substance abuse can be assessed. The goal of this research was to maximize the effectiveness of client education on this topic. The data were collected through a literature review. The data suggest that there is a great need for outside continuing education about perinatal substance abuse among nurses. Further, negative attitudes about this issue can hinder the effectiveness of patient education. This study implies that continuing education especially for nurses in this field of practice is essential and should be enforced.

     

     

    Childhood Cancer Survivorship: A Multidisciplinary Team Approach
    Tia Chaffin
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    Recent medical advances in childhood cancer treatment have greatly increased the percentage of long term survivors. As patients are living longer, more late effects of the treatments are being discovered. The long term follow up care for childhood cancer survivors is a growing issue for health care providers. The purpose of this research was to determine the benefits and drawbacks of a multidisciplinary team approach to follow up care for long term childhood cancer survivors. The data for this study were collected through a literature review and in depth article analysis of evidence. A long term follow up care plan developed by a multidisciplinary team is the preferred method for meeting cancer survivors’ special health care needs. Childhood cancer survivors are a rapidly growing population and further research is needed to ensure they have the best possible health related quality of life.

     

     

    An Analysis of What Factors May Prevent the Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)
    Karen V. Cross
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    It is estimated that 24.3 million people have Alzheimer’s disease and the prevalence is expected to increase 4-fold by 2050. The purpose of this review is to explore methods to prevent the onset of the disease. A professional literature review of current research in the prevention of the onset of the disease was done. Studies included randomized control trials, clinical studies, and biological research. The results are inconclusive. Many studies suggest that physical activity and lifestyle changes prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease however, more studies are needed. Some studies show that there are specific activities that can prevent Alzheimer’s disease and several measures that can slow or reduce the progression, while others studies do not.

     

     

    The Relationship Between Oral Care and the Incidence of Ventilator Associated Pneumonia in Mechanically Ventilated Patients
    Loren DeVilbiss, Katelyn Mescher, Lauren Parrish, Veronica Sauder, David Swansegar
    Mentor: Wendy Blakely

    Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia (VAP) accounts for nearly 50% of infections in the critical care units. Nurses can have a great impact on decreasing these infections, but there is a wide variation in oral protocols to prevent VAP. The purpose of this study was to determine the best evidence-based oral care practices for preventing VAP. A systematic review of the research was conducted. Only empirical research reports or systematic meta-analyses of clinical trials were included in the review. Articles were critiqued for sound research design, methods, and analysis. Research evidence shows that, regardless of the specific protocol, there is a significant decrease in VAP if an oral care protocol is completed at least every 8 hours. Ventilator bundle actions (i.e., other VAP prevention measures in addition to oral care) further decreased VAP. There was conflicting evidence regarding the effectiveness of some protocols. Further research is needed to determine which specific oral care protocol is most effective in preventing VAP. More education of healthcare providers on the importance of oral care protocols is needed.

     

     

    Robotic Surgery: A Solution to Nursing Shortage?
    Ariane Djeussoung
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    The nursing shortage has resulted in poor nurse-to-patient ratios, which decreases the quality of nursing care. Implementation of new technologies in the healthcare environment is one solution to the problem. The use of robotic devices in the operating room (OR) has gained attention in recent years. Although robotic surgery offers many benefits to the patient, such as decreased recovery time, morbidity and infections, it also allows surgeons to perform more precise operations in a shorter amount of time. Current studies address the impact of robotic surgery on OR nurses and how that relates to the nursing shortage. It is hypothesized that the new technology decreases the demand for nurses in the OR, shifting them to bedside care. This shift could help decrease the nursing shortage. A review of nursing literature pertaining to new medical technologies and nursing shortages was completed to validate the hypothesis. The findings revealed that although robotic surgery could have a positive impact on the current nursing shortage, it could also bring new challenges to the nurses remaining in the OR.

     

     

    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) Therapy and its Effect on Mental Health
    Jennifer Draheim
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    EMDR is a therapeutic approach to address trauma from the past that contributes to a wide range of pathologies. It surfaces past experiences that may lead to a variety of diseases, situations that trigger negative emotions or behaviors, beliefs and sensations, and the positive experience needed to enhance future health and behaviors. This study reviews the therapeutic uses of EMDR and current research investigating its effect on various psychological diseases including addiction and depression as well as post traumatic stress disorder. Research articles were analyzed to determine the types of trauma that can trigger a response detected by EMDR as well as the diseases these traumatic experiences can lead to and how EMDR can help or hinder treatment. As a result of this research, It is apparent that EMDR is slowly becoming a more accepted and therapeutic treatment to relieve patients suffering from diseases due to past trauma. More research is needed to determine its scope as well as benefits and disadvantages of its use.

