Pennsylvania State University is using telecommunications
technologies to help train nurses for providing better care to sexual assault
victims. The Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth (SAFE-T) Center connects
experienced professionals with nurses and health care professionals in training
for sexual assault care, while providing patients with crucial help.
The SAFE-T Center is helping provide better access to sexual
assault care in underserved communities across the state. The center, now set
up at three partner sites across Pennsylvania, was launched three years ago
with funding from the Office for Victims of Crime in the U.S. Department of
“Having a forensic exam performed with expert nursing assistance in a safe, supported environment can be the first step toward healing,” said Sheridan Miyamoto, assistant professor of nursing at Penn State and director of the SAFE-T Center. “Every victim deserves expert care, and every nurse deserves support in providing that care.”
Merging Forensics and Healthcare
Forensic nursing is crucial to helping care for sexual
assault survivors. Forensic nurses are trained in very specialized areas like forensic
evidence and collection, and additionally learn how to work with the legal
system, in order to interact and present evidence in courtroom cases. According
to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, forensic nursing is expected to grow by
26% in the next ten years.
Jocelyn Anderson, a forensic nurse and researcher at Penn State, also works with the SAFE-T Center and knows how crucial the work of a forensic nurse and sexual assault nurse is. As she shared with Penn State News, research shows that patients receiving care from specifically trained nurses are more likely to receive appropriate care and medication, and have a sexual assault kit properly collected. This means the likelihood of having their criminal case move forward increases, and the experience is not as traumatic for patients with forensically trained health care professionals.
“This specified training and knowledge is not something that every ER nurse or every trained physician can or should be doing,” Anderson said.
Jane French, a clinical coordinator at the SAFE-T Center, manages
a team of expert sexual assault nurse examiners and local nurses. She helps
ensure that the patients are cared for and that the staff are fully supported
and confident in their work.
“Sexual assault exams can be technically and emotionally difficult, and staff who perform them may be difficult to retain,” French said. “The SAFE-T Center offers quality assurance, peer support, mentorship and on-demand training to help nurses feel confident that they are doing a good job.”
For more information on the SAFE-T Center, click here to visit their website.
A new healthcare nonprofit organization in Maryland recently launched to better address rural patients’ needs. IMBUEfoundation will provide care and transportation services to Maryland’s Eastern Shore communities, to improve residents’ options for care and lifestyle choices.
“IMBUEfoundation was established to eliminate the barriers that prevent people from accessing healthcare and living healthy lives,” founder Dr. Seun Ross said. “We are working to address obstacles like health literacy, transportation, and care coordination.”
Recent research by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and NPR shows that receiving good healthcare is the second-biggest problem for rural American families. Major health concerns for rural Maryland residents include chronic disease, health literacy, care coordination, outreach and education, according to a 2017 assessment by the Maryland Rural Health Association. IMBUEfoundation notes on its site that the lack of services and coordinated care has led many Maryland residents to struggle in finding proper care.
“Healthcare is more than just going to the doctor,” Ross said. “For example, someone who lives in a place like Caroline County, which is both a food swamp and a food desert, is going to have a harder time making healthy food choices, which can lead to obesity— a major factor of chronic disease. It’s a domino effect.”
The new non-profit is helping those in need with nurse practitioners, acting as “clinical concierges” who provide counseling, monitoring, and stewardship activities. The nurse practitioners assist with coordinate care delivery for patients, explain healthcare plans and treatment options, and provide education on alternative care, in addition to other necessary tasks.
Modes of services provided by IMBUEfoundation include the Rural Health Collaborative, Care Coordination, and Transportation Service, in partnership with Lyft.
“From providing transportation to helping patients coordinate between doctors, IMBUEfoundation is working to make sure Maryland’s mid-shore residents have the resources they need to be healthy and happy,” Ross said. “But there’s still so much work to be done.”
For more information about IMBUEfoundation, visit imbuefoundation.org.
VA strives to deliver high-quality, compassionate health care to Veterans across America. We’ve taken great strides to ensure patients living in rural areas have access to a range of care options to best meet their health care needs. Due to VA’s recent “scope of practice” laws—which grant advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) full practice authority—certified nurse practitioners are stepping in to provide primary care to patients in rural areas.
Currently, nurse practitioners account for 1 in 4 medical providers in rural practices—a 43.2% increase from 2008 to 2016. Their advanced training and ability to diagnose and prescribe medicine enables more efficient, cost-effective health care delivery. Joyce Knestrick, president of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), says “NPs are one of the most significant factors in expanding patient access to primary, acute and specialty care, especially at a time when demand is high and physicians remain concentrated in more urban and affluent areas.”
More and more, nurse practitioners are taking on a significant role in the health care of Veterans in rural areas. Their growing presence demonstrates the wealth of experience, growth and impact available to nurses interested in advancing their careers. Bring your nursing expertise to VA and discover a career in which your capabilities are utilized to the fullest extent—and consider a future serving our honorable Veterans living in rural areas. You’ll enjoy a satisfying quality of life unmatched by metropolitan areas, with all the same comprehensive benefits offered across the VA system. To get started, explore open positions near you and apply.
This story was originally posted on VAntage Point.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing recently received a $91,500 grant from Women Investing in Nebraska (WIN) for geriatric and dementia services. The grant was given specifically to the UNMC Geriatric Cognitive and Mental Health Project for Rural Nebraska.
