Student Honors Papers

The Student Honors Papers collection represents exemplary work in nursing at Illinois Wesleyan University. The Ames Library is proud to archive these and other honors projects in Digital Commons @ IWU, the University's online archive of student, faculty and staff scholarship and creative activity.

Examining Disparities in Care in an Uninsured, Diabetic Population
by Emily R. Manninen et al.

Type 2 diabetes is a common health problem that requires continuing medical care, self-management, and education. However, different populations experience diabetes and diabetes-related care differently. This study examined diabetes care and health outcomes at a Midwest community health clinic serving the uninsured. Two waves of data were obtained from medical records. Wave 1 consisted of 88 medical records of people who were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and also had previous medical record reviews regarding routine diabetes care and outcomes. Wave 2 consisted of in-depth review of 20 medical records of male patients, diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, whose primary language was either Spanish or English. Wave 2 data collection utilized the list of medical records from Wave 1. Statistical analyses utilized non-parametric tests, due to the small sample size. Research questions compared the quality of diabetes care and related health outcomes for Spanish-speaking and English-speaking patients, as recorded in the medical record. Spanish-speaking patients were found to be patients at the clinic for a longer period, have poorer glycemic control, and be less adherent to medication recommendations. A few results from Wave 1 varied from those of Wave 2, including emergency department visits and hospitalizations related to diabetic complications. These conflicting results reflect conflicting outcomes in research, showing the need for further research. Additional research should address reasoning behind these disparities so as to better address them in the future.

Assessing Undergraduate Nursing Students' Knowledge, Attitudes and Cultural Competence in Caring for LGBT Patients
by Kristy L. Strong et al.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) patients experience barriers to health care that include fear of discrimination and limited access to providers knowledgeable about and sensitive to the LGBT population and their specific health needs. This study examined the effectiveness of an educational intervention conducted at Illinois Wesleyan University designed to improve knowledge level and attitudes of nursing students toward LGBT patient care. The educational intervention focused on key terminology, health disparities, medical needs of transgender patients and culturally sensitive communication skills necessary for competent LGBT patient care. Knowledge level and attitudes were evaluated before and after the educational intervention using a survey based on a modified Attitudes Toward Lesbians and Gay Men Scale, and two assessment tools developed for this study. The results of this study showed both an improvement in attitudes and an increase in knowledge level directly after the educational intervention. Implications of this study support the inclusion of content related to LGBT patient healthcare into undergraduate nursing curricula to enhance knowledge as well as to promote cultural competence and sensitivity.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Educational Techniques
by Katherine R. Racanelli et al.

The awareness of mild traumatic brain injury as a health concern has increased across a multitude of athletic settings due to a plethora of research and clinical findings that indicate the serious threat concussions pose, particularly to young athletes. The need to provide risk reduction and health promotion education to athletes and parents necessitates an innovative approach. This study explores the effectiveness of an educational intervention based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote awareness regarding the pathophysiology, symptoms, consequences, and prevention of sports-related mild traumatic brain injury. An interactive educational program was administered to student athletes, parents, coaches, and athletic trainers at three public high schools in the midwest. The sample included 147 athletes and 141 parents. Knowledge of the participants was evaluated with a questionnaire created for this study entitled Protecting Athletes from Injury through Knowledge and Education (PIKE) which was administered prior to and following the intervention to determine changes in comprehension and provide direction to design future programs that promote traumatic brain injury awareness. Results showed an increase in mean scores from pretest to posttest in the athlete and parent samples, indicating the educational intervention was effective at increasing knowledge of mild traumatic brain injury.

Trends of Emergency Department Use by Uninsured Individuals for Non-Urgent Health Care Conditions
by Kelly A. Cantlin


Roughly one-third of all emergency department (ED) visits by both insured and uninsured individuals in the United States (US) are for non-urgent health conditions that can be effectively treated at a reduced cost by a primary care provider (Hossain, 2011). The purpose of this study is to identify trends of ED visits by uninsured individuals. This study is a secondary data analysis of patient visits to a midwest community ED. This study examined the services provided in the ED for non-urgent visits that could be provided at a less costly and non-urgent care facility, such as a Community Health Care Clinic (CHC), Nurse Managed Health Center (NMHC), or prompt care. Implications of the analysis are discussed, including community resources needed to reduce non-urgent ED visits and the associated cost burdens of uncompensated health care dollars on this midwest community.

