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2017-News

Two new nursing programs underway

By Dale Johnson

Posted: November 29, 2017 1:40 PM

Karen

The Faculty of Nursing is offering more choices, with the new After Degree Nursing Program and the graduate Clinical Nurse Specialist program. Photo: U of R Photography

The University of Regina, in collaboration with Saskatchewan Polytechnic, launched two new programs for nursing students this semester.

One is the After Degree Nursing Program, for students who already have a university degree and want to complete a nursing degree in 24 calendar months. There are 18 students enrolled.

“We have had quite a number of students who have completed other degrees prior to entrance into the Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing (SCBScN) regular program, including some with master’s and PhDs. So, these students won't really be different than the regular SCBScN program – they will just take a slightly revised program and complete the program in 24 months rather than the three, three-and-half or four years in the regular program,” explains Dr. Robin Evans, Associate Professor and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Nursing.

Students can enter with a degree in any discipline, as long as they have earned an average grade of 70%. Some nursing students have degrees in Biology, Chemical Engineering, Kinesiology, Health Studies, Human Justice, and Pharmacy.

“We used our regular SCBScN program as the basis and developed the program from there. Students will take a mixture of year one and two courses in the first two terms; then will follow the regular SCBScN program for year three and four courses,” Evans says.

For more information: https://www.uregina.ca/external/communications/feature-stories/current/2017/11-281.html

Lifetime achievement award for Associate Dean of Nursing

By Dale Johnson

Posted: November 29, 2017 1:30 PM

Karen

Karen Eisler (l) receives her lifetime achievement award from Linda Johnston, U of T’s Dean of Nursing. Photo courtesy U of T Photography

Dr. Karen Eisler in the U of R’s Faculty of Nursing has been recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Toronto (U of T), where she earned her PhD in Nursing in 2009.

The Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing at the U of T says Eisler is receiving the award because throughout her career, “she has had a tremendous impact on nursing, nursing leadership and the healthcare system in Canada. Her many contributions have been especially notable in the areas of leadership, administration, and research and teaching.”

“I was humbled and felt blessed to be recognized for a career that I have loved,” says Eisler, Associate Dean (Student Affairs) in the Faculty of Nursing and Assistant Professor.

Eisler has been a registered nurse for almost 40 years and worked in both intensive care and emergency room settings. She also served as Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association.

The U of T also says that Eisler “is recognized for leading by example, modelling nursing values and professionalism, and she is highly valued and respected by her peers provincially, nationally and internationally.”

Winning this award “raises awareness of our wonderful Faculty of Nursing and the University of Regina,” Eisler says.

The U of R’s Dean of Nursing, david Gregory, says, “We are most fortunate to have Karen as a colleague; her positive energy, her expertise, and her understanding of nursing make her an invaluable colleague, mentor, and administrator.”

“The award was quite an honour,” says Eisler, who received the award Nov. 7 at Hart House at the U of T. “I accepted it on behalf of my family, friends, and mentors who have supported me throughout my career to be a better RN and a better person.”  

For more information: https://www.uregina.ca/external/communications/feature-stories/current/2017/11-14.html

Five Swift Current RN Graduates Receive Their Pins.

By Iryn Tushabe

Posted: August 17, 2017 2:30 PM

Graduates

The first graduates from Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing (SCBScN) program in Swift Current were welcomed into the nursing profession through a time-honoured tradition: the Pinning Ceremony.

“It marks a graduate’s passing from student to practicing nurse,” said Dr. Robin Evans, Associate Dean with the University of Regina, Faculty of Nursing. Evans, who has attended similar celebrations in Saskatoon and Regina, added this particular Pinning Ceremony was special because it was the first in Swift Current. 

According to Evans, the history of Pinning Ceremonies dates back to the Crusades of the 12th Century when monks were given Maltese crosses as badges for treating wounded crusaders. Later, Florence Nightingale, considered the founder of modern nursing, also presented medals of excellence to her nursing graduates. The medals have since evolved into pins, and now nurse Pinning Ceremonies are commonplace around the world.

