Nursing Students Participate in Clinical Opportunities through eTHRIVE
Empowering and Transforming public Health nursing education and practice for Rural underserved areas to Improve care using Virtual-based simulation and Experiential strategies dubbed eTHRIVE was granted by the Health Resources and Services Administration in the summer of 2021. The goal of the grant was to strengthen and retain the public health nursing workforce in rural Appalachia through a collaborative community-academic partnership with Remote Area Medical (RAM). Over the past two years, 112 RN to BSN students have had the opportunity to participate in synchronous clinical opportunities to experience public health nursing through the eTHRIVE grant. The third cohort completed their synchronous clinical experiences through their Population Health Course.
Remote Area Medical Clinic
Eight RN to BSN students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville participated in a RAM clinic.
The college partnered with RAM, to accomplish the goals of the eTHRIVE project. RAM is a major nonprofit organization whose mission is to prevent pain and alleviate suffering by providing free, quality healthcare to those in need.
The students had the opportunity to demonstrate their public health nursing skills with community members in the Knoxville area. The students worked in triage and assessed community members prior to receiving medical, dental, or vision services.
“I had the best experience at the RAM clinic,” said one student. “Not only does RAM provide access to care. Their one more patient mantra is at the heart of every volunteer. I was not only impressed by the wide range of services RAM offered, but the incredible level of dignity and respect they showed to every person was truly special.”
The Knoxville RAM clinic served over 800 community members during the three-day clinic held at the Knox Co Fair Grounds.
Another RN to BSN students chose to participate in clinical opportunities through RAM Telehealth. The telehealth model is site-based at Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries (KARM). RAM Telehealth offers telehealth visits for KARM guests every Monday and Wednesday afternoon.
A nurse is present with the guest while the provider participates from several states across the country. This model allows the nurse to provide hands-on care and assessment in conjunction with interdisciplinary communication and plan of care development with the provider.
“Telehealth was not a form of nursing I had been exposed to,” said an eTHRIVE student. “Seeing the nuisance of this type of care and how our relationship with technology has been combined with healthcare was interesting. I could see their assessment style in this environment and even explored a digital stethoscope and camera utilized to allow a physician to join the assessment remotely.”
Students were able to use some of the telehealth tools, such as a digital stethoscope and otoscope that were purchased for RAM through the eTHRIVE grant to enhance the quality of assessment and care.
The final opportunity allowed students to participate virtually with the simulation team at the college. Twenty-three students interacted with two live standardized patients in the community setting.
“I felt like I learned a great deal about things that I normally wouldn’t deal with as an ER nurse,” said one student.
Each scenario was followed by rich debriefing highlighting the importance of consideration of social determinants.
“On behalf of the entire eTHRIVE team, we wish to express our sincere appreciation to Remote Area Medical, the UT simulation team, and Dr. Green-Laughlin for the incredible support and involvement in this rich learning opportunity for the RN-BSN students” said Lisa Davenport, eTHRIVE Project Director.
Kara Clark Cardwell (865-974-9498, firstname.lastname@example.org)