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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 …

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.

 

Janet Katz inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing

Dr. Janet Katz is inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing on Oct. 7, 2017.
Dr. Janet Katz is inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing on Oct. 7, 2017.
Dr. Janet Katz, right, is inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing on Oct. 7, 2017.

Dr. Janet Katz, professor at the Washington State University College of Nursing, on Saturday was inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing at the organization’s annual meeting in Washington D.C.

The academy’s more than 2,500 fellows worldwide are nurse leaders in education, management, practice, policy, and research. Fellows are selected for their significant contributions to nursing and health care, and the impact of their career on health policies and population health and well-being.

Dr. Katz was the only inductee this year from Eastern Washington, and one of just three from the state.

Her work has focused on diversifying the nursing workforce. Dr. Katz is currently principle investigator on a federal grant to increase the number of disadvantaged, Native American and Hispanic students from rural areas who choose health sciences for their careers. She is also principle investigator for a project focusing on preventing substance abuse and suicide among young members of the Spokane Tribe of Indians. In addition, she coordinates nursing programs for the annual Na-ha-shnee Native American Health Sciences Institute held annually at WSU Spokane, and teaches community health at the WSU College of Nursing.

Study: 12-hour night shift can affect a nurse’s performance

 

Working a 12-hour night shift affects a nurse’s performance more than working a 12-hour day shift does, according to a recent study by Marian Wilson, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the WSU College of Nursing.

Most hospitals in the United States operate on 12-hour nursing shifts now, because they’re easier for administrators to manage and nurses like them, research has shown.

But Wilson’s study, which will appear in the journal “Accident Analysis and Prevention,” shows declines in alertness and performance during a 12-hour night shift that could have implications for both patient and nurse safety.

Strategies to address the discrepancy between day-shift and night-shift performance could include sanctioned napping in the workplace, or a return to 8-hour shifts at night, the paper concludes.

Wilson’s co-investigators on the study were Hans Van Dongen, Ph.D., director of the Sleep and Performance Research Center at the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, and Regan Permito, research assistant at the Sleep and Performance Research lab, plus registered nurses Ashley English, Sandra Albritton and Carlana Coogle, of Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene. Kootenai Health also supported the research with a grant and their staff donated time to assist with data collection.

The study tracked 22 nurses at Kootenai Health, 11 on the day shift and 11 on the night shift. The nurses took a brief test before, during, and after their shifts to measure behavioral alertness and sleepiness using validated tools. In addition, they wore activity trackers on their wrists to measure sleep duration and kept sleep diaries.

Dr. Marian Wilson
Dr. Marian Wilson

The dayshift nurses’ performance was relatively good and stable across their 12-hour shift. But the performance of nurses working the night shift gradually degraded as their shift wore on, the study found. Both groups slept about the same number of hours per day – 7.1 – and both had roughly the same workload.

“Because 12-hour shifts are becoming the popular norm for nurses, it is critical that organizations consider the potential risks to patients, particularly with regard to night shift employees,” the study concluded. The study also has implications for nurse safety, with nurses whose performance has declined driving home after a night shift, it said.

Added Wilson, “The bottom line – night shift nurses are fighting their natural biological drive for sleep and need more help in maintaining performance and alertness during 12-hour night shifts.”

“Performance and sleepiness in nurses working 12-h day shifts or night shifts in a community hospital” –  Accident Analysis and Prevention. Marian Wilson, Regan Permito, Ashley English, Sandra Albritton, Carlana Coogle, Hans P.A. Van Dongen.

Julie Postma of the College of Nursing honored for public health work

Portrait of Julie Postma
Portrait of Julie Postma, who specializes in environmental health and asthma
Dr. Julie Postma

Julie Postma, associate professor at the WSU College of Nursing, will be honored with the Public Health Leadership Award by the Washington State Public Health Association at the organization’s annual meeting this month.

The award conferred by the statewide organization recognizes a person who’s demonstrated sustained leadership in public health advocacy, research, education, or equity and social justice.

Postma teaches population health courses in the WSU College of Nursing graduate program and serves as clinical faculty in the Puget Sound region for the college’s undergraduate program. Her research and expertise focus on environmental health, especially asthma.