“The graduates were tickled pink,” said Brenda Hackl, a project manager with the Faculty of Nursing, who helped organize the event. “Their families were there: husbands, kids and other family members.”

At the June 2nd ceremony, which took place at Walker Place, five Swift Current graduates — Leeta Brisebois, Kayla Christofferson, Carrie Empey, Ellie Koellmel, and Catherine Reimer — were presented with pins which symbolize honour, courage, dedication and the privilege of being a nurse.

“It was very heartfelt because it was important to celebrate all the work that it took to deliver the program out there in Swift Current,” Hackl said, adding that the community of Swift Current had “supported the program and the students since its inception.”

All five of the pinned nursing graduates have been hired by the Cypress Health Region.

Nursing Students in Swift Current Give Back to the Community

By Iryn Tushabe

Posted: August 10, 2017 1:00 PM

funding

A group of Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing (SCBScN) students in Swift Current recently presented the Cypress Health Region with a cheque to help purchase training equipment for the Cypress Regional Hospital in their home town.

“Our instructor on the maternity ward had told us there’s a neonate IV doll that’s great for practicing starting an IV line in infants but she said it wasn’t covered in the budget,” said Shauna Wright, a fourth year RN student in the program. “So we thought we would do a fundraiser and buy this doll as a thank you to the maternity ward staff because they were extra special.”

Organized by eight students, the Paint Nite fundraiser sold out, Shauna said, motivating them to raise a little more money to supplement the IV doll with another piece of equipment — a vein finder for the Med-Surg unit. The device is used to locate a good vein for starting an IV.

“So then we went around telling people in the community what we were doing and they made donations for prizes,” Shauna said. “We ended up raising $1720 in total.”

This was more than enough for the two pieces of training equipment. They decided to donate the balance to mental health, another unit where they’d spend time during their practicum rotation.

The donation was officially presented to the Dr. Noble Irwin Regional Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit responsible for raising money for medical equipment for healthcare facilities throughout Cypress Health Region. Unit managers from Maternity and Med-Surg, as well as a clinical instructor from mental health were invited to the June 28th donation presentation.

The students will probably benefit from the equipment they’ve helped purchase as they all plan on practicing at the Swift Current hospital where they have all been offered jobs upon graduation, Shauna said, adding, “I can’t even imagine studying nursing anywhere else other than here in this wonderful community.”

Visiting Graduate Students Give High Praise to Saskatchewan’s Healthcare System

By Iryn Tushabe

Posted: August 3, 2017 8:00 AM

Malawi

Lucy Chimera (l) and Monalisa Tembo, graduate exchange students from the University of Malawi's Kamuzu College of Nursing

Meaningful research that is impactful. That is Lucy Chimera’s biggest takeaway from a summer of taking classes at the University of Regina’s Faculty of Nursing as an exchange student from the southeastern African country of Malawi.

“Here research is very well documented and applied so that interventions are evidence-based,” said the graduate student from the University of Malawi’s Kamuzu College of Nursing. “And because of it,” adds Monalisa Tembo, the other exchange student from the same university, “appropriate preventative care is put in place which helps to reduce the number of complications, and admissions to hospitals.”

Both Tembo and Chimera practiced as midwives before applying to the Masters of Midwifery program at the University of Malawi in Lilongwe, that country’s capital. In their second year this year, the two students won a scholarship that would have them come to Canada and take summer classes at the University of Regina while at the same time familiarizing themselves with Saskatchewan’s healthcare system, especially the parts of it that informed their research projects.

Tembo, who is researching factors associated with mortality and severe postpartum haemorrhage, said visiting the All Nations' Healing Hospital in Fort Qu’Appelle was an eye-opening experience for her. She was amazed to learn that the hospital incorporated some First Nations healing traditions into their medical practices. She wished her country would similarly incorporate “our people’s own traditional beliefs into our medical practices,” she said, “but only the ones that aren’t harmful.”

