Student research earns recognition

A team of Pennsylvania College of Technology nursing students received second-place honors at the first Geisinger Nursing Student Scholarship Conference. From left are, Jenay Brown, of Williamsport; Callie A. Sobolewski, of Budd Lake, N.J.; Emily L. Durbin, of Danville; Connor J. Burke, of St. Clair; and Sydney E. Heiser, of Shamokin Dam.

WILLIAMSPORT — A group of Pennsylvania College of Technology students took second-place honors for their research poster during the first Geisinger Nursing Student Scholarship Conference. The conference was initiated by faculty to help nursing students share their research.

The following students were honored for their “Become a Master of Central Line Care” poster: Jenay Brown, of Williamsport; Connor J. Burke, of St. Clair; Emily L. Durbin, of Danville; Sydney E. Heiser, of Shamokin Dam; and Callie A. Sobolewski, of Budd Lake, N.J.

Their research explored CLABSI, or central line-associated bloodstream infection. A central line is a tube (catheter) that doctors often place in a large vein in the neck, chest or groin to give medication or fluids or to collect blood for medical tests.

The April 22 conference convened online, with students from Penn College, Bloomsburg University and Misericordia University presenting during the event’s morning session. In the afternoon, students from King’s College, Marywood University and Wilkes University presented their research.

Three Penn College groups, made up of senior students enrolled in a trio of nursing classes – Adult Health Nursing III, Leadership and Management in Nursing, and Research and Theory in Clinical Practice – presented their solutions to a problem or issue they observed during their clinical rotations in Adult Health Nursing III.

“As new on the unit, and having had some experience, the students ask themselves, with regard to some issue, ‘Why is that being done that way?’ or ‘Hmm, I didn’t think that was the way this should be.’ With that in mind, they create a research or evidence-based nursing question with which they work all semester, developing and refining,” explained Joni J. Pyle, associate professor of nursing.

In addition to the inquiry they conduct in the nursing research course, students examine, in their nursing leadership course, how they would create a change in practice that would better outcomes in some way.

“This conference is a great way for the students to share their hard work and to possibly move the issue forward, via postgraduate engagement in nursing research at their chosen place of employment,” said Pyle, who helped to conceive the conference. “It helps students to realize that these assignments are not simply just an assignment, rather real-life nursing practice and its ability to change.”

Pyle and Rebecca Stoudt, associate dean of nursing student education at Geisinger, discussed ways the students might share their findings. Stoudt contacted the other schools, judges were recruited, and the online conference was planned. The organizers hope that future conferences can be conducted in person.

Other Penn College student research topics were “External Urinary Collection to Reduce Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections” and “The Effects of Prone Positioning in Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.”

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