     

     

    Low Health Literacy in the United States: Current Issues and Interventions
    Alison Dumford
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, approximately half of Americans have some level of difficulty understanding information related to their health. Due to this rate of low health literacy, millions of Americans are unaware of how to properly manage and protect their health. The purpose of this study was to explore the prevalence of the health illiteracy in the US and identify strategies to resolve this problem. A critical review of the nursing and healthcare research literature was conducted to characterize the nature and impact of the health illiteracy in the United States. Low health literacy is an ongoing issue and it is up to health care professionals to help provide solutions.

     

     

    Pain Management in Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease
    Diane Durbin, Emily Kempf
    Mentor: Heather Janeszewski Goodin

    Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a genetic, inherited abnormality of the red blood cells causing them to be sickle-shaped which may cause blocked capillaries, ischemia, and pain. SCD is prevalent in the African American population, affecting one out of every 400 people. A comprehensive, evidenced-based review of the research was completed to investigate sickle-cell pain management in the pediatric population. Relevant research articles were analyzed and synthesized regarding best nursing practices. The authors’ evidence-based review of the research revealed that there currently is no standard universal protocol regarding acute pain episodes with SCD. Both opioid and nonopioid medications are commonly used along with symptomatic management. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is not a frequently used practice in SCD management but indicates there is reduced medication administration to SCD clients when implemented. A universal protocol needs to be developed as SCD causes severe pain and potential complications. Further, nurses and other health care professionals need to be better informed of CAM therapies and their effectiveness in coordination with pharmacological interventions.

     

     

    The Health Benefits of Forgiveness
    Tracy S. Ervin
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    The power of forgiveness has been revered by most religions for its healing spiritual properties and those in the mental health field recognize that the ability to forgive one’s self or another is fundamental to letting go of resentments and related depression. Only recently have researchers validated that forgiving is therapeutic for the physical body as well. The purpose of this study was to describe the health benefits of forgiveness that have been identified in the research literature. My systematic review of empirical research shows that forgiveness can lower blood pressure and heart rate, decrease pain and gastrointestinal symptoms, and enhance the body’s immune response. Forgiveness is not just for the soul. Physical health and emotional healing are positively influenced by the ability to forgive.

     

     

    Communicating with Patients about CAM
    Gretchen Finney
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is a common practice across the world. In the United States many patients use a combination of CAM and conventional medicine. Adverse reactions can result when certain herbal therapies are used along with prescription drugs. Healthcare providers need to communicate with patients about their use of CAM to prevent interactions. The purpose of this study is to review the use of herbal therapy along with prescription drugs and the communication between healthcare providers and patients about CAM use. This is a review of various studies of CAM use and review of a study of oncology nurses’ knowledge of CAM. Some patient’s lack of knowledge about herbal therapy and fear of disapproval prevent them from talking about CAM use. Healthcare providers may lack consistency in communicating with their patients about CAM. Because herbal products are considered “natural” the chemical effects they have on the body are easily overlooked. It is the responsibility of healthcare providers to open the door of communication with their patients in order to provide necessary education on possible interactions.

     

     

    Sexuality Education Needs of Breast Cancer Survivors and Their Romantic Partners
    June M. Gerken
    Mentors: Wendy P. Blakely, Sharon Stout-Shaffer

    Sexuality issues among Breast Cancer Survivors (BCS) become increasingly important as BCS grow in number and longevity. Although some studies have identified sexuality issues among BCS, almost none have examined the perspective of their romantic partners (RP). The purpose of this study is to describe the concerns and educational needs of BCS and their RP regarding the impact of breast cancer treatment on sexuality. Respondents were recruited via electronic mailings to the Komen Columbus BCS database and postings on Breast Cancer on-line discussion groups. BCS were asked to encourage their RP to also participate in the survey. The sexuality section included both open and closed response questions. 83 BCS and 39 RP completed valid surveys. Both groups reported sexuality issues as intense and distressing, yet often unaddressed by BCS healthcare providers. BCS and their RP have divergent views on how much information on sexuality they wish to receive, and how they wish to receive it. This is one of the first studies to explore the sexuality issues among RP. Study findings can be used as a foundation for education programs and further research on sexuality issues among BCS and their RP.

