Concordia University Texas School of Nursing students are now utilizing a medical van to better serve their community. Their mobile Medical Missions Van operates as a pop-up clinic that provides free, basic healthcare to two counties and has plenty of space for medical supply storage and seating for clients and nurses.
Students first put the van to use last month to help individuals living under an Austin bridge, setting up foot-washing stations while a local ministry provided fellowship and food. Though these community healthcare activities are strongly helped by the use of the mobile medical clinic, nursing students have been working on projects like these since 2015, as part of their requirement for their Community Health course.
Concordia’s Nursing program director Dr. Greta Degen, RN, told CTX Blog: “The biggest impact the van has is that it allows Concordia nursing students to become the first stop for people in the community who are wrestling with a medical issue. Students can use their nursing knowledge to screen and educate individuals on their health issue or medication before needing to go see a doctor or visit an emergency room.”
Mobile medical clinics like this are used globally, especially in areas devastated by war, natural disasters, and humanitarian crises. The clinics provide a way for healthcare professionals to get medical treatments and supplies to people cut off or isolated from communities, and are especially helpful in areas lacking in public transportation.
To learn more about Concordia University Texas School of Nursing and their mobile Medical Missions Van, visit CTX Blog.
Our Nurse of the Week is Elsamar Ibarra who was a nursing student in Texas when Hurricane Harvey struck her hometown last year. Even while her own home had taken on water, Ibarra still couldn’t sit by while she watched people pouring into shelters on the news, so she jumped into action and rushed to the temporary shelter at the George R. Brown Convention Center to help.
Ibarra says she will never forget how the storm left thousands stranded and homeless, and almost 100 dead. Witnessing the aftermath of the hurricane led her to want to help as a nurse by helping bandage wounds, taking vital signs, and giving out medications.
Ibarra tells Click2Houston.com, “It’s my passion. I have something that I want to do, to be the best for the people, to help them when they need help, and I’m here to serve for them.”
Ibarra was later recognized by the Texas Nursing Association for her brave actions. One of her professors at the University of St. Thomas Peavy School of Nursing said she wasn’t surprised by Ibarra’s actions one bit, explaining that Ibarra has been a standout student and nurse since day one.
It’s very special to Ibarra to be able to make positive changes in other’s lives and follow in the footsteps of her mother who was a nurse in Mexico. Ibarra is no longer a nursing student, having since graduated with a nursing degree. Now, she’s following her passion to jump into action and help others like she did during Hurricane Harvey.
To learn more about Elsamar Ibarra and her heroic actions as a nursing student in Houston during Hurricane Harvey, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Amber Estupinian, a 21-year-old nurse technician at Clear Lake Regional Medical Center, a health care facility that took in patients from the Santa Fe High School shooting. Estupinian is an aspiring nurse who shared her experiences from that day with Youth Radio.
“At the end of the day, it made me feel good that I could actually provide some kind of service to these families.”
When Estupinian’s manager texted her to ask if she could come in after working four days in a row, she immediately responded “no.” However, she began to see the news of the shooting on social media and realized that the tragedy had struck close to home this time. Estupinian knew some of the students might be arriving at her hospital so she went in to help.
During her shift, Estupinian went to drop off a blood sample in the lab. She passed by the ER waiting room where families were waiting to see if their children and loved ones were okay. Estupinian tells YouthRadio.org, “At the end of the day, it made me feel good that I could actually provide some kind of service to these families.”
Estupinian has been working at the medical center since early March and is slated to begin the nursing program at Houston Baptist University in August with a goal of becoming a registered nurse.
To read Youth Radio’s full interview with Estupinian about her experience working as a nurse technician when the victims of the Santa Fe shooting began arriving at the hospital, visit here.
Our Nurse of the Week is Amanda Ward Braswell, a 2017 graduate from Baylor University’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing and recent recipient of a Fulbright grant to India. The Fulbright Program is an international educational exchange program sponsored by the US government to increase mutual understanding between people of the US and people of other countries.
