SON Nursing Education and Simulation Expertise Utilized in Kitui, Kenya

Patient safety and quality are at the core of healthcare education across the globe. Over the past year, School of Nursing faculty and Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) health professionals focused on these concepts in the enhancement of a skills lab at KMTC Kitui’s Centre of Excellence for Family Planning and Reproductive Health Training in Kitui, Kenya, Africa. The skills lab was recently upgraded by Capacity Kenya to include state-of-the-art teaching tools and simulation equipment. UNC SON faculty lent their nursing education and simulation expertise to a skills training program in collaboration with KMTC faculty at the upgraded lab.

Carol Durham, director of the Education-Innovation-Simulation Learning Environment (EISLE), Darlene Baker, assistant director of ,  Sonda Oppewal, SON clinical associate professor, and Gwen Sherwood, associate dean for academic affairs communicated regularly via Skype with faculty in Kitui to develop the training program’s educational goals and discuss logistics. Darlene Baker and Sonda Oppewal then traveled to Kitui, Kenya, April 27– May 12, 2012 to assist in the implementation of the program.

Capacity Kenya and KMTC Kitui received USAID funding to create the Centre of Excellence for Family and Reproductive Health Training. The Centre aims to improve health outcomes in Northern Kenya in women’s health, reproductive health, and decreased maternal and infant mortality through strengthening the healthcare workforce. Capacity Kenya was created by IntraHealth International. Its mission is to improve healthcare in Kenya by enhancing the quality of training for healthcare workers in public, private, and faith-based organizations.

SON’s involvement in the project included assistance in outfitting the lab as well as facilitating a two-week training session for nurse lecturers at KMTC. Prior to the visit, UNC’s EISLE researched and made recommendations on simulation equipment to match the needs of the local constituency. IntraHealth purchased equipment including simple contraceptive displays, task trainers, and complex birthing simulators. The equipment was grouped into five categories for training: childbirth, maternal, infant, physical exam, and patient care skills.

The most complex piece of equipment new to the skills lab was Noelle, a human patient birthing simulator made by Gaumard Scientific. Noelle is used at UNC SON and other schools and hospitals to train nursing and medical students as well as professionals. The simulator connects wirelessly to a computer that can be programmed to take students through a range of scenarios that could accompany normal as well as complicated childbirth.  At KMTC Kitui, Noelle was renamed Mwende which means “loved one”. Mwende was accompanied by a newborn baby simulator that enabled students to practice newborn resuscitation, a skill which was impossible to practice before the simulator’s arrival.

Darlene Baker led the equipment training, guiding KMTC staff through all stages of use. The local staff helped open the boxes, gaining familiarity with the equipment before learning utilization procedures. To complete the learning cycle, the team went over storage and cleaning, or what Baker called, “long-term considerations for the sustainment of the equipment.”

“I went there to be the boots on the ground,” Baker said.

“My role was focused on facilitating the training process,” Sonda Oppewal said. “This included helping the group identify training expectations and guidelines, facilitating the faculty members’ involvement in developing simulations, and helping them consider ways to integrate the new equipment and simulations into the curriculum.” Dr. Oppewal also helped evaluate the training, and assisted faculty members in identifying ways the project could be evaluated over time and outcomes could be reported to Capacity Kenya. They also developed models to summarize their learning over the two weeks for the faculty to use as a resource.

Dr. Oppewal also followed up on work she and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Gwen Sherwood did in 2010 with Capacity Kenya on creating an AHEC-like model for improving the healthcare workforce in Northern Kenya.  Dr. Oppewal met with the Nursing Council of Kenya and reported that a steering committee and subcommittees had been formed, and partnerships were being investigated to establish the Kenyan AHEC model.

About 15 KMTC Kitui nurse lecturers attended the sessions taught by the UNC team. The training schedule included time for each lecturer to practice using the simulators and to develop and practice teaching simulations. Next, lecturers practiced using the simulators and the simulations they developed as teaching tools with students. Thirteen students were arranged into groups for simulations the lecturers identified as having high priority for student learning: family planning, normal newborn delivery, newborn resuscitation, and normal newborn assessment.