The project is being managed by UNMC assistant professor Dr. Nancy Meier, who teaches adult gerontology and psychiatric mental in the nurse practitioner programs. She explained that many older patients have to travel further for specialized services, which limits their access to care. “One of the reasons for my applying for this grant is that in the 11 Panhandle counties, almost 20 percent of the population is 65 or older,” Dr. Meier told the Scottsbluff Star-Herald. “That means almost 1 in 5 individuals living in the Panhandle are over the age of 65, yet there is really a lack of providers who have specialty in being able to evaluate them from a psychiatric standpoint, as well as geriatric.”
The grant will help Dr. Meier and other UNMC nurse practitioners get trained on performing geriatric assessments and psychiatric evaluations on patients in their own homes, in order to help access to care and help the nurse practitioners better see and understand their patients’ living situations, backgrounds, and other important details.
“I work with them to provide the details on what I think is the problem,” Meier shared with the Scottsbluff Star-Herald. “We are very specific into the needs of that older adult. Our goal is that they will be able to stay longer at home. Our goal is to be able to help them take care of the problem or give them a reference to another provider, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy or the right resource so that they are healthy and stay healthy.”
This grant from WIN is a huge boost for the program, which will also provide caregiver assessments, dementia education, and mobile services. This comes in addition to a four year, $2.6 million grant gifted in July to the UNMC College of Nursing by the U.S. Health Resources & Services Administration, aimed at improving engagement of registered nurses in patient management.
For more information about the grant awarded to the UNMC Geriatric Cognitive and Mental Health Project for Rural Nebraska, click here.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham has recently opened its new state-of-the-art School of Nursing building. With a 72,000-square-foot expansion and renovation, complete with the latest technology-enhanced classrooms and competency labs, the School of Nursing building is already being put to good use by students, faculty and staff alike.
Doreen Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN, Dean of the UAB School of Nursing and Fay B. Ireland endowed Chair in Nursing, says the excitement is evident as everyone discovers how to live and learn in the new facility. “Our students and faculty are learning and collaborating in open, light-filled spaces throughout the day. Classrooms are structured to engage students in flipped classrooms, using video streaming and sharing through computers and other digital devices. Faculty have their own windowed offices rather than working in groups as well as convenient conference rooms for meeting with students throughout the building.”
The technology provided within the new facility is playing a major role in furthering nursing education, research and clinical practice, by providing resources that encourage student engagement and collaboration. Classrooms have device-sharing technology, smartboards, and short throw projectors that allow students to more easily share their screens with instructors and fellow students. The Innovation Collaboratory, a special classroom within the new UAB School of Nursing facility, gives students the chance to share ideas and information through interactive workstations with streaming capabilities.
Jacqueline Moss, Ph.D, Associate Dean for Technology and Innovation in the School of Nursing, says the technology is designed to maximize interaction and engagement of students. “We are able to stream video from simulations happening in our nursing competency suites, from presenters at a distance, and engage with patients where they live. In addition, all classrooms are equipped with device sharing hardware and software that allows students to work in groups and share that work with the entire class by sharing their work on their personal computers.”
These virtual educational experiences made possible by the new technology provide education and professional development, and can be used to reach rural patients through telehealth research and clinical activities. Health care for the medically underserved in rural and urban Alabama will continue to grow and improve as a result.
Dean Harper notes that in addition to gaining new technology and space, the programs within the school are growing in response to the continuous need for highly educated, compassionate and competent nurses. “We have expanded our pre-licensure programs at the baccalaureate and master’s level to accommodate more than 60 new nursing pre-licensure students annually. Likewise, given the critical need for nursing administrators, managers, informaticians and executive leaders, our nursing health care systems major is being tailored to recruit nursing leaders and innovators from across the nation. We have also developed new coursework in perioperative nursing, transplant nursing, design thinking and biomedical informatics research to be offered.”
To learn more about the new, expanded UAB School of Nursing building, click here.
Arizona State University (ASU) and Eastern Arizona College (EAC) have partnered to create a concurrent enrollment program that allows students to earn their bachelor’s degree from ASU while studying at EAC’s campus in Thatcher, Arizona.
The partnership between EAC and ASU, called the EAC-ASU Baccalaureate Nursing Program, allows students to take class for both their associate and bachelor’s degrees at the same time. It is a quicker, cheaper, and more flexible option than other traditional nursing education tracks, offering hybrid courses that allow students to do their work online at their own pace but ask professors questions in person.
Program director Carolyn McCormies tells ASUNow.ASU.edu, “Research shows that patient outcomes are better when nurses have a higher level of education, but many nurses with associate degrees find it very difficult to go back to school once they start working or have families. Our graduates have the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree along with their associate. The whole community benefits from having a program like this in their midst.”
A main goal of the program is to ensure that skilled healthcare professionals and quality care aren’t lost to bigger cities. ASU and EAC aim to keep graduates of the program in rural areas. Each semester, students in the program are required to complete 10 hours of community service as well as four hours of “leadership time” mentoring underclassmen.
To learn more about Arizona State University’s partnership with Eastern Arizona College to encourage nurses to work in rural areas, visit here.