“We used to have this cultural practice, where, after giving birth, a mother was supposed to stay indoors breastfeeding her baby and taking time for herself to heal from childbirth. But we have done away with that,” Tembo said, adding that she believed resurrecting that tradition would improve maternal and infant health outcomes. “I think people would be receptive to that.”

Chimera’s research investigates reproductive health services and sexual reproductive health rights for adolescents. She was motivated to take a deeper look into the issue following a study in Malawi that reported that adolescents were not accessing sexual reproductive health services including contraceptives and HIV testing.

“What I have found is that youths are judged by healthcare providers who call them promiscuous and this pushes the adolescents away,” Chimera said, explaining that in Malawi, children are categorized as youth from the age of 10 to 24 years old.

“Yet when they come back pregnant they’re again faced with attitudes of judgement.”

Chimera said that in her five years as a midwife on a maternity ward, the youngest mother she encountered was 13 years old.

“Girls are especially vulnerable,” she said. “They don’t always have the authority to demand that their partners be serious about contraception yet in the end they’re the ones who suffer the most and drop out of school.”

Chimera’s plan is to reach out to both young men and young women, to educate them about sexual reproductive health practices in engaging ways like fun social gatherings and social media campaigns.

“There’s an AIDS outreach program that we visited here and they go out to high schools to educate boys and girls on reproductive health issues,” Chimera said. “I think that’s an approach that can work back home.”

Both Chimera and Tembo said they’d enjoyed their research courses so much so that they hoped to become doctoral scholars, hopefully back here at the University of Regina. But for now, they are looking forward to returning home to Malawi in mid-august.

Nursing Associate Professor explains Canada’s home care to Taiwan.

By Iryn Tushabe

Posted: June 14, 2017 11:30 AM

joan

Associate Professor Joan Wagner is still radiant after a recent trip to Taiwan. She was invited there by Shwu-feng Tsay, Director-General, Department of Nursing and Health Care, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan

Wagner and Shwu-feng met two years earlier in Geneva at a nursing leadership conference organized by the International Council of Nurses. So when the Asia University of Asia organized an international nursing conference and asked if Shwu-feng knew of an international speaker, she thought of Wagner.

“Canada is looked at as the gold standard when it comes to healthcare so they wanted to see what Canadians are doing and what they can learn from us,” said Wagner, adding that Taiwan is in the process of revising its home health care system, which is currently a public/private partnership where government case workers assess clients’ needs and the services are delivered by private companies. In Saskatchewan home care is primarily a public system.

Speaking to home care leaders and private service providers, Wagner delivered a presentation titled: Health Care and The Aging of Canadians.

Although Canada and Taiwan are vastly different countries, the average age of their populations — 42 for Canada and 40 for Taiwan — is quite similar, Wagner said. “So our health needs aren’t too different,” she explained, adding a further similarity was the presence of Aboriginal communities.

Outside of the conference, Wagner said she spent even more time explaining to senior home care professionals in Taiwan about long term care facilities in Canada. This was quite hard for them to understand, Wagner said, because in Taiwan, the common practice is to keep the elderly in their homes as much as possible. To explain Saskatchewan’s model of long term care, she used as an example, The Meadows – Swift Current’s Long Term Care Project. It’s a recently-unveiled 225 bed long-term care facility directly linked with the Cypress Regional Hospital.

When it comes to home care though, Wagner said Canada could do better. Statistics Canada in 2012 reported that 110,000 people aged 65 and older did not receive the home care they needed. Such home care services include medication administration, changing dressings, ongoing emotional support, diabetic care, I.V therapy, and instructions to individuals and their families.

Even though Wagner teaches leadership and management courses to nursing students at the University of Regina, she worked for many years as a home care case manager as well as in long term care. 

“So I know the home care community really well,” she said.

Supporters of French-language health programs honoured

Posted:June 2,2017 11:30 AM

Dean

Anne Leis, President of Rseau santen franais de la Saskatchewan with Dr. david Gregory,
Dean of the Faculty of Nursing.Photo courtesy of Jeanne Dumas

The possibility of a bilingual nursing program at the University of Regina and La Cit universitaire francophone are being recognized by a provincial body.

