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Horse therapy teaches nursing students the value of presence

Four students with a horse

 

Four students with a horse
Students practice precise communication in haltering horses at senior instructor Jayne Beebe’s Spirit of Hope equine center. 

By Addy Hatch, WSU College of Nursing

Horses have a lot to teach nurses, says Jayne Beebe, a senior instructor at the WSU College of Nursing in Yakima.

Some patients are nonverbal, for example, or can’t communicate with health care providers because of a language barrier. Some patients are a little scary. And horses, like patients, react to a person’s body language and can sense when someone isn’t “truly with them,” Beebe said.

Beebe knows horses very well. She grew up riding, and started an equine center in Yakima where using 21 rescued and donated horses she offers therapeutic riding for chemically dependent youth, foster children, and veterans. Now she incorporates equine therapy into an elective class offered to WSU College of Nursing students and to other health care students in the Yakima Valley.

In one exercise, for example, students link arms and follow one person’s instructions in how to halter a horse, which teaches them about the need for precise communications.

In another, a student starts off leading one horse that represents a patient, then Beebe gives the student a second horse representing a worry about something they forgot to do. A third horse represents what the student is thinking about for dinner, and so on, until eventually the horse representing the patient is just part of a string.

“They did not have to take the horse, I just offered them the horse,” Beebe said. “That’s where they need to stop and think, ‘What’s for dinner is not important right now, I just need to be taking care of this patient.’”

The elective class Beebe offers is called “Presencing,” and includes components on spirituality and mindfulness. Beebe recently presented her research on building emotional self-awareness using horses at the Sigma conference in Indianapolis.

Jayne Beebe standing with two Belgian Draft horses.
Senior instructor Jayne Beebe with Joe and Bubbles, both Belgian Draft horses.

One student who took the elective class in the spring said of the experience, “This class should be implemented into the nursing program. We learned a lot of valuable information – presencing, therapeutic touch, nonverbal communication, etc. I believe all nurses should learn this at some point in their nursing education; all of the elements of this class can help a patient in their most vulnerable times.”

Working with horses “can be so powerful,” Beebe said. “I see how many times students are wrapped up in their heads, and they’re not really present with their patients, the team they’re working with, or the families.”

Dr. Dawn Garzon Maaks to be featured on SiriusXM show

Portrait of Dawn Garzon
Portrait of Dawn Garzon
Dr. Dawn Garzon Maaks of the WSU College of Nursing in Vancouver.

Dr. Dawn Garzon Maaks, clinical professor and associate director of the WSU College of Nursing Vancouver, will be a guest on SiriusXM’s Doctor Radio on Thursday to discuss the role of nurse practitioners in health care.

Dr. Garzon Maaks has more than two decades’ experience as a primary care pediatric nurse practitioner, and she’s certified as a pediatric primary care mental health specialist. She provides primary care and behavioral health care for underserved populations in her clinical practice. She’s also the president-elect of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and will become president of the organization in July 2018.

Doctor Radio, on SiriusXM Channel 110, is a 24/7 national radio channel featuring live, call-in shows hosted by health care providers from New York University Langone Health, and broadcast from a studio in the lobby of the Manhattan-based academic medical center.

Dr. Garzon Maaks will take part in “The Nurse Practitioner” show, a bi-monthly special that highlights the role of nurse practitioners in health care. She’ll discuss the roles NPs fill, NP education, and diabetes awareness.

To listen: Thursday, Nov. 16, 1-1:30 p.m. (PDT)

Subscribers:  Sirius or XM Channel 110; the show will be posted to siriusxm.com/ondemand about 48 hours after it airs.

Non-subscribers: Sign up for a 30-day free online pass at siriusxm.com/sxm-tryfree and listen online.

 

Military ties an important part of the WSU College of Nursing

Portrait of Abel Garcia, student at the WSU College of Nursing in Yakima and US Navy veteran.
Portrait of Abel Garcia, student at the WSU College of Nursing in Yakima and US Navy veteran.
Abel Garcia is a U.S. Navy veteran and student at the WSU College of Nursing in Yakima. Photo by Sarah Schaub. 

By Addy Hatch, WSU College of Nursing 

Service to country is as much a part of the DNA of the Washington State University College of Nursing as service to patients.

The college faculty, for example, includes a former commander, four lieutenant colonels, two captains, and a major. Nurse scientists in the College of Nursing lead research that’s informing and sometimes changing military policy. Air National Guard personnel train in the college’s Simulation Lab. And the student body includes members of the Reserve Officer Training Corps and other military training programs. » More …

Donor spotlight: Carol Quigg views giving as ‘continuing education’

Portrait of Carol Quigg
Portrait of Carol Quigg
Carol Quigg

Carol Quigg never worked as a nurse, yet she’s a faithful supporter of the WSU College of Nursing.

