A new building to house the Duke University School of Nursing and School of Medicine has been approved by the Duke Board of Trustees. Construction on the 102,000-square-foot facility is set to begin this month and be completed in 2019.
Marion E. Broome, dean of the School of Nursing, tells Today.Duke.edu, “Once this project is complete, the School of Nursing and School of Medicine will continue to expand their interprofessional efforts by providing unparalleled educational excellence, leading research and clinical expertise to our students and the community.”
Once completed, the new five-story building will replace the current Duke research building. The School of Nursing will occupy 50 percent of the new building, which will also be home to the school’s PhD program, Center for Nursing Research, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Office of Student Services, Duke Health Center for Interprofessional Education, simulation suite, and more.
The new building will also be home to Duke’s nationally recognized Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Dr. Mary E. Klotman, dean of the School of Medicine, looks forward to co-locating Duke’s health programs in one building and creating a new focus on interprofessional education to help teach students the value of patient-centered care across multiple medical disciplines.
To learn more about Duke’s new nursing and healthcare building, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Carol Fowler Durham, 63, a professor at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Nursing who was diagnosed with sepsis in 2010. She was in the middle of a faculty meeting when she began violently shaking, but she didn’t understand what was wrong at the time. Now seven years later and fully recovered, Fuller is helping raise awareness about sepsis, the deadly condition that nearly killed her.
When Durham began to feel symptoms of sepsis, she didn’t realize that her body had launched an attack on itself. Confused by the reaction she was having, she left her meeting and drove herself home. Her condition later worsened and her husband, Stephen, drove her to the emergency room where she was placed behind a long queue of patients.
By the time Durham was seen by staff in the emergency room, she had a high fever and chills which was enough to admit her. Staff still didn’t recognize what her symptoms meant, allowing her condition to worsen overnight. After her blood pressure plummeted, her medical team finally realized that she had sepsis and was moving into septic shock, a condition with a high mortality rate.
“Sepsis occurs when a massive immune response to a bacterial infection gets into the blood,” Durham tells People.com. “The condition can quickly cause tissue damage, organ failure, or death.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1.5 million people get sepsis each year in the US and about 250,000 die from it.
Durham was finally taken to the intensive care unit where she received antibiotics to stave off her raging infection. She responded to the antibiotics and began to improve but doctors were never able to determine the cause of her sepsis. Now fully recovered, Durham has a passion to get the word out about the deadly condition and make medical professionals aware of how to recognize and treat sepsis.
Durham now speaks to groups around the country teaching health care audiences, publishers, medical simulation vendors, and others to recognize sepsis and how to fight it. Quick and proper intervention are key and Durham drives that message home every chance she gets.
To learn more about Carol Fowler Durham and her experience surviving septic shock and becoming an advocate for the dangerous condition, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Kayla McMillan, 28, a labor and delivery nurse at the Duke Birthing Center in Durham who has been gifting maternity photo shoots to pregnant mothers on hospital bed rest. She was inspired by her own experience giving birth to her daughter, Emma, at just 25 weeks due to eclampsia.
Emma is now a healthy 1-year old, but McMillan remembers what it was like to have to cancel her baby shower and maternity photo shoot, fun things she had been looking forward to and things that usually accompany a normal pregnancy. McMillan tells InsideEdition.com:
“It was really surreal just because I work in a place where things happen like this all the time. I am a nurse and I never thought something like that would happen to me. It’s humbling because now I can help moms in the same position that I was in.”
McMillan likes to practice photography as a hobby and decided she wanted to give something to mothers at Duke University Hospital who were going through something similar to what she experienced. She teamed up with co-worker Samantha Duncan to create their first maternity photo shoot in April for a mom confined to her hospital bed.
Duncan is in charge of hair and makeup for the women, while McMillan wheels them out into a beautiful courtyard on Duke’s campus for the photo shoots. The duo has since done six photo shoots, giving pregnant mothers on bed rest something to cherish from the difficult experience.
To learn more about McMillan’s career as a labor and delivery nurse and new hobby taking maternity photos for women on her unit, visit here.
Following the US Surgeon General’s call to action to end the national opioid epidemic through a movement called Turn the Tide Rx, the Duke University School of Nursing is taking steps to help promote it. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy launched the effort in August 2016, calling for healthcare providers to be educated on how to treat pain effectively without over-prescribing opioids and how to direct opioid users to alternate forms of treatment.
Opioid addiction has increased over the past 15 years, becoming a national epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 people per day died from opioid overdose in the US in 2016.