Dr. david Gregory, Dean of the Faculty of Nursing, and La Cit universitaire francophone at the U of R, have been honoured for their contributions to the development of French-language health education programs in Saskatchewan.

The annual Rseau santen franais de la Saskatchewan Recognition Awards were presented at the organizations annual general meeting May 25, 2017, in Saskatoon.

The awards are presented to a person or institution who have made a significant contribution to improving access to French-language health services.

More on the story:https://www.uregina.ca/external/communications/feature-stories/current/2017/06-01.html

Nursing Instructor Wins Award for Excellence in Experiential Learning

By Iryn Tushabe

Posted: June 1, 2017 2:45 PM

Cindy

Exemplary teacher, inspirational leader, and all around amazing woman. These are a few of the phrases people have used when describing Cindy Kuster Orban.

Her genuineness, sparkling energy, compassion, and love for working in community nursing have resulted in many of her former clinical group students describing the lasting and positive effects Cindy has had on their learning,” said Dr. Laurie Clune, an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Nursing. Clune nominated Kuster Orban for the University of Regina Teaching Award of Excellence in Experiential Learning, which is given to an individual who has displayed excellence in leadership and innovation in experiential learning for undergraduate and/or graduate students at the University of Regina and/or its Federated Colleges.

Kuster Orban teaches a fourth year practicum course in which nursing students actively participate in community partnerships. Two years ago, in her first year teaching the course, she took the students to the North Central Community Centre, a neighbourhood near and dear to her heart because thats where her community nursing career began thirty years before.

At the beginning many of my students werent wanting to come to North Central because they were afraid of what could happen there,Kuster Orban said, explaining that the community gets a bad rap due to the high incidences of crime that reportedly take place there.But I promised them that Id try my best to give them amazing opportunities to develop their skills, and by the end they were all in love with the community.”

That placement culminated in the students making a public presentation, to which they invited community members and local dignitaries including MLAs and city councillors. At the end of the presentation, City of Regina Mayor Michael Fougere donated an industrial-sized dishwasher to the North Central Community Centre.

They didnt have a dishwasher and they feed sixty children every day,Kuster Orban said.So those students left a legacy.

Most recently, Kuster Orban and her clinical placement students have turned their attention to the university community, focusing on mental health and academic recovery through partnerships with various university programs including Counselling Services, UR International, and Student Success Centre.

What we really have found is that the difference nursing students can make on campus is incredible,Kuster Orban said, adding a lot of her studentsefforts were directed at improving positive coping strategies, identifying mental health challenges such as depression and anxiety, and talking about womens health. Last year, in a campaign to encourage women to become advocates for their own health, Kuster Orban and her students invited Elly Mayday, a New York-based plus-sized model and ovarian cancer survivor, to speak at a public education session at the University. The event was a result of a survey the clinical placement students had carried out, which found that young women werent being proactive in their gynecological and sexual health.

So this award, to me, is an honour to the students as well because they are so passionate about nursing and research and about making a difference in their communities,Kuster Orban said.Its also an acknowledgement from the university that they heard and respected our voices.

Annual Malawi Study Tour a Life-Changing Endeavour for Nursing Students

By Ashley Kilback

Posted: May 23, 2017 12:30 PM

Malawi
In 2016, 12 SCBScN Nursing

Students from Regina and Saskatoon took part in the annual Malawi Study Tour with Dr. Florence Luhanga and Dr. Joan Wagner. The Malawi Study Tour is a clinical observation experience that provides nursing students with the opportunity to study cross-cultural health and nursing care in the developing world.

On Friday, April 7, a group of the students shared stories about their three-week excursion living in a hostel at the Kamuzu College of Nursing in Lilongwe, Malawi where they spent their days learning and interacting with fellow nursing students. They experienced firsthand what it is like to live in a community where resources for healthcare are limited and methods of study are vastly different.