The connection to WSU is understandable: Quigg graduated in 1958 with a home economics degree. But it wasn’t until a women’s group she belonged to raised money for student scholarships that she became acquainted with the College of Nursing.

“I got interested in research,” she said. “I started out doing an endowment for research and it’s gone from there.”

As part of her support, she meets with faculty members to talk to them about their work.
“I insist on it, as a matter of fact,” said Quigg, of Spokane Valley. “I call it my continuing education program.”

Interprofessional education is a particular interest, because Quigg believes a team approach will improve the quality of health care.

And because she grew up in a rural area and worked as a county extension agent for some time, she also has an affinity for rural health care, and agricultural research and projects.

Quigg said she appreciates the work of the College of Nursing faculty and staff.

“A lot of the personnel are trying to be forward-looking and innovative,” she said. “They’re also very involved with the students, which they need to be in order to do a good job in education.”

Sports-physical clinics for kids have made Melody Rasmor a hero

Photo of four people with Melody Rasmor second from left holding a plaque. Others pictured are project sponsor representatives Ryan Hart, of the Port of Vancouver USA, Chris Hill, of Northwest Capital Mortgage, and Lorre Jaffe of Real Living The Real Estate Group.
Photo of four people with Melody Rasmor second from left holding a plaque. Others pictured are project sponsor representatives Ryan Hart, of the Port of Vancouver USA, Chris Hill, of Northwest Capital Mortgage, and Lorre Jaffe of Real Living The Real Estate Group.
Clinical Associate Professor Melody Rasmor, second from left, received the Real Hero award from project sponsor representatives (left to right): Ryan Hart, Port of Vancouver USA; Chris Hill, Northwest Capital Mortgage; and Lorre Jaffe, Real Living The Real Estate Group.

 

A decade of organizing sports physical clinics for Vancouver-area students made Melody Rasmor a “Real Hero” to Clark County leaders.

Rasmor is a family nurse practitioner and clinical assistant professor at the Washington State University College of Nursing Vancouver. She was recognized with the award at a recent ceremony hosted by the Learn Here Project, which showcases the education system in Southwest Washington. It’s part of an economic development initiative – Land Here, Live Here, Learn Here – created by a nonprofit business leaders group.

The clinics Rasmor founded are held annually, typically in the spring. They bring together graduate and undergraduate nursing students and preceptors to provide sports physicals to about 100 students in the Evergreen School District, she said.

Rasmor launched the initiative when she was teaching a graduate nursing course in physical assessment. Students “needed to practice on real live bodies,” she said.

School district officials were receptive because providing convenient and inexpensive sports physicals was another way to keep students in sports and keep them in school. The clinic asks a $20 donation for a physical, but no student is turned away if they can’t pay, Rasmor said. The money raised goes to the Renee Hoeksel Nursing Leadership Scholarship, so “it’s a win-win for the students, the University, and the Evergreen School District,” Rasmor said.

She said she’s been approached by a medical clinic in Vancouver to help out in the future, which will make the effort more sustainable. “That’s kind of cool,” Rasmor said.

Thank a preceptor: Miranda Hennes, Excelsior Youth Center

Miranda Hennes

Miranda Hennes precepts a WSU College of Nursing student just about every semester.

Hennes, a psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner at Excelsior Youth Center in Spokane, said she remembers how challenging it was to get the required number of clinical hours when she was studying for her Master of Nursing degree from the WSU College of Nursing.

“I know what it’s like to be a student, and I enjoy teaching,” Hennes said. She graduated with her MN in 2014, and worked as a graduate teaching assistant and an adjunct instructor for the College of Nursing. She also received her RN-BSN degree from WSU.

Excelsior Youth Center offers residential care and education and outpatient services to young people with a variety of psychiatric and behavioral conditions. Hennes said she sees clients ages 5 and up for mental health medication management.

She loves the work, she said. “It fits my philosophy of providing care to people – helping them help themselves. If you can get to the root of some of their problems, which can be chronic misuse of substances or poor self-care, then you can fix many more problems than just these outside issues.”

The most challenging aspect of precepting a nursing student is time, Hennes said – making sure both her client and the nursing student get what they need in each encounter. But, she said, “I’m more than happy to do it.”