“The impact of Dr. Postma’s work to reduce the burden of asthma through asthma management is truly impressive,” wrote Janet Primomo of the University of Washington Tacoma, one of two people who nominated Postma for the award.

Patricia Butterfield, associate dean of research at the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, wrote of Postma, “She effectively works alongside parents who are new to this country and may not speak English, public health professionals, clinicians and asthma researchers.”

Among Postma’s many activities, she led a successful three-year community engagement project to increase parent participation in the Puget Sound Asthma Coalition. She convened both a parent advisory group and a research advisory network, and has served as chair of the asthma coalition’s research and evaluation subcommittee since 2014.

Wrote Primomo, “She has demonstrated expertise in a range of public health issues, worked with many collaboratives and partnerships throughout the state, and applied her outstanding research and advocacy skills to address health inequalities and improve health.”

Cleveland police department to test simulator developed by College of Nursing professor

Portrait of Lois James
Portrait of Lois James
Lois James stands in front of a screen showing one of the simulations featured in CBTSim.

Two hundred patrol officers in the Cleveland police department will undergo training to recognize their subconscious biases using a simulator developed by an assistant professor in the WSU College of Nursing.

The large-scale training is part of a $750,000 research grant awarded to Lois James, Ph.D., by the National Institute of Justice, the research and development agency of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Lois James and her colleague Stephen James, Ph.D., assistant research professor in the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, developed Counter Bias Training Simulation (CBTSim), a portable simulator that presents officers with realistic scenarios in which they are required to make shoot-or-don’t-shoot decisions. The scenarios are based on 30 years of data on police use of force, and repeatedly expose officers to simulations where the suspect’s characteristics, such as age, gender or race, aren’t predictably related to the outcome.

No comparative evidence yet

Such training is a response to national concerns about bias in police decision-making that arose following the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

Implicit-bias training has become common in law enforcement agencies nationwide. So far, however, there has been no evidence on whether simulation-based training, traditional classroom lectures, or a combination of the two is most effective in changing police behavior.

“Rigorous, randomized controlled trials such as the one proposed are desperately required to inform policy and practice at the national level,” Lois James wrote in her grant application to the National Institute of Justice.

Four participant groups

James’ study will randomly assign 400 patrol officers with the Cleveland police department to one of four groups:

  • One will receive classroom training in implicit bias.
  • Another group will be trained using the CBTSim simulator.
  • A third group will be trained using both methods.
  • A fourth control group won’t receive any additional training.

Results will be measured by scoring body-camera footage, the number of citizen complaints received, police surveys and focus groups, and surveys of people arrested to see whether they felt they were treated fairly. The goal is to identify best practices for reducing unconscious or subconscious bias, leading to improved police decision-making and enhanced citizen trust.

Police welcome study

The research study is supported by both the Cleveland Division of Police and Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission.

The three-year research project will begin on Jan. 1, with police training beginning in the spring of 2019. James is principal investigator, with co-investigators Stephen James and Elizabeth Dotson, M.S., research assistant, WSU Sleep and Performance Research Center. Also on the research team are Renee Mitchell, Ph.D., of the Sacramento Police Department, who’s an evidence-based policing consultant, and Mary Davis, executive director of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission.

Davis said in a letter of support for the project that the research is “of critical importance to the future of implicit bias training.” And Calvin Williams, chief of the Cleveland police department, wrote, “We understand the commitment required to participate, and are excited to play a pioneering role in the evaluation of implicit bias training for improving police decision-making, promoting public perceptions of police legitimacy, and enhancing the outcomes of police-citizen interactions.”

And the Crimson Spirit Award for September goes to… Laura Wintersteen-Arleth

Portrait of Laura Wintersteen-Arleth holding the Crimson Spirit Award.
Portrait of Laura Wintersteen-Arleth holding the Crimson Spirit Award.
Laura Wintersteen-Arleth, senior instructor in the WSU College of Nursing, received the university’s Crimson Spirit Award in September.

Congratulations to Laura Wintersteen-Arleth of the WSU College of Nursing, who received Washington State University’s Crimson Spirit Award in September.

The award is a special commendation for WSU faculty and staff who have provided outstanding service and have exceeded expectations while representing the university.

