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Capstone Taken to New Heights

by Tyler Hilbert

Recently an aspiring student in the nursing program has been working on her capstone experience.  However, this isn’t just an assignment to her, she has gone above and beyond the requirements she needed to meet. Megan Turner, a student at WVU Parkersburg, has exceeded expectations and truly made a difference to help her community.  According to Dr. Allison Sayre Associate Professor of the Health Sciences Division.

The Registered Nurse Bachelors Program (RN-BSN) is designed for licensed registered nurses who desire to return to school and complete their baccalaureate degree in Nursing.  This program is offered totally online so that students can continue their education without interrupting their employment.  Students involved in the Nursing program not only make a difference in their own lives by completing this degree, but they also make a positive impact on the lives of their patients and the community as well.

“The program culminates in a capstone project in which students are asked to develop and present a “change project” based upon the needs of their community.  Since we have students all over the country, we are able to reach a lot of communities and positively impact the overall health of a great number of people.  Our students have come up with some really meaningful projects. What is great about our program is that small class sizes allow us, as faculty, to work closely with our students to build a relationship to meet their specific needs. It is wonderful to see these nurses use the opportunities this program offers to improve upon their bedside practice and advance their careers. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to work with nurses who are making a difference in the lives of their patients each and every day. Helping them find new ways to solve problems, become leaders in the health care system, and advance the profession is quite rewarding.” Dr. Allison Sayre, Associate Professor of Health Sciences said.

“Well we had to come up with a project to educate the community about something nursing based. I chose to teach school aged children how to perform hands only CPR. More and more research is showing the benefits of doing compressions on someone who had a witnessed cardiac arrest.  I wanted to do a project that would benefit the community the most. Teaching kids how to do hands only CPR could potentially save someone’s life,” Megan Turner said.

This idea helps children learn how to deal with a potential emergency situation.  They not only are gaining new knowledge and experience from this, but are also having fun while learning it and gaining new ways to connect with each other.

“Kids are always excited to tell their parents and friends new things they learn in school so teaching them my lead to them teaching others. I taught students at Veritas Classical Academy grades seven and eight,” Megan Turner said.

Megan thoroughly researched how and what she wanted to teach to the students.  Handling emergency situations and learning about such serious content can be difficult for young children to learn, but she managed to make it fun and interactive for children as well make it simple and less complex for them to understand.

“I found a PowerPoint from the American heart association and presented that as well as some handouts and then demonstrated how to do hands only CPR then allowed the kids to perform their new skills as well. The students did a before and after test to judge their knowledge as well as confidence in doing hands only CPR. At the end of the presentation all of the students said they felt like they would intervene if someone needed help in the event of a cardiac arrest.”

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