Health care systems are focusing their attention on ways to provide highest quality, patient-centered care in a complex medical environment. To achieve magnet status or to become a Planetree health care system is not only good for patients and their families, it is good for business. Consumers are paying closer attention as to which hospitals have the commitment to providing a caring environment and will travel, if necessary, to make these choices.
Novant HealthCare/Forsyth Medical Center, a Source of Caring sponsor for the April 2008 International Human Caring Conference in Chapel Hill, has such a commitment, which is why they are participating. So does Carolinas Healthcare System in Charlotte, a Hands of Caring sponsor. They join UNC Healthcare, the major co-sponsor of the conference along with UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing. Other sponsors are Alpha Alpha Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society, Florida Atlantic University, and Kindred Healthcare.
You can get the entire conference program at:
There will be more than 70 presentations and 20 posters that focus on topics such as religion, spirituality, and end-of-life; theory, ethics and aesthetics; and practice and systems. Research about human caring outcomes, as well a keynote addresses by major thought leaders from around the world will inspire, excite and give practical information that attendees can take back to their work environment.
Some specific presentations are about fostering compassionate patient care, integrative healing modalities, postpartum depression, therapeutic touch, critical care nursing, healing for obesity, heart failure and other chronic illnesses, international nursing, caring and burnout, job satisfaction and organizational support, developing a theory of healing through touch.
While the conference is centered around nursing practice, many of the presenters come from other related fields, such as social work and psychology.
Conference sponsorships at several levels are still available.
Cadbury Adams, the manufacturers of Trident Gum, made a gift of 31 boxes of Trident Original flavor — that’s 9,120 pieces of gum — to help nursing researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing understand more about managing uncertainty in younger breast cancer survivors. “The chewing gum is necessary for the cortisol collection part of the study,” said Merle Mishel, PhD, RN, FAAN, the principal investigator for the National Institute of Nursing Research study. “Chewing gum helps subjects produce saliva for the samples.”
Why are samples of cortisol needed? Individuals under chronic stress have been shown to have decreased cortisol reactivity which is related to adverse health outcomes. The Carolina SON research team is studying how the fear of recurrence for younger breast cancer survivors results in a pervasive sense of a less controllable world, thereby, potentially increasing their uncertainty about cancer recurrence, which may constitute a form of chronic stress. Chronic stress is known to weaken the immune system.
About 178,500 women in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007; of this group, approximately 25 percent will be under 50 years of age. In the first four years following treatment, pre-menopausal women under 50 have a high recurrence rate and an increased likelihood of a second primary tumor. Uncertainty about how to interpret and handle symptoms leads to excessive worry, avoidance of symptoms or somatic vigilance. There has been little research on young survivors during the period of extended survival. Therefore, it is important to test interventions to help these women control their symptoms and manage the uncertainty about recurrence, and improve their quality of life.
There is some evidence that the impact of a breast cancer diagnosis is greater on African-American survivors and they experience more energy loss, sensory and sleep problems, pain and mental distress. African-American breast cancer survivors have rarely been included in intervention studies. This study, however, includes a significant sample of this group.
The Managing Uncertainty in Cancer Patients (MUIC) team has designed and tested a succesful intervention for older breast cancer survivors (mean 64 years of age) who were 5-9 years post treatment. This is currently being distributed by the National Cancer Institute as a model intervention program. The link is: http://rtips.cancer.gov/rtips/rtips_details.do?programid=82&topicid=12&co=n&cg=
The link will go to “RTIPs Program Use Agreement.” Please click accept button below to continue. Click on the “Product” image to download documents or to order a CD.
Most pre-menopausal women also experience an intense reponse to treatment induced premature menopause, including debilitating hot flashes, mood and sleep impairment, memory impairment, sexual dysfunction, and fatigue, yet little information from physicians is offered to help them with these treatment issues. The nursing intervention developed by MUIC places a greater focus on calming self-statements and cognitive restructuring to enhance the benefits of the intervention, which can be practiced by women on their own at home, with a self-help guide manual that can be used on as as-needed basis.
This year the School will send 30 students, mainly from the BSN and MSN programs, to Honduras to run and assist with health clinics, feeding programs and visiting orphanages and hospitals as ambassadors from UNC. The trip, from March 6-15, 2008, will focus on increasing the cultural understanding of migrant Latino health issues and applying this knowledge to the growing Hispanic population in North Carolina.