Wintersteen-Arleth, a senior instructor in the College of Nursing, was nominated by a student, who noted: “Laura is one of the major reasons I am still in school. She approached me when I was having a very difficult time and told me just the right thing, when I needed it most.”

Wintersteen-Arleth was recognized for her wide-ranging responsibilities, as well as the caliber of her work. Those responsibilities include being an adviser, teacher, serving as a clinical instructor, mentoring student clubs, and acting as liaison to the Kaplan test-prep program for nursing.

“There are few people more deserving of the Crimson Spirit Award than Laura,” said Dr. Joyce Griffin-Sobel, Dean of the WSU College of Nursing. “Her dedication and excellence are an asset to the College of Nursing and to the university as a whole.”

For more information on the Crimson Spirit Award, and a list of past recipients, visit WSU Human Resources Services at http://hrs.wsu.edu/recognition/crimson-spirit-award/

NLN honors both the WSU College of Nursing and Associate Dean Renee Hoeksel

The WSU College of Nursing and one of its faculty were honored by the National League for Nursing (NLN) in a ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Left to right: Renee Hoeksel, Executive Associate Dean; Joyce Griffin-Sobel, Dean and Professor; and Rumay Alexander, NLN President.
The WSU College of Nursing and one of its faculty were honored by the National League for Nursing (NLN) in a ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Left to right: Renee Hoeksel, Executive Associate Dean; Joyce Griffin-Sobel, Dean and Professor; and Rumay Alexander, NLN President.
The WSU College of Nursing and one of its faculty were honored by the National League for Nursing (NLN) in a ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. Left to right: Renee Hoeksel, Executive Associate Dean; Joyce Griffin-Sobel, Dean and Professor; and Rumay Alexander, NLN President.

There are more than 800 nursing programs in the United States and more than 400,000 nurses who’ve earned masters or doctoral degrees.

So it’s notable that the National League for Nursing (NLN) honored both the Washington State University College of Nursing and one of its faculty, Executive Associate Dean and Professor Renee Hoeksel, at the organization’s 2017 Educational Summit this past weekend.

Dean Joyce Griffin-Sobel accepted a certificate naming the WSU College of Nursing a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education in a ceremony Saturday evening. She was joined on the stage by Associate Dean Anita Hunter; Hoeksel; and Senior Instructor Laura Wintersteen-Arleth.

Moments later, Hoeksel was inducted as a Fellow of the NLN Academy of Nursing Education. In announcing Hoeksel’s fellowship, Karen Pardue, Chair of the Academy of Nursing Education Review Panel, lauded her work in establishing new RN-BSN pathways across five western states.

The 14 new fellows and one honorary fellow “have contributed above and beyond the responsibilities associated with their employment, made contributions to nursing education that have been broad in scope and not limited to their own classrooms or schools,” Pardue noted.

Gloria Jacobson, chair of the Centers of Excellence review panel, told conference attendees that the program recognizes schools of nursing and health care organizations that set high standards, are committed to continuous quality improvement, and demonstrate sustained, evidence-based, and substantive innovation. The WSU College of Nursing was among 15 universities and health care organizations recognized, and the only school in the Pacific Northwest.

“The school started out as the first intercollegiate nursing program in the nation, and now has a full range of undergraduate and graduate degrees, a multimillion-dollar research portfolio, and courses offered at campuses statewide,” Jacobson said.

Other universities receiving the Centers of Excellence designation are: Ball State University, Duke University, Emory University, Indiana University, Kent State University, Purdue University, Rush University, Samford University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Kansas, Villanova University, and Widener University.

Representing the WSU College of Nursing at the NLN awards ceremony on Sept. 16, 2017, were: Dean and Professor Joyce Griffin-Sobel; Associate Dean Anita Hunter; Associate Dean Renee Hoeksel; and Senior Instructor Laura Wintersteen-Arleth.
Representing the WSU College of Nursing at the NLN awards ceremony on Sept. 16, 2017, were: Dean and Professor Joyce Griffin-Sobel; Associate Dean Anita Hunter; Associate Dean Renee Hoeksel; and Senior Instructor Laura Wintersteen-Arleth.