News about Nursing

Nursing Students Travel to Guatemala Medical Clinic

Penn College student H. Alex Simcox takes a patient’s blood pressure during a study abroad experience at a medical clinic in Nueva Santa Rosa, Guatemala. He was among five Penn College students making the trip.

Five Pennsylvania College of Technology nursing students recently traveled to Guatemala, where they experienced firsthand the cultural diversity of health care that they had read about in their textbooks.

As part of a study abroad course, the students spent seven days at a medical clinic in the small community of Nueva Santa Rosa. They were accompanied by Christine B. Kavanagh, instructor of nursing programs, and joined by a larger group of volunteers from Glens Falls Medical Mission. Twice each year, the Glens Falls, New York-based group operates a weeklong medical clinic in a Nueva Santa Rosa church compound. The nearest major hospital for the community is almost two hours away.

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Case Study Aids Patient Understanding

From left: students Neil A. Ebert II, of Catawissa; Alicia A. Brant, of Mifflinburg; and Alexandra R. Harriman, of Montoursville; chest-trauma patient Wayne Brooks, his wife, Dawn, and son Joel, a part-time instructor of nursing; and students Sarah E. King, of Milton, and Kelsey J. Maneval, of McAlisterville.

A Linden-area man who survived serious chest injuries after a farm wagon rolled over him in August attended a case-study presentation made by nursing students who attended to him during his two-and-a-half week stay in Geisinger’s intensive care unit. The students were serving a rotation in Geisinger’s ICU when they encountered Wayne Brooks, who sustained 29 broken bones. Brooks’ son Joel, a part-time instructor of nursing at the college, said it’s the most severe chest trauma Geisinger has seen in a patient who survived. “A big part was the nursing staff that saved his life because they were so diligent,” said Wayne’s wife, Dawn. “Your students got to be a part of that.” Wayne Brooks, a K-12 teacher and part-time farmer, remembers the accident, calling 911 from his cellphone, shifting his position and feeling his ribs scrape together “like broken pretzels.” He can remember everything up to the time that paramedics began treating him. But he can’t remember his time in the ICU, so Joel suggested he attend the students’ presentation to learn more about what he went through. Alexandra R. Harriman was the primary student working with Brooks, who presented her first experience with a chest-trauma patient. She quickly gained experience with ventilator and chest care. “It was a very complex case,” she said. Brooks spent a total of five weeks in the hospital. When he attended the Nov. 30 presentation, he was back to farming a few hours a day, which will increase as he regains stamina and muscle strength, and looks forward to returning to teaching at Walnut Street Christian School in early 2017.

Community Outreach Turns Inward as Seniors Visit Nursing Lab

Nursing students Alexis E. Jones (left), of Watsontown, and Brittney J. Barrett, of Mill Hall, review signs that a loved one has had a stroke, FAST: Face drooping, Arm weakness and Speech difficulty, followed by Time to call 911.

Marissa N. Herb, of Williamsport, talks about the learning activities surrounding the facility’s 35 static manikins.

Samantha M. Weaver, learning laboratory coordinator for nursing education, shows the functions of SimMom, one of five high-fidelity manikins that can be programmed to imitate real health conditions.

Students and faculty from the Fundamentals of Nursing course gather with visitors from Albright Life Center.

After students in the Fundamentals of Nursing course spent the semester visiting Albright Life Center of Lycoming, the center’s clients visited the students on their own turf in the college’s Nursing Education Center. Each week, a group of four from the NUR 211 class visited the center, where they presented a health-related topic, often accompanied by a hands-on activity. Many of the clients asked the students about their education, so the students invited Albright to campus during the last week of the semester, providing a tour and mini health fair, where they reviewed the information they had presented during their earlier visits. Presentations included such practical subjects as hypertension, signs of stroke, bone and joint health, physical activity, injury prevention, home safety, and influenza prevention. Fundamentals of Nursing introduces basic principles of nursing practice. Their visits to Albright Life – a daytime care center for seniors – provided an educational opportunity for the students to go out into the community and teach, a key responsibility for working nurses.

Students Head to Guatemala on Nursing’s First Study Abroad Trip

Students Ashley M. Otto and Kelsey L. Maneval pack Penn College backpacks that they’ll leave behind for residents of Nueva Santa Rosa, Guatemala.

Picture books and Penn College backpacks are among items donated by the campus community for the remote village.

Friend Bear finds a seat in a suitcase for the trip to Central America.

Students glean details from nursing instructor Christine B. Kavanagh. From left are H. Alex Simcox, Christina M. Mossman, Ashley M. Otto, Katherine Santoianni, Maneval and Kavanagh.

A pile of books will help supply a library or serve as waiting-room entertainment.

