Kent Blad and Ron Ulberg, College of Nursing
Evaluation of how well the academic objectives of the proposal were met
The academic objectives of the MEG proposal were met and exceeded. Specifically, students were exposed to local and national venues in which Veterans and their history are prevalent. Examples of this include visits by the students and faculty to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, VA Medical Center War Related Injury and Illness Study Center, Arlington National Cemetery, US Capitol, Gettysburg Battlefield, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Memorial, WW I Memorial, WW II Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, Museum of American History, etc. We also met with Senator Bennett from the State of Utah to discuss issues pertaining to our Veterans.
Students were provided the opportunity to be mentored in this clinical experience by myself and Ron Ulberg, both Veterans of Operation Desert Storm and practicing nurses at the VA Medical Center in Salt Lake City. Students were exposed to the above sites in Washington DC, in addition to meeting with several panels of Veterans in rural Utah towns, as well as Hill Air Force Base. Students also served in clinical situations caring for Veterans in several healthcare sites, including sites in Salt Lake City, Utah County, Tooele, Fillmore, Panguitch, and Delta.
Students completed assignments in assessing the Veteran population as a whole, a teaching activity, a reflective writing assignment on their experiences, a presentation on a Veteran of the student’s choice, a report on a Veteran monument/memorial, and the academic deliverables discussed below. Through these experiences, the importance of learning unique characteristics and principles in understanding the diversity of the Veteran population and caring for them was instilled in the students. The group took part in interviews, clinical experiences, historic Veteran site visits, and a service project involving the Veteran population.
Two articles were submitted and two posters were presented on the students’ experiences with the Veterans in relation to Nursing and life-long learning.
Evaluation of the mentoring environment
The mentoring environment during the entire term was a positive one. Mr. Ulberg and I were in direct supervision of all students at all times during Spring 2008 term. Students gained a new-found appreciation for this population who have sacrificed so much for their country. Students had a strong desire to learn, especially when gaining more information about this population. The environment was very conducive to questions, learning, and positive constructive interaction. Students expressed much joy and satisfaction for their time spent with the Veteran population.
List of students who participated and what academic deliverables they have produced
In this clinical experience, 16 students participated in creating and producing 4 academic variables. Two groups produced two articles and submitted them to 2 journals associated with Veterans’ healthcare associations, Federal Practitioner and Vanguard. Both publications are associated with the Veteran Affairs Healthcare System. We were rejected on both accounts. Copies of the articles are attached in the appendices of this document. The following students were responsible for the production of one article, under my mentoring supervision:
- Brittany Bartholomew
- Krista Leigh
- Kristen Roberts
- Natalie Yamamoto
Mr. Ulberg was responsible for the mentoring of the following students in the other article that was produced:
- Eliza Toronto
- Karen Palmer
- Heather Colledge
- Mary Lorette Beck
The second half of this clinical group created and produced two posters for presentation at a national venue appropriate for educators and healthcare personnel. The poster products were created and, with the mentoring help of me, Ron Ulberg, and Rose Ann Jarrett, administrative assistant in the College of Nursing, final posters of approximately 4 feet by 5 feet were printed. These posters were then presented by Ron Ulberg and me, by invitation, at the 115th Annual Meeting of AMSUS – The Society of the Federal Health Agencies in San Antonio, Texas in the fall of 2008. The posters were very well received, and commendations were given by the Chief Nurse of the Army, the Chief Nurse of the Air Force Reserves, and the Chief Nurse of the VA Central Office. Copies of the posters are also attached to this document in the appendices. The following students were responsible for the creation and production of the two posters:
Poster #1: Min-Sun Hwang, Rachel Miller, Daniela Tirrell, and Leandrew Tirrell
Poster #2: Adam Crawford, Jean Gardner, Kirsten Quist, and Heather Westergard
In addition, this group of 16 nursing students also produced a PowerPoint presentation that was presented to the entire student body and faculty of the College of Nursing at the end of Spring Term, 2008. The presentation appeared professionally done and gave the N400 faculty a foundation introduction in which to present our course in the future to other interested students and faculty. A copy of that presentation is also attached in the appendices.
After researching information, students also produced brochures of specific Veteran sites within Washington DC and presented their research findings and copies of their specific brochures to the other members of the group and faculty. Two samples of these brochures are attached.
Description of the results/findings of the project
Many results of this project are easy to describe, many are not. The tangible papers that were written, posters that were produced, presentations that were made, and interviews that took place were easy to grade and describe students’ reactions to this clinical experience. The most important results that faculty perceive came from this experience are intangible, at best. Students’ written and verbal comments were far-reaching beyond a grade on a paper. Students stated their professional and personal lives had been affected forever through so much exposure to the Veteran population. The results show that these nursing students are now better prepared to care for any Veteran in any healthcare environment that may be encountered in the future. Students learned unique characteristics of Veterans and unique issues pertaining to their service in military conflicts.
A summary account of how funds were used
The following is the combined account for 16 students from Spring Term, 2008. This budget reflects the combined MEG awards of Kent Blad ($20,000) and Ron Ulberg ($10,000). Since the experiences were accomplished together, Mr. Ulberg and I shared expenses for all students and faculty. Our total budget came in a little over the allotted combined $30,000, which the Dean of the College of Nursing covered with College funds. Having researched and received price quotes on the stated items in advance, we came in very close to our proposed budgets. All items are for 16 students:
|Airfare SLC to Washington D.C.||$7,374.18|
|Housing in Washington D.C.||$14,306.75|
|Rental van for 1 week||$709.83|
|D.C. city tours||$1,161.85|
|Per Diem for Washington D.C.||$5,984|
We express our appreciation for the opportunity granted our students by the efforts and funding of the MEG office. Their lives will be forever changed due to this experience. Thank you.