Among the many life-changing moments they encountered, the students were inspired by the nature of compassion that exists within the Malawi healthcare system. There is a shift in perspective when resources and healthcare professionals are limited and the familial roots of a community have to come together to support and help one another in order to survive.

Meghan Lybeck, a 3rd year student on the trip, reflects on her experience, “In Malawi, midwifery is part of their nursing degree so it’s actually the nurse who delivers babies and not the doctor. There are only two midwives per nine labor rooms and that’s a huge difference. I learned that we have a greater opportunity to provide competent care and build a therapeutic relationship with our patients whereas in Malawi this is often times very difficult.”

In addition to learning about the day-to-day nature of the healthcare system, the students also reflected on how the trip taught them to see the world differently.
Presli Smith, a 4th year student on the trip, shares a newfound perspective, “It made me realize how much we take for granted including things like electricity, transportation, accessible medication, and healthcare resources. We witnessed firsthand how difficult health care is when it isn’t free and there is a lack of funding to support it. It has many negative effects on the families living in the community.”

The students had many stories to share and were extremely grateful for the opportunity to learn that they can use their knowledge and skills as nurses to help someone no matter who they are, where they live and what they are going through.

Determination Rewards Deans’ Medal Recipient

By Jarrett Crowe

Posted : May 3, 2017 1:45 PM

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As Jackie Kiew-Gaco walked across the 2015 Spring Convocation Ceremony stage in front of friends and family, she not only received her degree in nursing, but also the prestigious Deans’ Medal.

“It was really rewarding,” said Jackie. “Just to have my family there to see me receive my degree and the Deans’ Medal was a good example for them,” she added. The Deans’ Medal is awarded from both Deans of Nursing at the University of Regina (U of R) and Saskatchewan Polytechnic to a student who is successful academically, with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 80 per cent and has shown leadership and commitment in extra-curricular activities.

Proud of her accomplishment in receiving the medal, and congratulated by her classmates, she admits she is not one to “gloat” about her achievements. “Anytime you are given an award you are just kind of like I'm here to get a degree like everyone else and you don't really feel like you're doing more than others, but if felt good (to be honoured),” she said.

In 2011 Jackie was among the first group of students who enrolled in the then-new Saskatchewan Collaborative Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program (SCBScN).  She enrolled as a mature student and chose to stay and study at the Saskatoon campus. Her initial interest in nursing came under unfortunate circumstances as she visited close family members in the hospital. Those she visited included her father who passed away when she was 11 years old. “From that point of view, having family in the hospital, (I saw) the difference nurses can make,” she said.

Prior to enrolling in the nursing program, Jackie had worked as a message therapist for ten years and she and her husband had started a family. She had previously attended university to study engineering and commerce, before realizing those programs were not the right fit for her. “Life takes you on a different course sometimes and I went to school trying to figure out what I wanted to be. In the end, I was led back to nursing,” she said.

Not only did Jackie excel academically, but also in many of her volunteer efforts which included serving as an executive member of the Saskatoon Nursing Student Society, coaching athletics and instructing cultural dance. “It really represents the Deans' Medal because not only do you have to have academic (standing), but also be involved in the community and with extra-curricular activities,” she said.

Having been a student in the SCBScN program, Jackie believes the program helped prepare her and her classmates for careers in nursing through a combination of in-class and clinical experiences. “I do feel the U of R program did a good job of giving us the basics and getting us started in our careers,” she said. “Nursing is definitely one of those careers where you become an expert through experience.”

Though her circumstances were different than the majority of her classmates in the program, she has some beneficial advice to students on how to be successful. “During any extra time I had at school I would do class work because I couldn't leave everything until I got home and I did not leave homework until the last minute. If there was a deadline I always made sure to complete the assignment two or three days before just in case other things came up,” she said.

Currently, Jackie is working at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon as a medical nurse. In the future, she is interested working with children once she feels she has further experience. “I'm thinking that I will love to be a pediatric nurse and work with pediatrics and families,” she said.