Beginning in the fall, Braswell will temporarily leave her post as a registered nurse in the Bone Marrow Transplant unit at Medical City Dallas to live in Bengaluru, India, on the Bangalore Baptist Hospital (BBH)/Rebekah Ann Naylor School of Nursing (RANSON) campus. Braswell will conduct her research project with residents from DJ Halli, the largest slum in Bangalore, where rates of illiteracy and a variety of health disparities run high.
Braswell tells Baylor.edu, “The No. 1 cause of death in India is non-communicable disease, such as cardiovascular disease, and this is something that can be prevented if people have the knowledge about modifying certain aspects of their diet, for example. So my project will study the perception of food, dietary habits and the accessibility of food and find the link to cardiovascular disease with the goal of bridging the knowledge gap.”
Braswell became interested in Bengaluru, India on a mission trip in July 2017 with two of her nursing professors and a few peers from Baylor’s nursing program. Through a partnership with BBH/RANSON, Braswell and colleagues taught 200 nurses at the hospital how to initiate intravenous punctures while reducing the risk for infection and conducted research on the effectiveness of their teaching.
After finishing her Fulbright year, Braswell hopes to publish her research findings and return to Medical City Dallas, with graduate school a strong possibility in the future. Braswell is considering earning her DNP or PhD while continuing in the field of nursing research.
To learn more about Braswell’s work as a Fulbright scholar in India and future plans for her career in nursing, visit here.
Texas A&M University recently named Nancy Fahrenwald the new dean of the College of Nursing, scheduled to take effect June 1. She has served as dean and professor of South Dakota State University’s (SDSU) College of Nursing since 2013, where she oversaw enrollment growth in undergraduate and graduate programs.
Dennis Hedge, provost and vice president of academic affairs at SDSU, tells BrookingsRegister.com, “On behalf of the administration, faculty and staff at South Dakota State University, I would like to thank Nancy for her service to our university and state. Dr. Fahrenwald has been a visionary leader for the betterment of nursing and health care during her time at SDSU, and her impact will be felt for many years. She continued a legacy within the College of Nursing of preparing health-care professionals to have a positive impact on their local communities and throughout the world.”
Fahrenwald received her BSN from SDSU, MSN at the University of Portland, and PhD in Nursing from University of Nebraska Medical Center. Prior to becoming a nurse educator, Fahrenwald pursued clinical specialization as a public health nurse, serving in community health nursing roles in South Dakota and Washington. She also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Malawi, Africa, working on AIDS prevention and community health teaching.
Fahrenwald is also a nurse researcher who has impacted education on organ donation and transplants within American Indian populations, tobacco-free school policies, and tobacco-cessation programs for rural citizens. She has helped form a transdisciplinary rural health research team to provide improved health in the state and region. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.
Excited for the new position at Texas A&M and the opportunity to serve another university, Fahrenwald feels well prepared by her experience at SDSU. To learn more about her nursing career, visit here.
The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center began a Veteran to BSN program through the School of Nursing which has been steadily growing. The program is aimed at veterans with prior military medical training and experience, featuring online classes guided by clinical coaches and nursing faculty.
Texas Tech’s 12-month program is open to veterans from all branches of service and offered on several campuses including Odessa, Amarillo, San Antonio, Dallas, and Abilene. Students must have medical rank from the service and have taken certain prerequisite courses to be eligible for the program.
Seven students graduated from the initial cohort in December 2016 and the program has since grown to 12 students currently enrolled. The university expects to have 26 students enrolled by 2018 and 41 students enrolled by 2019.
A current student, a reservist, was activated with the National Guard during Hurricane Harvey. Texas Tech allowed them to complete clinical hours during that service time and Sharon Cannon, regional dean of the School of Nursing at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Odessa, tells OAOA.com, “It was a true win-win. Not only did they get called up and go down and help a community in need, but then they were also able to get some clinical hours toward their course.”
Texas Tech expects steady growth of the Veteran to BSN program to continue through word of mouth and recruitment visits to VA hospitals and reserve bases. To learn more about Texas Tech University’s Veteran to BSN program, visit here.