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Our Nurses of the Week are the researchers from the New Mexico State University (NMSU) School of Nursing who are helping border residents thanks to a grant from the New Mexico Department of Health’s Office of Border Health. The grant is going to fund a project that will separately examine the accuracy of a mobile translation device during mental-health evaluations and create an online, self-care resource for those experiencing urinary incontinence.

In the first project, researchers will conduct a study to determine the accuracy of a mobile device and smartphone app which has the ability to translate speech in real time. The device operates with a corresponding smartphone app that translates speech into a selected language. The research team at NMSU views the device as a possible solution to improve healthcare communication in rural communities along the United States-Mexico border, where language barriers exist between patients and providers.

Stephanie Lynch, a nurse practitioner and assistant professor in NMSU’s School of Nursing who is part of the team conducting the study, tells, “We’re losing a lot of patients who need help in our area because of providers’ limited Spanish and patients’ limited English. When we learned about this device and saw this grant from the New Mexico Department of Health, we thought: ‘Why can’t we use it in our practices and see if we can reach those people who need help.’”

In a separate project, Lori Saiki, assistant professor in NMSU’s School of Nursing, plans to develop a web-based, educational resource that will help people in the border region who experience urinary incontinence.

The resource will be geared toward community health workers and teach self-care strategies to better manage urinary incontinence. According to Saiki, urinary incontinence affects more than 40 percent of Hispanic women and 18 percent of Hispanic men, and results in significant physical, economic, and psychosocial costs.

To learn more about two new projects from researchers at New Mexico State University’s School of Nursing to develop technologies to help border residents, visit here.

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