For the lecturers, “It was an opportunity to provide hands-on experience with key patient care skills which previously had only been taught theoretically,” Baker said.

It was a collaborative experience, with KMTC lecturers coming up with their own ideas for simulation training. Baker said of the experience, “It opened my eyes to new ways to use equipment here.” Some of the equipment had never been used before by either UNC or KMTC instructors; these provided new learning experiences for the entire cohort.

Dr. Oppewal said the UNC team benefitted from seeing KMTC lecturers interact with their students. She noted the effectiveness of the Kitui lecturers’ method of having each student demonstrate and verbalize what they were learning, and the students’ recognition of the need for continual practice. “The lecturers were clearly invested in giving the best education possible to their students and the students were eager to learn all that they could.” Dr. Oppewal also remarked that the Kenyan practice of taking a midmorning tea break made room for spontaneous collaborations among colleagues.

By the end of the two weeks, the KMTC Kitui lecturers formed a Skills Lab Committee with the goal of making the skills lab available to the district hospitals and other KMTC campuses. The Committee expressed a desire to expand the skills lab program so that it could be used by nurses in continuing education.

Overall, Baker said the experience was inspiring. “People were already doing so much with so little, and now they have an opportunity to do so much more.”

 

UNC Provides Care, Supplies on Service Learning Trip to Honduras

A group of 22 students and volunteers from UNC School of Nursing and UNC School of Pharmacy went to Honduras on a service learning trip during spring break 2012. The group joined the efforts of Compassion Med International in providing medical screenings, care, and supplies to local populations.

The group was led by SON’s Jean Davison, clinical assistant professor and family nurse practitioner. Volunteers included SON’s Rhonda Lanning, clinical instructor and nurse midwife, Elizabeth Prata, family nurse practitioner from UNC Center for Latino Health, and Christine Walko, PharmD from the School of Pharmacy.

The group conducted over 100 health screenings on local children before seeing over 150 patients per day at four different clinical sites. In addition, triage staff cared for minor complaints and handed out anti-parasitic treatments and vitamins. All told, the group saw more than 1,000 patients over the course of their trip, and distributed 20 food packets that could feed a family of five for one week.

UNC’s MedWorld helped provide the group with medical supplies to distribute to local hospitals and clinics. One hospital received endotracheal intubation equipment while its pediatric ward received beanie babies and toys.  Other supplies and medications were donated to Dr. Elmor Mejia, who is the only doctor with a hyperbaric chamber for treating injured Miskito lobster divers.

Before leaving Honduras, the group met with US Attorney David Arizmendi, vice consul of the US Embassy, who expressed appreciation for the group’s service.

View photos from their trip here.

2011 SON Global Health Awards

Congratulations to the School of Nursing students and faculty who received global health awards this year. These awards are primarily from the School’s global health funds, which are generated from the Visiting Scholars program. This year $22,000 was awarded.

Applications were reviewed by three teams from the Global Nursing Advisory Council (GNAC) joined by faculty who received awards in previous years. Award amounts are primarily based on airfare to the destination. We were still unable to fund all who applied. Through the GNAC we have focused our areas of support so that students and faculty are helping expand our capacity in global health but also are involved in sustainable work, either through service that can be built on from year to year, or in developing scholarship opportunities. We are particularly pleased to award two Cronenwett Global Awards designated for undergraduate students (see Global Study Award Helps Students Gain World Experiences).

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Global Study Award Helps Students Gain World Experiences

Linda H. Cronenwett (center) with Tina Evans (left) and Rebeca Moretto (right), the 2011 recipients of the Cronenwett Global Study Award.

The Cronenwett Global Study Award was created by a private gift from a SON alumna and her husband to honor the leadership of Linda H. Cronenwett, immediate past dean of the SON, and her passion for improving quality and safety in health care. This year’s recipients are BSN students Tina Evans and Rebeca Moretto. They will both be traveling internationally this summer as part of N489, SON’s Practicum in Nursing Global Health Experience.

