Assistant Professor of Nursing Dr. Erin Shankel has presented her work on tele-monitoring and app-based symptom management in pediatric asthma at two recent national conferences. She presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in June and at the national Doctor of Nursing Practice conference in October.
Associate Professor of Nursing Dr. Carrie Harvey along with nursing graduate students Cassandra Gladkowski, Chelsey Medley, Heather Nelson and Angela Price published a manuscript in the September issue of Journal for Nurse Practitioners, the premier peer-reviewed journal for nurse practitioners. The manuscript was titled “Opioids versus physical therapy for management of chronic pain.” They presented an extensive review the literature and critique of the evidence.
Also, nursing faculty Dr. Jamie Adam and Dr. Leslie Folds published a manuscript in the October issue of that same journal titled “Depression, self-efficacy and adherence in patients with type 2 diabetes.” Their research explored various factors that affect diabetes adherence, finding that as depressive symptoms increase, self-efficacy behaviors decrease.
The Belmont University School of Physical Therapy recently hosted two health professionals from Istituto Prosperius Tiberino, a 75-bed rehabilitation hospital in Umbria, Italy. Since 2012, nine Belmont physical therapy students have completed a clinical affiliation at the hospital and three more students are scheduled for an 8-week clinical affiliation during the spring of 2015.
Istituto Prosperius provides both inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation for patients with neurological and orthopedic disorders and injuries in a team model of care which includes physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists, nurses, art therapists, psychologists and social workers. The Istituto staff conducts ongoing research projects and pilots technological devices for the rehabilitation of neurological patients. The hospital serves as one of leading centers in Italy using robotic therapy to assist in ambulation for patients with spinal cord injuries. The facility also houses two large therapy pools for patients, one equipped with underwater steppers and treadmills.
Visiting Belmont were Dr. Paolo Milia, the Chair of the Department of Neurology and Neuro-rehabilitation Research at Istituto Prosperius, and Mike Arnall, a physical therapist and President of Eduglobal Associates. Dr. Milia completed his medical degree at G. D’Annunzio University in Chieti, Italy has earned a PhD in neurological research from the University of Perugia in Italy. Mr. Arnall founded Eduglobal in 2006 when he began developing clinical education opportunities for American physical therapy students. His company coordinates the selection, placement, orientation and evaluation of the physical therapy students with the numerous Italian clinical instructors on staff. Last year, 41 PT students completed clinical affiliations. Currently, 31 US physical therapy programs have contracts with Eduglobal.
During the visit, Dr. Milia and Mr. Arnall gave a presentation to physical therapy and occupational therapy faculty and students about Istituto Prosperius, his typical caseload and robotic therapy research projects, including videos of patients using the Eksoskeleton. They met with Schools of Occupational Therapy, Nursing and Pharmacy to explore the possibility of students from those programs affiliating at the rehabilitation hospital in the future. Meetings were also scheduled with our community partners to explore expanded roles and partnerships including Pi Beta Phi Rehabilitation Institute at the Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center and Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital.
A highlight of the visit was meeting Michael Goldfarb, PhD, Chair of Mechanical Engineering Department at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Goldfarb chaired the design team for the Indego, a new compact and portable robotic device that integrates electrical stimulation to allow patients with spinal cord injury and stroke to walk independently. Dr. Milia is interested in participating in research of the product at Istituto Prosperius when it is available.
Belmont School of Nursing students and faculty were featured in a recent edition of the Freedom’s Promise newsletter for their work during this summer’s study abroad trip to Cambodia. The nursing program has long partnered with Sihanouk Hospital Center of HOPE in Cambodia but is now working more and more with Freedom’s Promise to help with their efforts.
Freedom’s Promise’s mission is to prevent human trafficking and child exploitation in Cambodia through individualized community development programs resulting in trafficking-free safe zones. Through one of their programs, Belmont students interacted with villagers on a daily basis and taught them life-saving hand washing techniques. They also increased the quality of community health by providing education sessions focused on nutrition and disease prevention.
Dr. Susan Taplin, assistant professor of nursing and 2014 DNP graduate, leads the program’s efforts in Cambodia and has traveled there with students for more than 10 years.
“If you don’t take care of the illness first, you’re not going to get anywhere else. Teaching them something as simple as hand washing can increase their life expectancy and quality of life. You and I have always known to wash our hands, and we don’t know what it’s like to not have that education,” Talpin says.
Dr. Jamie Adam, assistant professor of nursing, presented her work on innovative teaching to the Healthcare Educators Networking Conference in Cambridge, United Kingdom, Sept. 2. Her presentation was titled “The flipped classroom approach: Evaluating student and faculty experiences.” The conference provided a unique experience for attendees from various healthcare disciplines to participate in sessions related to educational innovation, clinical practice, interprofessional learning and simulation. Attendees included educators from nursing, OT, PT, allied health, psychology and others representing both inpatient and outpatient settings. Participants remained within their chosen theme for the day to enjoy continuity of discussion and debate among faculty from all over the world. Dr. Martha Buckner, associate dean of nursing, said, “Dr. Adam’s work with the flipped classroom allows her to engage students more actively, encouraging them to clarify and apply knowledge. I am so pleased she is receiving both national and international attention to her work.”