Student’s individual cost for this trip is $1,300. Although some medical professionals have volunteered their time and some medicines and supplies have been donated through the non-profit organization Compassion Med International, trip participants still need financial funding to purchase supplies here and in Honduras. The following donations would also be helpful:
Tylenol 325mg (60 bottles x 100ct)
Tylenol 500mg (50 bottles x 100ct)
Cough Drops (~20bags of 30 or more ct)
Neosporin (20 tubes x 30gm)
Hydrocortisone 0.5% (25 tubes 15gm or 30gm)
Hydrocortisone 1.0% (25 tubes 15 gm or 30gm)
Lotrimin Cream 1.0%(antifungal cream) (25 tubes)
Vaginal Cream [anti-yeast] – 15-20 tubes
Poly-vi-sol (10-15 bottles)
Pepto-Bismol tablets ( 20 boxes )
New or nearly new children’s book bags and light weight school supplies (paper will be purchased in Honduras)
A collection box will be placed outside the Division 2 door on the 4th floor of Carrington Hall. Another box will be in front of Jean Davison’s office door, 535. Please mail financial donations to Compassion Med International, 200 Sage Rd., Chapel Hill, N.C., 27514.
With the support of SON faculty and staff, 20 participants worked in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, during Spring Break 2007. The team saw more than 300 patients daily in the clinic, and they delivered food packets to feed 30 families for a week. They also provided clothing, vitamins and medicines to an orphanage, visited and gave medical supplies to a local hospital and provided vitamins and anti-parasitic medications to thousands of children.
CHAPEL HILL – Health affairs students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who volunteered to provide primary healthcare and public health services to individuals still affected by and recovering from Hurricane Katrina may be denied the opportunity to help.
Organizers for the trip to Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast, scheduled for March 9-15, 2008, said they still need $4,800 to meet their bare-bones budget of $12,300. Without the additional funds, the trip will be canceled. Funds pay for a chartered bus for transport to the Gulf Coast, rental cars while on site, gasoline and minimal incidental expenses. Participants pay for lodging and food.
“The need is still great, even though the general public is tired of hearing about Katrina disaster relief,” said Sonda Oppewal, a trip leader and associate dean for community partnerships and practice at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing. “Without the necessary funds for the trip, we won’t be able to contribute to community health assessments, provide badly-needed health promotion interventions or give students an educational and hands-on opportunity to make a difference in the lives of vulnerable populations in the aftermath of a natural disaster.”
This year, 17 students and four faculty members from the School of Nursing (SON) will join with 17 students and faculty members from the Schools of Social Work and Public Health and community partners to work on relief efforts.
Volunteers will bring primary healthcare to children and families who need physical and mental health therapy, conduct interventions and assessments in schools, complete door-to-door assessments in one of the poorest rural communities, test water quality for drinking, lead and participate in health promotion and education activities and provide direct support for rebuilding infrastructure.
SON students, community partners and faculty will repair homes, putting up roofs, painting sheetrock and doing carpentry and finish work. The Lutheran Disaster Response in Camp Biloxi will provide referrals from a list of more than 500 homes that still need repairs.
“The nursing students will have the opportunity to develop and hone important communication, assessment and health promotion skills on this trip, in addition to working as a healthcare professional on an interdisciplinary team,” said Oppewal, noting that providing direct clinical care is now more difficult because the expedited process for out-of-state certified nurse practitioners to provide emergency relief is no longer in effect.
In 2005, the SON made a three-year commitment for this service trip. Since then, SON volunteers have provided direct healthcare services to the most vulnerable Hurricane Katrina victims, helped community healthcare clinics reopen and conducted home visits with low-income, rural-area victims. SON faculty members Oppewal, Beth Lamanna, Julee Waldrop and Diane Yorke will participate in and supervise the trip.
To support the Mississippi Gulf Coast Service Trip, please make checks payable to the SON Foundation, Inc. and mail them to: Norma Hawthorne; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing; Campus Box 7460; Chapel Hill, N.C., 27599-7460. Checks must be received before Feb. 12, 2008.