Nurses are considered the most trusted of any professionals, according to a recent Gallup survey.
According to the survey released in December 2012, 85 percent of Americans rated nurses' honesty and ethical standards as "very high" or "high.” Nurses out-ranked pharmacists, doctors, dentists, psychiatrists, police officers and members of the clergy. Nurses have earned the top spot in the poll every year since its inception in 1999, with the exception of 2001 when firefighters ranked first after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
What about nurses makes them so trustworthy?
According to two Nebraska Methodist College
faculty — Dr. Lin Hughes, dean of nursing, and Dr. Linda Foley, director of graduate students —
building and maintaining trust is an essential part
of the job description of a nurse, as outlined in the American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of
Ethics. According to the ANA Code of Ethics, it is the nurse’s duty in the community to promote
the health, safety, and welfare of all people while respecting human dignity and practicing with compassion.
“Nurses are the ones at the bedside caring for patients during their most vulnerable period of time,” Hughes said.
A nurse cares for patients in their time of need. The nurse is often the one who initially assesses the patient before collaborating with the primary care professional. The nurse then manages the prescribed care. It’s a nurse’s job to help patients understand the care they receive by explaining information about medications and treatments.
In a hospital setting, a nurse is available to patients 24 hours a day, seven day a week, and is seen as a patient’s advocate to the rest of the healthcare team. As a nurse, the job of caring for a patient goes beyond physical needs. The nurse also cares for a patient’s psychosocial and spiritual needs.
“Nurses need to be highly trustworthy because patients may share their most intimate feelings and thoughts and expect nurses to maintain the privacy of this knowledge,” Foley said.
Through a recent flash mob video, students, faculty and staff at Nebraska Methodist College teamed up to raise awareness for One Billion Rising, a worldwide movement to end violence against women and girls.
One Billion Rising shines a light on the staggering statistic that one in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at seven billion, that adds up to more than one billion women and girls. The movement encourages individuals to strike, dance and rise up in defiance of the injustices women suffer all over the world.
“With the dance focus of One Billion Rising, a flash mob seemed like a great idea to help spread the word of the initiative as well as local events at Nebraska Methodist College, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and First United Methodist Church in Omaha”, said Keri Wayne-Browne, NMC Advisement & Outreach Coordinator. Wayne-Browne coordinated NMC’s One Billion Rising event on Feb. 14. During the initial planning, the idea of using a flash mob to promote the event was explored, and Wayne-Browne contacted Erika Pritchard, Coordinator of Leadership Development at NMC. Pritchard had coordinated a live flash mob in 2012 for NMC Weeks of Welcome, which was so well received that she wanted to try something similar for 2013. Filming a flash mob that made its way across The Josie Harper Campus added a new dynamic to the idea — the opportunity to tell a story that could be shared with others.
“We wanted to illustrate through dance how one person can have an impact by inspiring others to take action,” Wayne-Browne said. “As you see in the video, one person dancing is ‘contagious,’ and before you know it, the entire campus is rising up and dancing.”
A group of approximately 30 students, faculty, staff and administrators spent many early-morning and late-afternoon hours learning and performing the dances choreographed by Pritchard. Pritchard also wrote the story board and directed the video which was shot and edited by Steven Hess, Online Education Specialist at NMC. In total, the project took more than 30 hours to complete from start to finish, and the video has had over 3,000 hits on YouTube.
“The best part was filming because I could see what was imagined become reality,” Pritchard said. Wayne-Browne emphasized,“As a healthcare college where 90 percent of our students are women, it is important for us to be involved in this movement. This video sends the message to our students and the community that our college is taking a stand and rising up to end violence against women.”
The impact of the Mobile Diabetes Center stretches beyond the health benefits it provides to those in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. Nebraska Methodist College students use the center as a vehicle to gain experience in the field while working alongside nursing faculty.
The Mobile Diabetes Center is a partnership between the Nebraska Methodist College Center for Health Partnerships and the Cosmopolitan Cornbelt Diabetes Connection. The Mobile Diabetes Center plays an important role in the Nebraska Methodist College Center for Health Partnerships’ work to improve health equity in the community by promoting health awareness and health literacy with a primary focus on disease prevention.
“It’s a great venue for providing screening and education in the community and in a variety of settings, and it’s an excellent opportunity for students to gain professional experience,” said Christine Clancy, assistant professor and Nursing and Mobile Diabetes coordinator.
Here’s how it works:
NMC Nursing faculty and students staff the Mobile Diabetes Center and provide free non-diagnostic diabetes related health screenings. Screenings include blood pressure, blood glucose, height, weight, body mass index and risk screens for undiagnosed pre-diabetes and diabetes. Select locations also provide flu shots, cholesterol checks, hemoglobin A1c tests, foot assessments and nail care.
Students, in return, gain valuable experience in performing these non-diagnostic screenings, learn about glucose regulation in the community and develop their communication and advocacy skills.
The Mobile Diabetes Center aims to reach underserved and underinsured urban and rural communities, but services are not limited to just those populations. Mobile Diabetes Center users not only benefit from the free non-diagnostic diabetes related health screenings, but also from the education provided during the screenings. In some instances, the Mobile Diabetes Center helps facilitate access to health care.
The Mobile Diabetes Center began providing services in January 2011 and continues to grow and serve more communities. This spring, faculty and students from NMC’s sonography programs will offer ankle-brachial index screenings.
In early January, a group of Nebraska Methodist College students traveled to Laredo, Texas, for the Winter Break Service Immersion.
Laredo is located along the United States border with Mexico about 200 miles from the southern tip of Texas. During the week-long immersion, students from NMC worked with Habitat for Humanity building a home in the area and worked alongside community health workers, known in Spanish as promotoras.
Promotoras are community members trained to provide basic health education in the community. Though they are not professional healthcare workers, promotoras play a vital role in educating their Latino communities about health issues and providing guidance in accessing community resources associated with healthcare.
NMC was able to make connections to promotoras in Loredo through a longstanding partnership with the Sisters of Mercy, an international organization that serves people who suffer from poverty, sickness or lack of education. Through the experience, NMC students were exposed to cultural barriers and issues related to immigration. In the process, students learned ways to use community resources for the benefit of their own patients and clients.
The trip was also a chance for NMC’s Center for Health Partnerships to further develop its own community health worker program in Omaha called Our Families’ Health. Members of Our Families’ Health also participated in the immersion. Working alongside the promotoras allowed them an opportunity to discuss and observe best practices that they could bring with them back to Omaha.
More to Come
Another service immersion is scheduled for March to Nashville, Tenn. During that trip, students will work with the Nashville Mobile Market and the Martha O’Bryan Center educating individuals about healthy food choices and how nutrition affects health.
Contact Volunteer Opportunities for more information about NMC’s Service Immersion offerings.