Five nursing students packed supplies this week that they’ll take to the small village of Nueva Santa Rosa in Guatemala. The students are enrolled in a short-term study abroad course, the first for nursing. They’ll be joined by Christine B. Kavanagh, instructor of nursing, at a clinic in a remote area of coffee plantations southeast of the capital, Guatemala City. The Penn College group will join a larger group of volunteers from Glens Falls Medical Mission, a group based in Glens Falls, New York. The students gathered this week to pack luggage with a variety of donated items, including picture books, toothbrushes, stuffed animals, and touches of Penn College that include Wildcat hand sanitizer donated by Penn College Health Services, and Penn College backpacks donated by Admissions. Many of the other items were donated by fellow students and nursing faculty via collection stations set up by the Student Nurses Association. Students making the trip are Kelsey L. Maneval, of McAlisterville; Christina M. Mossman, of Wellsboro; Ashley M. Otto, of Lehighton; H. Alex Simcox, of Montgomery; and Katherine Santoianni, of Williamsport.

Incoming Veteran Student Awarded ‘Help A Hero’ Scholarship

An incoming first-year student at Pennsylvania College of Technology has been awarded a $5,000 scholarship administered by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship,” awarded jointly by the VFW and the national Sport Clips Haircuts chain, was granted to Preston A. Emert, of Montoursville, a veteran and member of the Army National Guard who will begin classes as a pre-nursing major during the Fall 2016 semester.

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Montoursville Senior Awarded Peggy Madigan Memorial Scholarship

Alexandra R. Klementovich is awarded this year's Peggy Madigan Memorial Leadership Scholarship by state Sen. Gene Yaw (left) and Robb Dietrich, executive director of the Penn College Foundation. Klementovich, a senior at Montoursville Area High School, will be a pre-nursing major at the college starting this fall.

An imminent Montoursville Area High School graduate has been awarded the 2016-17 Peggy Madigan Memorial Leadership Scholarship as an incoming first-year student at Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Alexandra R. Klementovich, of Montoursville, will enroll in the college’s pre-nursing major for the Fall 2016 semester.

“It doesn’t surprise me at all that she has selected one of the ‘helping professions’ as her intended vocation,” a teacher wrote in support of her scholarship application. “Empathy is one of Lexi’s strongest attributes. She is by nature generous and compassionate. Some people serve others out of a sense of obligation, and students sometimes join service organizations to build their resumes. Lexi’s commitment to service is ingrained in her character, in how she interacts with people on a daily basis.”

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Penn College Dedicates Nursing Education Center

Cutting the “ribbon” to dedicate the Penn College Nursing Education Center are, from left, Dottie M. Mathers, associate professor of medical-surgical nursing; Sandra L. Richmond, director of nursing; Edward A. Henninger, dean of health sciences; President Davie Jane Gilmour; and student Monica A. Flexer, president of the Penn College Student Nurses Association.

On May 10, during National Nurses Week, Pennsylvania College of Technology dedicated its Nursing Education Center.

The Nursing Education Center occupies the first floor of the Breuder Advanced Technology and Health Science Center’s west wing. The facility contains 10 dedicated classrooms and seven learning labs serving more than 350 students enrolled in nursing majors at the college.

“The Penn College nursing program began in 1963 with a certificate in practical nursing; today, we offer associate and bachelor’s degrees in support of an increasing demand for highly qualified nursing professionals,” said President Davie Jane Gilmour. “Our nursing degrees incorporate Penn College core values, typified by hands-on instruction and a student-centered learning environment. These expanded and consolidated facilities enable us to produce more graduates for this rewarding career field.”

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It Only Takes a Minute to Find a Lifelong Career

A “Your Class in 60 Seconds” video added to the Penn College YouTube channel visits the Fundamentals of Nursing simulation lab, where high-fidelity patient simulators and skilled faculty converge on students’ path to a bachelor’s degree. “Our simulation experiences bridge the gap between understanding lecture content and on-site patient clinicals,” says Terri A. Stone, assistant professor of nursing programs. “This enables students to feel comfortable as they learn new skills.”

Health Sciences Students Learn From One Another in Simulations

During a three-day set of emergency simulations that involved 320 Penn College students, Timothy F. Schwartzer (in hat), an emergency medical services student from Bensalem, explains to students in other health sciences majors how paramedics would begin treatment for a patient – played by a volunteer actor – who had fallen from a second-floor balcony.

Because a patient experiencing a health emergency will likely be cared for by many health care professionals with differing specialties, Pennsylvania College of Technology has taken an active approach to ensure that students understand the roles and collaboration necessary on a health care team.

The college’s School of Health Sciences took part in two recent events that involved more than 400 students in mock patient cases on its campus.

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Student Nurses Lead Collection of Hats, Gloves for Center

Members of Penn College’s Student Nurses’ Association gather with a tree full of hats, gloves and scarfs to be donated to the New Love Center in Jersey Shore. From left are Emily L. Gardner, a nursing student from McClure; SNA President Monica A. Flexer, a nursing student from Williamsport; Treasurer Josalynn M. Heichel, a nursing student from Millerstown; and Secretary Chad R. Guiswite, a nursing student from Loganton.