     

     

    Caring for Patients with Existential Distress and Suffering
    Jenna Hains
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    Patients affected by existential distress (suffering) issues need individually focused assessment and interventions that can address overall wellbeing. Existential distress is a loss or lack of meaning that poses a threat to an individual. A question health care providers can ask patients suspected of distress is: Are you at peace? Helping patients to identify and transcend distress can help promote healing. Fifteen research articles were analyzed, Nursing Intervention Classification (NIC) was studied, and two registered nurses, including one hospice nurse and one transplant coordinator, were interviewed. Research and clinical experience suggest that nurses foster healing by interventions that support making connections with an individual to help them find meaning. A focus on overall wellbeing as a part of daily care can help assist in identifying patients with existential distress. Team and whole health care approaches are best because we cannot be all things to all people. Healing is best approached by a caregiver who is open to empathetic interaction, engages in active listening, and encourages acceptance.

     

     

    Maintaining Pulmonary Health in Spinal Cord Injury
    Annette Hall
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    Patients who suffer from inability to effectively clear secretion have an increased risk of respiratory infections and bacterial pneumonias. Common routine approaches of pulmonary care in spinal cord injury (SCI) begin with diagnosing and then prescribing medication such as antibiotics, mucolytics, Beta 2 adrenergic medications, chest percussion, and rotation therapy. Chest x-rays are ordered as necessary (PRN) during hospital stay. To investigate current modalities in the treatment of pulmonary complications in SCI research articles were reviewed. Two major points of interest include reviewing effectiveness and improvement of antibiotic therapy from 1994 to 2010 in SCI and comparing the rate of mortality from 1994 to 2010 in SCI. A major problem in SCI is the inability to maintain pulmonary health because of immobility. It is imperative that treatment planning begin immediately upon admission. Family education and support must be included to successfully provide continuity of care post discharge from the hospital environment or rehabilitation facility. Administration of effective antibiotic therapies keeps infection low and decreases mortality.

     

     

    Prenatal Factors Linked to Onset of Autism
    Sarah Harris, Kari Patterson, Amanda Mapes, Emily Zirille, Andrea Williams
    Mentor: Renee Dunnington

    The purpose of this project was to explore and synthesize the research results related to prenatal factors associated with the risk of autism. We reviewed, critiques, and synthesized 21 published articles. While the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine has previously been implicated as a cause of autism, this review revealed that there was no significant increase in the rate of autism with MMR vaccine administration. The following factors are linked to the development of autism: low birth weight, maternal morphology (BMI >18.5), intrauterine stress, increased maternal age (30 years and older), foreign-born mother, male infant gender, caesarean birth, medication use (throughout pregnancy), increased paternal age (30 years and older), family history of autism, mother and father not born in same country, pregnancy complications, use of anesthesia, low Apgar score at 1 minute and 5 minutes, labor onset, first born and preterm status. A combination of these prenatal factors has been associated with increased risk of autism. Further research is needed to narrow down the spectrum of prenatal factors that are related to the development of autism.

     

     

    How do Medical Professionals feel about Electronic Charting and has it Improved the Quality of Medical Records along with Patient Safety?
    Zack Hoverman
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    Patient safety is one of the most important aspects of our medical system and electronic charting is at the forefront of improving the safety of the patient. Medical errors occur all the time, but over the years electronic charting has become more prevalent to help combat these errors and improve patient safety. As technology evolves, medical professionals have been forced to change with it. Research evidence was analyzed to determine whether electronic charting has cut down on medical errors and how caregivers have adapted to this new form of documentation. Electronic charting has cut down on medical errors when used correctly and medical professionals have adapted, but not without faltering along the way. Employees of facilities who use electronic charting need to be properly taught on how to use this form of documentation. Documentation with greater clarity, user friendly options, and more information is desired by all users. As it becomes more ubiquitous, electronic charting provides a much safer experience for all.