Faculty of Nursing SCBScN Program Recognized For Meeting National Standards of Excellence by Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing

By Ashley Kilback

Posted: April 12, 2017 11:00 AM

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The SCBScN program has been an integral part of enhancing the quality of education for nursing students and it is with great honor to announce that the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) has recognized it for meeting national standards of excellence in nursing education. Initially, the SCBScN program received Path A (no graduates) accreditation in 2014 but that has since changed to Path B (graduates from program) in June 2016 where it received the maximum accreditation of 7 years.

Joint celebrations were held at University of Regina and Sask Polytechnic. On November 2, 2016, the SCBScN celebrated the monumental achievement at the University of Regina Atrium of the Research and Innovation Center. The attendees were University of Regina, Faculty of Nursing, Sask Polytechnic and SCBScN faculty and staff. The event started byhonored guest speakers that brought congratulations, from;Dr. VianneTimmons, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Regina who stated how proud she was of the successful collaboration between the two educational institutions;. Dr. Larry Rosia, President and CEO of Sask Polytechnic, Dr. david Gregory, Dean, Faculty of Nursing, University of Regina and Dr. Netha Dyck, Dean, School of Nursing, Sask Polytechnic also spoke at the event.

The second celebration was held in Saskatoon at Sask Polytechnic which included the faculty and staff from the University of Regina, Sask Polytechnic and SCBScN Saskatoon site. Dr. Larry Rosia, President and CEO of Sask Polytechnic recognized the hard work of the staff and faculty to achieve this great accomplishment. Dr. david Gregory, Dean, Faculty of Nursing, University of Regina; and Dr. Netha Dyck, Dean, School of Nursing, Sask Polytechnic also spoke at the event in Saskatoon.

After the speeches, SCBScN faculty and staffs contribution, commitment and hard work were recognized with a copper business card holder. Copper is a symbolic material that represented the 7-year accreditation awarded to the SCBScN program by CASN. The card holders tree design represents the conceptual framework of the SCBScN program.

NURIP cultivating a passion for research

By Iryn Tushabe

Posted: April 6, 2017 10:45 AM

NURIP

Left to Right: Chelsea Runquist, Qilei Ai, Tiffany Klemack, Emily Rohde and Dr. Ann-Marie Urban

When nursing student Tiffany Klemack applied to the Nursing Undergraduate Research Internship Program (NURIP) last year, she was looking for an enriching summer job to add to her resume. But she didn’t count on it also being exciting.

“You learn so much about nursing beyond the hospital and form important connections with different healthcare professionals,” Klemack said. “When I was taking CNUR 300 Family Health this fall, I noticed that I had the privilege, during my NURIP internship, of meeting and talking to Dr. Colleen Varcoe, one of the authors of a chapter in my textbook, Family Health Care Nursing: Theory, Practice, and Research (Kaakinen, Coehlo, Steele, Tabacco, & Hanson, 2015).”

The internship program employs undergraduate nursing students from May to August each year, and pairs them with faculty members who are doing research.

“They learn how to do literature reviews, article writing, maybe even do some focus groups if the research they’re paired with requires it,” said Associate Dean (Student Affairs) Professor Karen Eisler, who is leading NURIP this year alongside Faculty of Nursing Dean, david Gregory. “So they get to learn hands-on what nursing research is going on in the faculty right now.”

Applicants to the internship program must first complete the class CNUR 209 Nursing Research Methods, which introduces them to both quantitative and qualitative research in the practice of nursing, a variety of research methodologies and research based literature and the implications for nursing practice.

“So the program brings concepts that they learned in that class to life, as well as advancing the nursing research being done now in our faculty.”

Emily Rohde, another student who participated in NURIP last summer, said she appreciated being treated as a research professional.

“Everyone at the Faculty of Nursing treat you like a part of the team,” Rohde said, adding that her experience as a student researcher was further enhanced by the camaraderie she shared with the three other interns in the program.