Jonas Scholars from WSU participate in national conference

Portrait of Sheila Hurst and Donald Jonas
Portrait of Sheila Hurst and Donald Jonas
WSU College of Nursing doctoral student Sheila Hurst, left, with Donald Jonas of the Jonas Center.

Two WSU College of Nursing doctoral students are in Washington D.C. to participate in the Jonas Nurse Leaders Scholar Program‘s leadership conference.

Sheila Hurst and Laura Sherburne were chosen to receive grants under the Jonas Scholars program, which works to increase the number of nursing faculty and advanced practice registered nurses nationwide.

Hurst entered WSU’s Ph.D. program in 2015, and her dissertation topic is “Practices of Head Lice Treatment Among School Age Children.”

Sherburne entered the program that same year; her dissertation topic is “Examining Healthcare and Genomics from the Military Veteran’s Perspective, Identifying Strengths and Barriers to the Integration of Genetic Testing and Genetically Based Therapies.” » More …

Retired nurse Russell Michaelsen found an encore career as an inventor

Portrait of Russell Michaelsen
Portrait of Russell Michaelsen
Russell Michaelsen, photo by Sarah Schaub

 

By Addy Hatch, WSU College of Nursing 

Russell Michaelsen didn’t graduate from the WSU College of Nursing until he was nearly 50, after working as a medical lab tech, logger, commercial fisherman, hunting guide, and builder.

As a nurse, he added inventor to that list of vocations.

Michaelsen, now 78, co-founded Hyprotek, Inc. in Spokane in 1994 to develop medical devices and products that reduce the risk of patient infections. The product line grew out of his work as a nurse at a Spokane hospital. That’s also where he met Dr. Patrick Tennican, a board-certified internist and infectious disease specialist in Spokane, and together, they launched Hyprotek with L. Myles Phipps, Ph.D. » More …

Laura Wintersteen-Arleth honored by Provost during homecoming game

Senior Instructor Laura Wintersteen-Arleth with a commemorative helmet received when she was honored as one of the Provost's Featured Faculty during the WSU-Colorado football game on Oct. 21, 2017.
Senior Instructor Laura Wintersteen-Arleth with a commemorative helmet received when she was honored as one of the Provost's Featured Faculty during the WSU-Colorado football game on Oct. 21, 2017.
Senior Instructor Laura Wintersteen-Arleth with a commemorative helmet received when she was honored as one of the Provost’s Featured Faculty during the WSU-Colorado football game on Oct. 21, 2017.

Laura Wintersteen-Arleth was one of two WSU instructors honored by Provost Dan Bernardo as Featured Faculty at the Oct. 21 football game against Colorado in Pullman.

Wintersteen-Arleth, a senior instructor in the WSU College of Nursing, said she spent most of the rainy, windswept game in the comfort of a suite at Martin Stadium. The Cougs won the homecoming game 28-0.

She and her fellow Featured Faculty honoree Aaron Whelchel, instructor and academic adviser in the Department of History, were recognized on the field during the game. Both were presented with a commemorative Coug football helmet.

Said Wintersteen-Arleth, “I love being an RN and get great joy and satisfaction being a part of the journey our students take to fulfill their dreams of serving others as RNs.” She added, “I am grateful to WSU for allowing me to reach my goals and to have an impact on our future healthcare providers.”

Wintersteen-Arleth was nominated by WSU College of Nursing Dean Joyce Griffith-Sobel. The nomination noted that Wintersteen-Arleth’s husband, Roger Arleth, was a strong supporter of WSU before he died a year ago and willed his body to the cadaver laboratory at the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.

 

DNP student Ebony Blackmon Humphrey awarded Lois Price Spratlen Foundation scholarship

Portrait of Emma Oswald and Ebony Blackmon Humphrey at the Lois Price Spratlen Foundation award gala.
Portrait of Emma Oswald and Ebony Blackmon Humphrey at the Lois Price Spratlen Foundation award gala.
Emma Oswald, a 2016 scholarship recipient from the Lois Price Spratlen Foundation, presented the 2017 award to DNP student Ebony Blackmon Humphrey.

Author, entrepreneur, nurse, and WSU Doctor of Nursing Practice student Ebony Blackmon Humphrey was honored recently by the Lois Price Spratlen Foundation in Seattle with a $2,000 scholarship.

Blackmon Humphrey will graduate from the WSU College of Nursing Vancouver in May with a DNP degree in psychiatric mental health, with the goal of becoming a nurse practitioner. She works at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle in the psychiatric services department.

“I felt that advancing my education would better position me to care for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness,” Blackmon Humphrey said recently. » More …