     

     

    Prevalence of Seasonal Affective Disorder in Sweden and Northern Latitudes
    Sarah Huntsberger, Jennifer Storts, Lauren Friedman, Valerie Thomas
    Mentor: Cora C. Munoz

    Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. Most people experience SAD during the winter months when the days are shorter and sunlight is sparse. There are many undiagnosed cases of SAD worldwide. In regions with less daylight, it is presumed that the prevalence of SAD is higher than regions with more daylight. The purpose of this study was to identify whether SAD is more prevalent in areas of higher latitudes. We explore research on the prevalence of SAD because it is a common problem that is often overlooked. Nineteen published articles were analyzed. Results indicate that the prevalence of SAD was higher in women than men. Adolescents are more likely to experience symptoms of SAD and the prevalence decreased with age. SAD symptoms peak in winter months and subside in the spring. Eight studies found that SAD was more prevalent in northern latitudes versus southern latitudes, two found that latitude did not affect the prevalence of SAD, and three were inconclusive. Six articles did not focus on the prevalence of SAD in relation to latitude. Research provides some evidence that people living in higher latitudes, such as Sweden, experience a greater occurrence of SAD.

     

     

    Chocolate Milk Consumption in School Age Children
    Alyssa Larue
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    Milk consumption is important for the growth and development of children. It provides many important required nutrients including calcium, protein, vitamin D and vitamin A. Childhood obesity is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States and some are blaming flavored milk. Chocolate milk provides many of the same nutrients as white milk, but with the addition of sugars. One study examined the milk consumption in a school that removed chocolate milk and found that milk consumption was much lower. The purpose of this literature review is to examine the benefits and drawbacks of chocolate milk consumption in schools and determine whether the nutritional benefits outweigh the extra calories that the chocolate milk adds to the diet. Several school districts were compared to see what lunchtime beverages are offered and whether any of these districts have tried to remove flavored milk from their offerings and how removal affected overall milk consumption. Results show that the added benefits of calcium and other essential nutrients outweigh the extra calories in school children’s diet. These findings show the need to continue to provide chocolate milk as an option to children to promote milk consumption.

     

     

    The Effect of High-Fidelity Simulation on Nursing Students’ Perceived Abilities in Clinical Emergency Situations
    Melissa Malinky
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    A new nurse’s knowledge of skills and interventions are of little use without the sense of preparedness and confidence necessary to turn knowledge into action during clinical emergency situations. The adoption of high-fidelity simulation (HFS) training by nursing education programs is on the rise as a means to not only practice skills but instill in the students a valuable sense of self efficacy. In order to justify the costs associated with this new training approach, research is needed to show an increase in students’ perceived ability to handle realistic situations by participating in HFS. A review of current literature was conducted. Many research articles showed that after HFS experiences, nursing students reported an increase in self efficacy as it related to communication, critical thinking, and initiating interventions in these simulated clinical emergency situations. With nursing education programs facing problems such as limited clinical placement options and safety issues, HFS seems to be a costly, yet effective, option when paired with traditional classroom knowledge in preparing students for real world clinical emergency situations.

     

     

    African American Communication with Health care Providers and its Long Term Effects on their Quality of Life and Life Expectancy
    Tamara Mason
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    African Americans are less prone to seek regular physician care and therefore experience a lower quality of life. African Americans also have a shorter life expectancy than other racial/ethnic groups in the United States. The purpose of this project is to gain greater understanding about African American health care disparities and how we can eliminate those health disparities by increasing the communication within the community and their health care providers. Increased communication produces an increase in the quality of life in African Americans as well as their life expectancy. A review of the literature explored research to identify and explore cultural perceptions, expectations, inequalities of income and education associated with communication between African Americans and health care providers. Results indicate that unproductive communication between African Americans and their healthcare providers decreases the quality of care, quality of life, and life expectancy.

     

     

    Nursing Healthy Work Environments
    Adam Metzger
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    The focus on Healthy Working Environments (HWE) in the Healthcare industry began with the intention to improve patient safety. Since then it has evolved and includes focuses on organizational performance, and employee satisfaction. Currently a portion of the various elements of a HWE are structured into SOP’s of many mainstream healthcare organizations. In regards to the remaining elements, their measurable effects and implementation strategies are generally still under evaluation. I expose the elements of creating and maintaining a HWE in the healthcare industry from the perspective of the nurse, in order to contribute to the enhancement of patient outcomes and nursing satisfaction. I analyzed scholarly articles pertaining to the elements of HWE, including elements at the individual and organizational levels. A strong positive correlation exists between HWE and employee satisfaction, patient outcomes, and organizational performance. Some primary elements of a HWE include leadership, autonomy, control-over-practice, communication, decision-making skills, and combating disruptive behaviors. The role of the nurse at all levels, but especially at the unit level has a great impact on HWE. Developing and maintaining the skills necessary to sustain a HWE is a long-term process but one that is achievable and essential to the progression of the nursing profession.