Two Belmont alumnae and one current Belmont student were recently contestants on the game show “Family Feud.” Sarah Morgan is a School of Nursing alumna, and Bethany Thomas graduated from Belmont’s physical therapy program. Lindsey Thomas is currently enrolled in the pharmacy program at Belmont. All three women are also related to Professor of Media Studies Dr. Rich Tiner.
The family auditioned in June at the Hotel Preston in Nashville. The Thomas family episode was taped this summer and aired this past Tuesday.
As part of the new student orientation this week, the School of Occupational Therapy had 57 students and faculty members involved in an afternoon of service at six different locations around the Nashville area. Service opportunities included shopping for refugee families with World Relief, sorting and organizing equipment for the Tennessee Disability Coalition, packaging newborn kits and prenatal vitamins at LiveBeyond, doing landscaping at Homeplace, making cards for Meals on Wheels through Fifty Forward and interacting with residents at Morningside Assisted Living Facility. Through these service experiences, they got to know each other while learning about organizations around the Belmont community and being introduced to service, which is a key value of the University and a central theme in the occupational therapy curriculum design.
Dr. Pat Sells, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy, lent his expertise to a recent story posted in Nashville Medical News about a new Tennessee law designed to reduce youth sports concussions. The story, Identifying & Preventing Concussions Now a Statewide Effort, written by Melanie Kilgore-Hill is linked here. Dr. Sells' comments from the story are included below.
While the law is a step in the right direction, Belmont University professor and exercise physiologist Patrick Sells, DA, said getting athletes to actually fess up to possible injury is the toughest part.
“Kids are hesitant to tell you if they took a blow to head because they know what the ramifications are and how long they could be out of the game,” Sells said. “I’ve seen kids go head-to-head or head-to-ground with no headache reported and find out later on they were afraid of the repercussions. That’s the competitive spirit of an athlete – they don’t want to quit because of injury … so as a parent, coach or doctor, you have to take measures to get kids to buy into this.”
Sells said it’s essential to educate athletes on the importance of telling an adult when something isn’t right. He stresses to students, parents and coaches the importance of being able to identify key symptoms including headache, confusion, difficulty remembering or paying attention, balance problems or dizziness, loss of consciousness, feeling sluggish, nausea or vomiting, or blurry vision. He also encourages parents to understand the qualification of the league and the system children are playing under and to take the time to verify the coaches understand risks and Tennessee’s newest sports concussion law.
Identifying and preventing concussions is of special interest to Sells, who has performed baseline tests on local youth football leagues pre- and post-season to determine changes in memory recall. He said several area schools are wising up and offering similar testing to athletes as a standard practice. Another tool used to gauge players’ health is a specially designed football helmet that measures the G-force behind each hit.
“It’s ultimately the responsibility of the school, athletic league and state organization to ensure coaches are knowledgeable about designing safer practices, hydration, and concussion signs and symptoms,” Sells said. “Coaches especially need to be well versed in a multitude of assessments in order to make that decision as there’s not one certain way to tell if a player might be in trouble.”
Ashley Barrett is the 2014-15 recipient of the David G. Greathouse Physical Therapy Scholarship. The award is designated for a rising third-year PT student who demonstrates leadership, scholarship and exemplary clinical performance within the program and who has a minimum grade point average of 3.7.
From 1996-2005, Dr. Greathouse served as the founding chair and associate dean of the Belmont University School of Physical Therapy. Currently, he serves as Director of Clinical Electrophysiology Services at Texas Physical Therapy Specialists in New Braunfels, TX.
Barrett joins four previous recipients of the Greathouse Scholarship: Ashley Campbell in 2010-11, Megan Tisdale in 2011-12, Stacey Lindsley in 2012-13 and Jordan Floyd in 2013-14. She was featured earlier this year in a story (linked here) about building a ramp for a PT patient
NurseJournal.org has ranked Belmont University No. 12 among the Top 50 Most Social Media Friendly Nursing Schools of 2014.
For its ranking methodology, NurseJournal.org evaluated hundreds of nursing schools to see which have the strongest presence among social media platforms. The formula was weighted to put more emphasis on the social media platforms that are most popular with nursing schools. The highest possible score is 100, with 32 points for Facebook, 15 for Nurses Lounge, 14 for Twitter, 12 for YouTube, 12 for LinkedIn, 6 for Google, 4 for Pinterest, 4 for Flickr, and 1 for Instagram. Belmont scored a 65.4 on the ranking scale.