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Service Learning Trip to Honduras

UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing students and faculty participated in a service learning trip to Honduras during  Spring Break. Before the trip the Association of Student Nurses helped collect vitamin and over the counter medications for the group to take with them.

Clinical Assistant Professor Jean Davison was the SON Course Coordinator and Team Leader for the multidisciplinary group, which included 20 students and nine volunteers who included two doctors, three nurse practitioners and two pharmacists. Nine of the students were from the School of Nursing.

View a slide show of pictures from their trip  here. Read the rest of this entry »

March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day

March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day. If you are interested in learning about Worldwide activities designed to celebrate this day, check out: .

On March 21st, you are encouraged to watch a video Down Syndrome International has developed called “Will You Let Us In.” The hope is that if people all over the world watch this video it will help create a single global voice advocating for the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down syndrome.

SON Associate Professor Dr. Marcia Van Riper has been doing research with families of children with Down syndrome for over 30 years. Currently, she is working on a study about adaptation and resilience that eventually will include families from at least 6-10 countries. So far, over 250 parents from the US have participated, and data collection with families in other countries is just getting started. Next week, she will be giving a presentation at a conference in Thailand  and  after the conference she will meet with a professor in Thailand who has expressed interest in helping her collect data from parents of children with Down syndrome in Thailand. 

Medical Spanish App Free Until April 7th

The Polyglot Med Spanish app can help bridge the communication gap between health care providers and Spanish-speaking patients. It offers immediate audio translation of over 3,000 common words, phrases and assessment questions from English to Spanish and from Spanish to English. From February 28th to April 7th the app will be available for FREE.

The original Polyglot: Multimedia Medical Spanish Translator was developed in 1999 by a Duke University medical student, BJ Lawson. Since 1999, the Duke AHEC Program has distributed CD-ROM versions of Polyglot to healthcare providers and health professions students across North Carolina with the support of the NC AHEC Program. One past user of Polyglot stated, “The program helped me tremendously in learning certain phrases.” Polyglot Med Spanish is available for use on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad.

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National Nursing Leader to Present Research on Migrant Children

Mary Lou de Leon Siantz, PhD, RN, FAAN

Mary Lou de Leon Siantz, (PhD, RN, FAAN) the assistant dean of diversity and cultural affairs at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, will present her research on immigrant and migrant children in “Children of the Road,” the 2011 UNC Chapel Hill School of Nursing Ethnic Minority Visiting Scholar Lecture. This free lecture is open to the public and will take place from 3:00-5:00 pm on February 21, 2011 at the School of Nursing.

de Leon Siantz was born in Los Angeles of Mexican immigrant parents. She has spent her career in community health nursing advancing immigrant mental health through research, education and national leadership. “One of the fastest growing populations in the United States is children of immigrants, yet very little is known about them,” she said. “So I studied the children and continue to do research and provide consultation in this area.”

For example, she is currently investigating how to reduce pregnancy and promote reproductive health among Latina girls in work supported by the Office of Minority Health, Department of Health and Human Service. “The risk for premature birth is greatly increased because of the teen’s developmental stage and lack of access to prenatal care in this group. Pregnancy is one of the top reasons that Latina girls drop out of school,” she said.

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SON Alumna Serves in Haiti

Tiffany Young, BSN ’99, has been in Haiti since June working as a Medical Program Coordinator for Samaritan’s Purse (photo and video courtesy of Samaritan’s Purse) . Health care teams in Haiti are now on the front lines of the cholera epidemic there. See Tiffany hard at work in the video below.

UNC School of Nursing Global Health Expo 2010

UNC Global Health Fair

UNC Global Health Fair

The UNC School of Nursing Global Health Expo 2010 will be held September 30th and October 5th from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. in the main lobby and mezzanine of the school’s addition. Come see posters and other visual displays of the school’s global experiences during the last year. Pizza will be served. Posters will remain up until October 8. E-mail songlobalhealth@unc.edu for more information.

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