     

     

    Prevention and Under Control of Hypertension
    Angela Oh
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    Hypertension (HTN) is the most important public issue in the world and about 65 million American adults, or one in three adults, have high blood pressure. Even more alarming is the fact that hypertension may, either directly or in conjunction with other causes, put more people risk for at myocardial infarction, cardiovascular disease, stroke, heart failure, and kidney failure. Although most people are aware that controlled HTN significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, they are unaware that they could be the next hypertensive patient. This presentation discusses barriers and failures to achieve optimal blood pressure and suggests different approaches to improve treatment. This presentation is based on a literature review derived from antihypertensive studies and medical publications. More than 50% of patients taking antihypertensive medication therapy tend to stop their prescribed medications when they feel better or when their HTN is under control. Continued monitoring of patients taking medication and encouraging various lifestyle modifications is needed to sustain compliance during antihypertensive treatment.

     

     

    Tipping the Scales: What Nurses Can Do to Combat Childhood Obesity in Pursuit of Decreasing Future Health Issues
    Sheena Palmer
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    Childhood obesity is an epidemic that affects the health status of children throughout the country. Childhood obesity has more than doubled in all age groups and will continue to increase without intervention. The purpose of this study is to become more aware of the effects of childhood obesity in association with the increase in clinical diseases, with specific focus on prevention being a prime solution in targeting childhood obesity. A review of the professional literature was done regarding childhood obesity and the association with clinical diseases. I expect to find that prevention efforts by nurses may decrease childhood obesity, which leads to decreased clinical diseases associated with obesity. Implications are discussed including the role of nursing in promoting wellness, healthy eating habits, and physical education across the country.

     

     

    A Cost-Benefit Analysis of an Integrated Electronic Health Record System in the United States
    Kelly Parin
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    The possibility of having an Integrated Electronic Health Record (IEHR) system in the United States has been proposed, yet many hospitals and clinics are reluctant to implement an IEHR system. The adoption of an IEHR system could produce efficiency and significant safety savings to the United States healthcare system. Research articles were analyzed regarding the cost-benefit analysis for implementation of IEHRS. Articles included interviews that were conducted with healthcare professionals focusing on the benefits of an IEHR as it relates to the quality of care provided. Most healthcare professionals feel that an IEHR system would dramatically improve the level of care in clinical settings. It is estimated that the United States could save $77 billion per year in healthcare costs with an IEHR system in place. The long term benefits for our healthcare system related to patient safety and satisfaction among both patients and healthcare providers exceeds the cost of implementing a National Electronic Health Record system.

     

     

    Using Nurses as a Tool to Influence the Cessation of Smoking in Their Patients
    Jennifer Shaver
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    Smoking is an addiction that affects over 1.3 billion people in the world. It is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death. It is a prime factor in heart disease, stroke and chronic lung disease. Smoking-related diseases kill one in ten adults globally, and someone dies every eight seconds from tobacco use. If the same rate continues, by 2030 smoking will kill one in six people. This study focused on whether the effectiveness of a single intervention by a nurse was significant in preventing the return to smoking in cardiac inpatients after discharge. A literature review was done relating to this topic and research articles were analyzed. As a result of this research, it appears that nurses simply spending thirty extra minutes with patients explaining information relating to the cessation of smoking is not effective in getting them to permanently quit smoking. More studies need to be done to learn how nurses can be successful at aiding their patients in quitting smoking. Clearly smoking is a powerful addiction and more resources must be invested into learning how nurses can be used to best help their patients.

     

     

    Recognizing and Reducing Anxiety among Patients in the Hospital Setting
    Courtney Smith
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    It is crucial that nurses are able to recognize symptoms of anxiety among their patients, allowing a determination of anxiety as underlying cause of pain and stress; which may prevent the overuse of pharmacological treatments. The current presentation provides information on how to recognize anxiety using selected screening tools as well as how to reduce anxiety among patients using nonpharmacological methods. A literature review explored the CINAHL database to identify research articles on recognizing and resolving anxiety among hospitalized patients. Emotions of anxiety are correlated with increased myocardial workload, changes in autonomic tone, reduced immune response, and increased coagulability, all leading to potential conflict with the patients’ recovery process. Research has shown that relatively simple, nonpharmacological interventions can be implemented by clinical nurses to reduce anxiety in acute and critical care patients (McKinley, 2004). If nurses are educated and proficient in anxiety management, they are better able to understand the effects of anxiety, potentially resolving negative effects on the patients’ recovery process (Frazier, 2003). Recognizing and decreasing patient symptoms of anxiety provides a more efficient, favorable recovery.

