News about Nursing

Penn College Nursing Honor Society Inducts First Members

Some of the first inductees into the Pennsylvania College of Technology Bachelor of Science Nursing Honor Society gather on stage during a recent ceremony honoring their accomplishment.

On April 28, 31 students became the first inductees to the Pennsylvania College of Technology Bachelor of Science Nursing Honor Society.

Together, the students pledged to fulfill the society’s “commitment to nursing excellence, knowledge, service and leadership” throughout their careers.

The founding of the Penn College Bachelor of Science Nursing Honor Society is an initial step in establishing a chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing at the college. (Chapter establishment is a six-phase process that begins with forming a local honor society.)

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Nursing in a New Culture: College’s First Study-Abroad Experience for Nursing Students

Nursing student Kelsey L. Maneval interacts with a child in the clinic's dental area.

From the Spring 2017 Penn College Magazine: The college’s first short-term study-abroad program for nursing students takes them to a clinic in a small Guatemalan town. Read “Nursing in a New Culture.”

Nursing Students Visited by Versatile Health Sciences Grad

Alumna Trena Dale returns to Penn College.

With help from the Alumni Relations Office, the Penn College Student Nurses’ Association recently hosted alumna Trena Dale. Dale has received two associate degrees from Penn College: a dental hygiene degree in 2001 and a nursing degree in 2011. Dale, now an emergency room nurse at Evangelical Community Hospital, a part-time RN in Geisinger’s Special Care Unit 5 and, occasionally, a substitute dental hygienist, spoke to nursing students about her experiences as a Penn College student, as a new graduate seeking employment, and about her career in dental hygiene and nursing. She shared stories related to her professional role that highlighted the importance of developing relationships with patients, engaging in teamwork, and paying attention to details when communicating in health care environments. “Of course, Trena also took time to share information about the importance of mouth care for patients in the hospital,” said Tushanna M. Habalar, instructor of nursing and SNA adviser. “Trena’s positive demeanor, real-life stories and energy were appreciated by the students and faculty who attended.”

Emergency Scenarios Translate to Real-Life Benefit for Students

Occupational therapy assistant student Rachel N. Zimmerman, of Pine Grove, shows physician assistant student Zachary S. Kimble, of Bellefonte (acting as a hip-replacement patient who later in the simulation would have a stroke) and other students watching how to use a “reacher” to help with dressing. Observing is Christine A. Tilburg, clinical director of physical therapist assistant.

Emergency medical services student Ian P. McClure, of Littlestown, and paramedic technician student Megan E. Bobby, of Dysart, explain the actions they would take when called to the Dental Hygiene Clinic to help a patient experiencing an allergic reaction to Novocain.

Surgical technology students simulate a laparoscopic gall bladder removal.

Around 250 students in the School of Health Sciences – an academic division that spans 11 distinct health care and allied health fields – are participating this week in a series of hands-on emergency health simulations. The school’s fourth annual Interdisciplinary Professional Event involves 24 student teams, each made up of a cross section of health disciplines, discussing and observing one another’s role in their assigned case. Students in the physician assistant major played roles of patients, whose health problems ranged from an allergic reaction to Novocain in the Dental Hygiene Clinic to a loss of consciousness in the Keystone Dining Room, and surgeries to replace hips and remove gallbladders. As “patients” moved through the health care system, they moved, with their observers, from lab to lab in the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center. The purpose of the experience is to prepare the students to deliberatively work together as patients interact with each of them during their health care experience, with an ultimate goal to improve patient care. Also involved were 23 staff and faculty from the school, who planned and managed the event and led groups through their simulations on Tuesday and Thursday.

Online Learning Options at Penn College Offer Enhanced Flexibility

Penn College offers a beautiful, modern campus in Williamsport, but for students who need the flexibility of online programs, the college provides a variety of options.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is renowned for its “degrees that work,” and for those needing additional flexibility to attain a degree from the college, online options abound.

Online learning at Penn College offers more choices to students who are balancing work and family responsibilities. The offerings feature the same academic rigor and accreditation as on-campus programs, but there is no requirement to ever attend class on the campus in Williamsport. Online students may choose to enroll full time or part time.

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Read the Spring 2017 Penn College Magazine

Spring 2017 Penn College Magazine cover

The Spring 2017 edition of Penn College Magazine features stories of service from Ecuador, where a 2009 grad is helping coastal communities to recover from a massive earthquake; Guatemala, where nursing students learned and worked in a medical clinic; Florida, where an exercise science alumna is helping clients find health; Europe, where a 1941 drafting graduate served his country and his crewmates; and our own campus, where students and employees work to support Dining Services’ free food pantry and a variety of other community needs. Look for the magazine in building lobbies, or read and share these stories now at magazine.pct.edu.

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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