Jan 292013
 

ECU College of Nursing’s online graduate program received a huge accolade last week when US News & World Report released the 2013 Best Schools ranking which put the program in the #10 spot.

Unlike previous online program rankings, the 2013 list compares quality, not just the number of students enrolled in programs. Schools are evaluated on factors like student engagement, faculty credentials, admissions selectivity and student services and technology.

Online education is especially good for nurses because these professionals are desperately needed in the workforce while they pursue an advanced graduate degree. With online education, students are able to work and go to school at the same time. Students also participate in virtual clinic simulations and complete practicum hours in hospitals or agencies near their home.

ECU’s nursing online graduate program areas of study are:

Nursing Leadership
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Family Nurse Practitioner
Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
Nurse-Midwifery
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Nursing Education

Many graduates of the program provide primary care to citizens, especially in eastern North Carolina, while others serve as leaders in hospitals and health centers. The nursing education focus prepares instructors for colleges and universities so that more new nurses may enter the profession.

Pirate Nurses rank high in patient care and U.S. News & World Report!

Sylvia T. Brown, EdD, RN, CNE
Dean and Professor
ECU College of Nursing

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Jan 242013
 

There’s no way around it: America’s got a weight problem. Politicians, public health officials and even Paula Deen are constantly warning against the dangers posed by our expanding waist lines. For the scores of Americans who have heeded the call to get in shape, lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, long-term support and accountability are vital. And, according to researchers, cataloguing your diet via social media can be an effective way to get there.

In a study conducted at the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Medicine, participants who regularly used Twitter to communicate with others about their weight loss efforts lost more weight than those who did not.

We know a personal support system can be one of the most important factors in achieving long-term success. Posting updates to Twitter expands your accountability network from your spouse and close friends to the thousands of Americans who support the desire to get healthy – and more accountability can mean more motivation to succeed.

Ready to tweet? Here are a few tips for maximizing Twitter’s impact as a crowd-sourced weight loss coach.

Just put it out there: It may seem scary at first, but a simple post declaring your fitness goals can connect you with fellow tweeters who are fighting the same battle. Establishing this connection early on fosters dialogue around being accountable and sharing tips. Plus, there’s the obvious social implication: no one wants to fail in front of their peers!

Search for inspiration: Don’t be afraid to ask for help. People who have successfully met their fitness goals are usually quick to offer tips for others. Browse fitness-related hashtags and insert yourself into ongoing conversations.  What worked for others? How can I implement some of their tips into my routine?

Maintaining a diet and exercise routine can be a struggle. Twitter provides a free, no-judgment forum to vent, share and learn from the thousands of others who’ve been there. And who knows? Your tweets might inspire others to pursue their health and fitness goals.

Jan 222013
 

Dr. Anthony Breuer’s biography describes him as an “artist who for relief engages in clinical neurology, vegetable gardening and fly fishing.”

Sounds like a pretty interesting guy, huh?

Over at Laupus Library, we sure do think so and we’re exciting to host an exhibition of Tony’s acrylic and oil paintings titled, “Artscience in Spacetime: Steam.” The works will be displayed in Library’s fourth floor gallery from January 29th through March 12. This exhibit is part of the ongoing Art as Avocation series which showcases the artistic talent of our colleagues in the Health Sciences Division.

You may know Tony as an affiliate professor of Neurology at the Brody School of Medicine, but his art has attracted notice across the Southeast. And it’s easy to see why. A contributor to Nashville Arts Magazine described the appeal of his work this way: “I was drawn to it – it wasn’t something I thought about – it just happened!” Tony’s works straddle the definition of abstraction, but his focus on the forces that tie energy, matter, space and time grounds his work in a sort of scientific orderliness.

At Laupus, we’re always thrilled to display the myriad talents of our colleagues from ECU’s Health Sciences Division. So, please do come by and check out this amazing collection of inspiring work. 

–Kelly Rogers Dilda
Public Communications Specialist
Laupus Library

Jan 182013
 

For those of you that are crazy enough to read this blog, I am getting ready to share some top secret information. I have hesitated sharing this information with anyone; you do not offer up the good information. You do not share your favorite babysitter’s contact information or your hairdresser’s. I am not a stingy person, but some things you should not share.