Duke’s School of Nursing is addressing the epidemic by hosting a discussion on how emergency healthcare providers can unite against opioid abuse. Students from the accelerated bachelors of science in nursing (ABSN) program organized the event and hope it will be the first in a number of efforts to bring the Turn the Tide Rx movement to North Carolina.
The School of Nursing is focused on 21st century healthcare needs and preparing the next generation of transformational leaders in nursing. Two students from the ABSN program and members of Duke Emergency Nursing Students brought the idea for the Turn the Tide Rx discussion to the nursing Dean who was thrilled to support their idea. After being personally affected by the opioid epidemic, these students wanted to start spreading awareness and educating others on alternative pain management.
Turn the Tide Rx is a movement for the entire healthcare community, not just nurses. Duke is hopeful that their event will open up the conversations to begin reducing opioid abuse in North Carolina and across the country. To learn more about Duke Nursing’s efforts to end the opioid epidemic, visit here.
Last week, the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill inducted Nilda Peragallo Montano as the new dean of the School of Nursing. She brings immensely valuable experience from her work as a nursing professor in Australia and Chile before moving on to work at the University of Miami School of Nursing for 14 years.
After her long professional stint at the University of Miami, Montano said she wouldn’t have left the university without a good reason. UNC’s School of Nursing offers a great opportunity for her to work with an excellent nursing program. And she says, “This is a great University – historically, the first public university in the USA. It’s a privilege to be here.”
With a deep passion for teaching nursing skills to new students, she is also looking forward to the opportunity to be involved in research in an academic environment. UNC will allow her to do research to further her experience and knowledge without compromising her love for teaching. Montano values the social aspects of her new position just as much as the administrative aspects and values interacting with students, faculty, and researchers alike.
Megan William, a clinical assistant professor at the UNC School of Nursing for thirteen years, told DailyTarheel.com, “To have a leader that has great vision come to our school at this point in time – when things (are changing) on a national level (with) potential changes in the Affordable Care Act – we don’t know what’s going to happen and we need a leader with vision.”
Montano brings a new level of experience and knowledge to the UNC School of Nursing, and the staff involved in bringing her on board believes she will be monumental in moving the nursing program forward. To learn more about Montano and her new position at UNC, visit here.
In the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak in 2014, the healthcare community is exploring and testing new technologies that can serve as alternatives to human contact to diminish the risk for providers to care for patients with infectious diseases. At Duke University, nursing and engineering students teamed up to collaborate on the building and refining of Trina, their first-generation Tele-Robotic Intelligent Nursing Assistant.
Duke’s robot project is funded by an $85,000 grant from the National Science Foundation. The project began a year-and-a-half ago, not as an effort to replace nurses, but to create a safer environment for health care providers. When health care providers are faced with treating patients with infectious diseases, like Ebola, they must dress in multiple layers of protective clothing, wipe down their materials with bleach, and use multiple rooms. With the development of nurse-robots like Trina, healthcare providers and researchers hope to improve the process of treating patients with infectious diseases by allowing nurses and doctors to navigate a remote-controlled robot into another room, directing it to move the linens, take vital signs, and pass food and medications.
A few weeks ago, Duke students and staff tested Trina on a fake patient, Michele Kuszajewski, having Trina take the patient’s vital signs via a remote-control stethoscope. Michele recalls feeling scared when the robot-nurse was coming at her. The massive red mechanical robot resembles a science fiction character out of Transformers or The Jetsons with a gray wig and surgical cap on its head to give it some human-like elements. On the robot’s face is a tablet showing the human operator, similar to a Skype call. Robots are currently being used in hospitals to help doctors perform tasks with precision and flexibility during surgery, but the machines don’t move about a room or perform bedside tasks like preparing drinks and adjusting oxygen masks.
To improve the study, engineering students needed to understand the tasks that Trina needs to perform. Nursing students donned protective clothing in the nursing school’s simulation lab and simulated working with a patient with Ebola as engineering students watched and took notes through a glass window. After the nursing students were finished, an engineering student drove Trina into the lab to test her ability with tasks like delivering a red cup, a bowl, pills, and a stethoscope to Michele in a simulation setting.
Students conducting the study found Trina’s movements to be abrupt and clumsy. In the future, they hope to make Trina, or the next generation robot-nurse, more agile so that it can collect and test fluids and look more friendly and human-like. They also hope to create a better interface between the human and robot to make their work together more comfortable, especially for the patient.