     

     

    The Effects of RN-Patient Ratios on Patient Reports of Quality of Nursing Care Received in Acute Care Hospitals
    Sybil Stadelman
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    Numerous research studies have shown a strong relationship between RN-patient ratios and positive patient outcomes. However, nursing shortages have lead to poor RN-patient (many patients for each nurse) ratios. These ratios have been associated with increased medical errors and poor patient outcomes. Yet, these findings do not directly examine the effects that RN-patient ratios have on patient self-reports of quality of nursing care received. In order for hospitals and health care providers to provide the best care to their patients, it is vital to understand the patients’ opinion of the quality of care they receive. The purpose of this research is to examine how RN-patient ratios affect patients’ reports of the quality of nursing care received in acute care settings. Five research articles were analyzed and it is apparent that poor RN-patient ratios are directly related to objective measures of poor patient outcomes. Improving RN-patient ratios may help to limit the number of objective poor patient outcomes, such as infection rates. However, further research must be conducted in order to determine the effects of RN-patient ratios on the patients’ subjective view of quality of nursing care they receive.

     

     

    Complementary Therapy Use in the Patient with Diabetes
    Jennifer Stout
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    According to the World Health Organization, there are over 220 million people worldwide living with diabetes. Current research supports the idea that approximately 22% of people with diabetes living in the United States use herbal medicines and nutritional supplements to treat their disease. Due to the potential for mismanagement of disease in patients with diabetes, healthcare professionals must be aware of the most frequently used types of herbs and supplements in the treatment of diabetes, their effects, and potential interactions and contraindications. Research articles published in scholarly nursing journals regarding the use of herbal medicines and nutritional supplements by people living with diabetes were reviewed and a comprehensive list of the most frequently used of these herbs and supplements, their effects, and potential interactions, and contraindications was compiled. The most common herbal medicines and nutritional supplements used by people with diabetes include ginseng, bitter melon, fenugreek, ginkgo, chromium, fish oil, magnesium, and zinc. Healthcare providers must be knowledgeable about these complementary therapies to identify which ones are beneficial for people with diabetes and potential interactions with their current treatment plan.

     

     

    Flight Nurses: Should a Multi-Critical Care Experience be a Requirement
    Susan Thomas
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    Flight nurses are continuously called on missions where they have no information on the patient. The nurse needs to rapidly assess and treat the patient using skills found in either an emergency room setting or an intensive care setting. Beside the clinical experience required for flight nurses, they also have physical criteria, like a yearly FAA Class II physical, they need to maintain in order to stay a flight nurse. The purpose of this research is to identify the importance of having a multi-critical care experience in order to become a flight nurse. A literature review of articles was analyzed and one flight nurse was interviewed on the duties and experiences needed to become a flight nurse. This presentation discusses the importance of how multi-critical care experience is extremely important in order for the flight nurse to make a rapid assessment and treatment of each patient. It also discusses the physical requirements that must be maintained by a flight nurse on top of their nursing skill level.

     

     

    The Relationship Between Soft Drink Consumption and Childhood Obesity
    Courtney Van Valkenburg
    Mentor: Barbara Duane

    Childhood obesity is increasing at an alarming rate, and this study is focused on the consumption of soft drinks among school aged children. The literature suggests that the consumption of high-calorie, nutrient-poor soft drinks add to the obesity epidemic worldwide. This study explores research studies examining the potential relationship between soft drinks and childhood obesity. Studies that focused on the consumption of foods with a high glycemic index, such as soft drinks and their influence on obesity were specifically analyzed. Two schoolteachers were interviewed to better understand contextual factors. Data suggest a positive correlation between soft drink consumption and increased weight gain in children. More recently, high-energy soft drinks have been shown to increase body fat. This is a specific modifiable behavior that may help decrease the childhood obesity epidemic. Implications are discussed including decreasing dietary fat and increasing energy expenditure to target weight management, as well as other factors.