Reliability Measurement of the Premature Infant Oral Motor Intervention
by Clare A. Goebel

A study was conducted at a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at a large Midwestern teaching medical center to determine the reliability of the Premature Infant Oral Motor Intervention (PIOMI). The PIOMI is a five minute, oral motor intervention using a gloved finger in the mouths of premature infants of at least 29 weeks post-menstrual age (PMA) developed by Dr. Brenda S. Lessen to improve feeding skills in preterm infants. The PIOMI was first introduced in a pilot study done by Dr. Lessen and the results demonstrated a decrease in the amount of time needed for premature infants to reach full bottle feedings and be discharged (Lessen, 2008). Three registered nurses (RNs) were recruited as subjects for this study and trained to perform the PIOMI on preterm infants. A training video and a reference sheet were developed and distributed during a two hour training session. A reliability rating tool was developed for this study based on a four-point Likert scale according to three criteria: order, technique, and time. Two observers rated three RNs performing the PIOMI twice on premature infants. The reliability among the observers (interobserver), the reliability among different RNs (interuser), and the reliability of the same RN performing the PIOMI twice (test-retest) were calculated. The PIOMI demonstrates high interobserver reliability (97.57%), interuser reliability (97.59%), and test-retest reliability (97.58%).

Pre-Operative Teaching: Does it Make a Difference?
by Susan Jane Wykle

In brief this study proposes to test the hypothesis that pre-operative
teaching will actually decrease the post-operative respiratory complications.

Sensory Perceptions of the Resusitation Recalled by Post Resuscitated Patients in the Post Resuscitation Period
by Michael James Sutter

"Testimonials of Peace from the 'Dead I" by Dr. Elizabeth
Kubler-Ross, described two patients who ware considered clinically
dead, but through successful resuscitation were brought
back to life. As reported by Dr. Kubler-Ross, these resuscitated
patients recalled and described actions of the resuscitating
team in detail.

A Study of the Relationships Between the Admission Criteria and Success/Failure at the Illinois Wesleyan University School of Nursing
by Patty Warters

Nationwide, the competit i.on to enroll in baccalaureate
nursing programs has gradually increased in recent years due
to the current number of qualified applicants greatly
exceedlng the number of spaces available. In most
universities the result of, this competition is higher admission requirements ,for incoming students. Wesleyan, other hand, has chosen to lower the admission standards.

Will lowering the criteria affect the percentage of successful nursing graduates? It is this question to which this study discusses why students drop-out of school instead of what can be done to emphasize and discover those factors which contribute to the improvement of the students chances for successfully completing college. These chances are influenced by a wide range of institutional practices: residence requirements, allocaiton of financial aid, availability of jobs on campus, grading practices, and recruitment and admission policies to name but a few. This study chooses to analyze the latter of the above practices.

Effects of Hospitalization Upon the Child
by Susan Vanek

The following pages are divided into three parts.
The first part is a survey of research studies which have
been done concerning the effeets of hospitalization upon the child. These studies are arranged in order of publication--from the first study published in 1945 to the last one, which was published in 1968. A conclusion follows the individual reports of these studies.
The second part or the paper consists of a small-scale study whlch I conducted myself. It was done for personal interest and does not strictly follow research
teehniques. See Appendix I for the prooedure used.
Analyses by Dr. Pape and Dr . 8edarat (both I. W. U. professors)
are lncluded. My own table of observations is also included.
I did not attempt to evaluate these groupings I found because
I think most of them are self-explanatory and I have had no
background in such analyzing.
The last part consists of reoommendations which I feel are based on the facts learned from the research I did for this project.

A Content Analysis of the Advertisements in Three Nursing Journals: What are They Saying About the Aged?
by Ann Temborius

Ageism is not a new phenomenon. Aristotle himself wrote
of the wonders and beauty of youth and stated his belief that
after the age of fifty, man definitely 'declined. 'But never
before has the emphasis on youth been so profound in our
society. Youth is associated with worth, value and productivity;
the aged individual is seen as having little to
contribute to our fast-moving, technologically-exploding