While she’s currently unsure whether she will go on to pursue a Master or PhD in Nursing, Rohde said a career in nursing research no longer intimidated her. “I now understand what it entails and by all means it does not seem unattainable anymore.”

Even though their NURIP positions concluded in August, both Klemack and Rohde said they were still assisting, casually, in various ongoing research projects inside the faculty.

The 2017 NURIP participants have been selected. Applications for next year’s placement will be accepted through the University of Regina Career Opportunities next March.

To learn more about NURIP, visit: https://www.uregina.ca/nursing/NURIP/index.html

U of R Nursing instructor researches Thrombophilia treatments at home

By Iryn Tushabe

Posted: April 6, 2017 10:15 AM

red blood cell

A University of Regina Nursing instructor is at the helm of a program that could change the lives of thrombophilia sufferers in Saskatchewan's rural communities.

Thrombophilia is an abnormality which increases the propensity for blood to form clots inside blood vessels. The condition is usually treated with a blood-thinning drug called warfarin, lev­els of which in the blood need to be monitored regularly to ensure it's not thinning the blood too much or too little, says Craig Eling, who is also a Paediatric Hematology Nursing Practitioner with the Hematology Clinic at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon.

To check the warfarin levels, a sizeable blood sample has to be drawn directly from a patient's vein and sent to a lab.

"The unfortunate thing with this blood test is that it requires a lot of blood and the problem is the needle has to go right into the vein because we need the free flowing blood. So if it starts clot­ting or runs slow or stops half way through that sample, it usually has to be thrown out and we have to start again," Eling says.

"It's no big deal with adults but when we are dealing with kids , their veins can be harder to find and, of course, needles and kids don't go very well together."

An alternative method of testing a patient's warfarin levels exists, which works in much the same way diabetics test their blood sugar levels at home. It's the difference between a small poke to the finger and insertion of a needle into the vein.

Eling says patients would be provided with the Glucometer-like machine, which they would use to read their blood levels at home, call their readings into the hematology clinic and be told by an expert whether the levels are okay or not, in which case their warfarin doses would be adjusted accordingly.

"The intention is that this program will make it easier on these families who are further away from a major centre and on children in general by getting them away from those needles and labs," he explains.

Eling just returned from British Columbia where he observed how a similar program has been implemented in that province. He says his visit confirmed what he already knew from reading studies about the home testing program conducted in the United States and in Canada - that pa­tient and family satisfaction is high.

Eling is in the process of writing a proposal for government funding to help kickstart the pro­gram in Saskatchewan, which he says will be most beneficial for patients living in the province's rural areas.

"If we are talking about a kid who lives in an isolated area or a farm, getting into town to go to the doctor's office or a lab is a disruption to their lives - they are missing school, parents could be missing work," he explains.

"This program would mean so much for those families."

Nursing student group brings ladyballs campaign to Regina.

By Iryn Tushabe

Posted: April 6, 2017 09:15 AM

ladyballs

Lower back pain, stomach bloating, frequenting the washroom and feeling full on an empty stomach. These were some of the most outstanding symptoms that prompted international model Elly Mayday to visit her doctor three years ago. She was prescribed painkillers and instructed to exercise.

“The doctor assumed I had a cyst and they said working out would strengthen my core and reduce the pain,” Said Mayday on March 23 following a public presentation she delivered at the university of Regina as part of Ovarian Cancer Canada’s Ladyballs campaign which aims to raise awareness of the fatality and prevalence of ovarian cancer in women of all ages.

Mayday exercised and even lost 30 lbs but the pain still came in waves. So she quit her flight attendant job and insisted that doctors take her seriously.

They did.

A laparoscopic biopsy revealed she had stage three ovarian cancer.

“It’s traumatic,” she said of the lateness of her diagnosis. “You feel very undermined.”

Mayday believes doctors didn’t take her seriously because at 25 years old, she was young for an ovarian cancer diagnosis.