Demonstrating its desire to help keep the community healthy, the Student Nurses’ Association at Pennsylvania College of Technology recently led a hat, glove and scarf drive to benefit clients of The New Love Center in Jersey Shore.

The center provides weekday lunches, a food pantry and other services in the Jersey Shore area. It is a project of the Jersey Shore Ministerium, a group made up of pastors of the 34 Christian churches and directors of social help organizations in the Jersey Shore area.

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Student Nurses Hold ‘Healthy Hearts’ in Caring Hands

Participating SNA members (clockwise from rear left) are Kasandra L. Smoyer, of Spring Mills; Chad R. Guiswite, of Loganton; Rene Ramirez, of Jersey Shore; and Kimberly A. Lindsey, of Milton.

Giveaways share the wellness message.

An attentive Lindsey engages her patient ...

... as nursing majors provide "on the cuff" answers.

In recognition of Healthy Hearts Week, members of the Student Nurses’ Association volunteered to conduct lunchtime blood-pressure screenings outside the Keystone Dining Room on Wednesday. Among the week’s other activities is participation in a pledge, through which faculty/staff and students are committing to healthier lifestyles. Mallory L. Weymer, coordinator of student health and wellness education/suicide prevention specialist, said members of the Penn College community can take the Healthy Hearts pledge through Friday in the Bush Campus Center lobby.
Photos by Tia G. La, student photographer

Instructor Throws Voice, Letting ‘Patient’ Have Say in Treatment

From the control room, Jessica L. Bower, simulation laboratory coordinator for nursing education, observes students and plays the role of patient.

The system provides views from three cameras mounted in the simulation lab.

Students pose for a remote photo opportunity after they finish their scenario.

A second group of students takes its turn.

Wednesday marked a “first” in Penn College’s Nursing Program, as students – and instructors – tried out the newly installed Laredal SimView system in conjunction with the program’s human simulation mannequin, SimMan 3G. As part of a simulation day, associate-degree nursing students in the Foundations of Nursing course worked through three scenarios, each involving a same-day surgery patient (preoperative, postop and discharge teaching). During the postoperative simulation, faculty used SimView, which captures audio and video of the students caring for the patient. Using the system, an instructor can view and hear the simulation from a remote location, change the “patient’s” physical status, and communicate as the patient through speakers in the mannequin. “We found that the system encouraged the students to engage with the patient in a more realistic way, because the voice comes from the patient instead of someone in the room,” said Laurie A. Minium, assistant professor of nursing, who provided the photos. “We had positive feedback from students and instructors.”

Susquehanna Health Aids Hands-On Learning at Flu-Shot Clinics

Penn College nursing student Abby C. Busch, of Troy, provides a flu shot to Susquehanna Health employee Tanja Speck during an employee flu shot clinic at Williamsport Hospital.

During October, approximately 30 students from four nursing classes at Pennsylvania College of Technology lent their time to help administer flu shots for Susquehanna Health employees and volunteers at the health system’s facilities.

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Nursing Students Administer Flu Vaccinations

Luke D. Spang (left), of Manheim, inoculates classmate Benjamin S. Leibig, of Lebanon.

Engaging in participatory journalism, student photographer Caleb G. Schirmer – an applied management major from Sugarloaf – is vaccinated by Haylea D. Estright, of Brisbin.

James N, Ahern, an information assurance and cyber security major from Mechanicsburg, rolls up his sleeve for Monirh S. Larkpor, of Darby.

In a collaboration between Penn College’s Nursing Department and College Health Services, bachelor-degree students in Terri A. Stone’s Fundamentals of Nursing class gave flu shots Thursday in the Bush Campus Center. Health Services will continue to provide the vaccinations to faculty, staff, students, dependents and spouses from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday and 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. The cost of the flu vaccine is $15, payable by cash, check (payable to Penn College) or credit card. According to Health Services, the only medical reason why someone should not receive the flu vaccine is an allergy to eggs, neomycin or polymixin, or a previous life-threatening reaction to an influenza vaccine.

Three Montoursville Sisters Attend Penn College

Penn College is a family affair for the Bennett sisters, from left, Aubrey G. (nursing), Ainsley R. (graphic design) and Addey L. (diesel technology).

Depending on the preferred cliché, threes may be a threat, a charm or a crowd. For the Bennett family of Montoursville, it’s a triple blessing that all three sisters are attending Pennsylvania College of Technology.

Aubrey G., 23; Ainsley R., 20; and Addey L., 19, are enrolled in a range of majors: nursing, graphic design and diesel technology, respectively.

Aubrey said the proximity of the college to their home and the ability to save money by commuting made the choice “perfect for our situation.”

According to the sisters, they are the first generation in their family to attend college, and their mother was the encouraging factor.

“Mom really pushed for it,” Addey said. “She always said she wanted us to have what she didn’t have.”

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