CNCC nursing students present evidence-based practices |

CNCC nursing students present evidence-based practices

CNCC nursing students envision improvements to nursing care

— Colorado Northwestern Community College nursing students last week envisioned a world where hospital scrubs are never worn out of the medical center, Intensive Care Units have designated quiet times and measures are taken to prevent nursing burnout.

Such were a few of the evidence-based research presentations created by students in the college’s nursing program and displayed at Yampa Valley Medical Center Tuesday.

“This is reminding us not to wear our germ-filled scrubs outside when we leave,” said Amanda George, a certified nursing assistant in the program, who said she’s guilty of leaving the hospital in scrubs herself.

“I do it, and it’s become complacent,” said George, who wore a set of light blue scrubs with the names of bacteria scrawled on masking tape pieces across the outfit.

George’s project, “Scrub a Dub,” included research into pathogens that nurses potentially bring into the public and their own homes when wearing work uniforms outside the workplace.

“Being in healthcare so long, we become complacent to this,” she said. “We’re healthcare advocates in the hospital, so we can be healthcare advocates outside the hospital too.”

George presented her project alongside students who studied other topics like the benefits of music, whether sunlight reduces mortality in chronic disease patients and a study on fecal containment.

Student Sam Phares studied nursing burnout, a phenomenon that happens when nurses who work long hours and care too much give into stress and pressure.

“You really take this work home with you,” Phares said.

Burnout can lead nurses to be habitually late to work, failing to meet deadlines or frequently becoming sick.

“Burnout can also lead to a bunch of mistakes that can be prevented,” Phares said.

Managers can help nurses experiencing burnout by varying professional responsibilities, giving more frequent recognition or encouraging stronger peer support, according to Phares’ project.

Student Kim Nienhaus explored the potential benefits of creating designated quiet time in Intensive Care Units of hospitals.

For the project, Nienhaus said she drew from her personal desire to have quiet, alone time when battling an illness.

Creating two hour blocks of quiet time in ICUs might also allow for nurses to better prioritize and manage their time to prepare for upcoming quiet blocks.

“As a nurse, you’re clustering your care and practicing your time management,” Nienhaus said.

Other projects presented included studying depression in caregivers of dying patients, whether to use aspiration when placing a needle and whether protocol for fasting before a procedure could be updated.

The students are in the final months of CNCC’s nursing program and will graduate in May.

To reach Teresa Ristow, call 970-871-4206, email or follow him on Twitter @TeresaRistow

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