Because she had been modelling part time, Mayday decided to use that platform to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and to share her experience with others. Her photos and her story went viral on the Internet with many commending her for the positive body image she exuded. Before long, she was signed up by a modelling agency in New York  City.

Nowadays, Mayday, originally from Aylesbury, Saskatchewan, travels around the world encouraging women to be their own advocates when it comes to ovarian cancer.

“If I hadn’t followed my instincts and stood up for myself, I would be dead by now,” she said, adding Ovarian Cancer is difficult to detect and women need to insist that relevant tests be done if they suspect they have symptoms like she had.

Mayday’s University of Regina presentation was facilitated by a group of fourth year nursing students called UR Peers Helping Peers — the first such nursing student community placement on campus.

Throughout the fall and winter semesters, the students, under the leadership of Faculty of Nursing instructor Cindy Kuster Orban, have been involved in various health-related projects on campus including delivering mental health workshops to students, especially those on academic probation.

The group, made up of seven soon-to-graduate students, also worked with student leaders in campus residence and delivered presentations to fellow students about such subjects as the importance of regular pap smears.

Inviting Mayday was also their idea.

“We had a Skype date with her and learnt what we can do better as nursing professionals regarding ovarian cancer,” said Brittany Guenzel, a member of the UR Peers Helping Peers.

“But we wanted other students to also have the opportunity to hear Elly’s story.”

The presentation was very well attended, attracting members of the general Regina public to the the university.

Mayday said everyday five women are diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in Canada.

“If you are feeling the same symptoms I had, you can say to your doctor ‘I know a girl who was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer at 25,’” she said, adding that it is also helpful if people can document their symptoms and know their family history.

Faculty of Nursing Honours First Graduating Class of the CNPP

By Ashley Kilback

Posted: February 27, 2017 9:00 AM

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The Faculty of Nursing celebrated an exciting milestone as the first graduating class for the Collaborative Nurse Practitioner Program (CNPP) took the stage at the Conexus Arts Centre at the Fall 2016 convocation to receive their official NP designation presented by Dr. Glenn Donnelly, Associate Dean (Graduate), Faculty of Nursing, University of Regina and Dr. Netha Dyck, Dean, School of Nursing, Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

The Honorable Bronwyn Eyre, Minister of Advanced Educated, was also in attendance to provide well wishes for the graduates. “These are courageous women who have gone through this training while raising families. As a mother, I understand how big of a commitment that is. We [as the government] are very proud and hope they continue to stay within our province.”

CNPP was launched in 2014 as a collaborative initiative between the University of Regina and Saskatchewan Polytechnic to provide an online Nurse Practitioner Program. The program has since expanded into full-time and part-time courses.

This year’s graduating class was a tight-knit group of six individuals who came together from across the province to celebrate their achievements with members of the faculty, family and friends.

Dr. Glenn Donnelly, Associate Dean (Graduate) and Joyce Bruce, Program Head for the School of Nursing have worked hard to make this program possible, and they couldn’t be happier to celebrate the success it has created.  Dr. Donnelly said “It’s a shared responsibility between students and faculty to lead, teach and promote health education.  You (graduates) will fill a growing need for patient access in the health care system and will continue to improve health care in our communities.  Be proud of your academic accomplishments and being the first (CNPP) Nurse Practitioner graduates.”

The CNPP provides many opportunities for career development for students who are committed to moving forward. Diana Ashfield shares her experience as a recent CNPP graduate, “It was fantastic. There were times when it was overwhelming but it’s important to persevere. As an RN, I had always felt like I needed to do more for my patients and now I can and that’s so exciting.”

The structure of the CNPP itself is designed to ensure that students are provided with the proper guidance they need while taking an online course. As a former student, Kim Veronneau shares how the program helped her succeed, “The program is very structured but what helped me the most was the teachers. They are personable and accessible when it comes to providing you with the help you need.”

The implementation of collaborative initiatives is what makes the Faculty of Nursing a strong educational platform for its students. The success of the CNPP is just another step toward enhancing our health care for the future.