A few weeks ago I was very sick. If you are a mother, you know the title is true. Mamas are not supposed to get sick. I was seven months pregnant and felt terrible. I really tried to hang on, but this morning I know it was time for a professional.  At 8:01 am I dialed 744-0555 and asked for the first available appointment with Dr. Susan Keen at Student Health on East Campus. The operator asked if I could be there at 8:15 am. I arrived at 8:15 am, paid by co-pay and was called back by the nurse by 8:20 am. Within minutes Dr. Keen came in to see me. She listened patiently to me whine and within minutes I had a prescription in hand. I was able to fill it within ten minutes at the Student Health Center Pharmacy. This sick mama was in and out within 45 minutes.

I am sure you are thinking that I just got lucky. No, this is where I go to be seen when I am sick. My husband has also used Rapid Access and now cannot think of going anywhere else. I have gone years without a primary care physician. We know that we are in good hands with Dr. Keen.

I avoided Student Health when I was a student. I guess it is ironic that now as a mama that it is the only place that I want to go.

Marsha Hall

http://www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/dhs/newsStory.cfm?ID=1795

Jan 152013
 

Dr. Mark Stebnicki, PhD, reflects on the tragedy that took place in Connecticut and offers some advice for the Newtown residents, as well as parents with school-age children here in our community.

The unspeakable acts of violence that have taken place December 14, 2012 in Newtown, CT has created extraordinary traumatic stress beyond comprehension for the parents, family, friends, and community of the victims and survivors of Sandy Hook Elementary school.

The emotional aftershocks of this horrific event bring new meaning to the phrase “school violence.” For the folks in Newtown, this must feel like the terrorist attacks of September 11th or the natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and Sandy.

Regardless of how close one is to the epicenter of either human-made or natural large-scale disasters we all grieve the emotional aftershocks of such critical events; even within the ECU community.

It is unfortunate that some of us are continually being exposed and re-traumatized to the Sandy Hook shooting via television and in the print media. How can we possible begin the healing process? At this time, we are seeing “the tip of the iceberg” of this sinking mental, emotional, social, physical, and spiritual Titanic.

As a consequence of December 14th, many parents of adolescents are feeling powerless and have extraordinary fears and anxiety of their own and are likely asking the significant question– Are my children safe in their public school?

The events of December 14th remind me of my own story of being involved in another school shooting that occurred on March 24, 1998 at the Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, AR. It was at this time an 11 and 13 year old shooter took the lives of four children and teacher and injured 15 others. I was a member of the crisis response team in Jonesboro where I lived and taught in the department of Psychology and Counseling at Arkansas State University, Jonesboro. This was an apocalyptic moment for this small quiet southern and very religious/spiritual community.

My son and daughter attended the other middle school across town at the time of the Westside shootings. One of the most difficult issues to deal with as a parent is trying to answer the questions of “Are we safe?” During the time of the Westside shootings I remembered my 10 and 12 year old son and daughter asking me “daddy, is someone going to come to my school and shoot us?” Kids are naturally genuine and direct. Being a trained psychotherapist and having worked in rehabilitation and mental health for many years, I am supposed to have all the answers. But strangely I had to respond NOT as a mental health professional–but as a parent. I myself was feeling a high degree of empathy fatigue engaging in daily therapeutic interactions with the adolescents, parents, staff, and teachers of the Westside community. The most parsimonious, honest, and direct response I could give to my son and daughter is that “we are doing everything we can to make sure that this never happens again.”

I would never say to a Sandy Hook Elementary parent that “I know what you are going through” because I do not live in Newtown.  I can only attest that I lived in a community where another unspeakable act of school violence took place that changed the lives of the children, parents, and community of Jonesboro. Events such as horrific school violence create a type of historical trauma to the local culture; much like slavery, extermination of minority cultures by the majority-dominate culture, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and other extraordinary stressful and traumatic events.

As for the community of Newtown, my most honest and direct response to you is that I am extremely sorry for the losses you have experienced. I can’t imagine what it must feel like to live in this part of America. This horrific tragedy is too much for the rationale or analytical brain to comprehend. So, the only way we can understand this is from the emotional brain which can only being understood by our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual experience. It is okay that you are feeling a range of emotions of anger, extreme sadness, grief, loss, and trying to find meaning in how such a horrific incident could take place on our planet.

Please be open to the idea that this is a normal reaction to an extremely abnormal critical event. As time goes on, you will likely never forget this trauma, but it won’t always feel this intense. Everyone heals at their own rate, they find their own meaning, and discover ways in which to heal. We have the capacity to be resilient beyond our expectations and to live life optimally again. A crisis such as this will certainly test our coping abilities and resiliency skills.

Improving the mental and physical health of children and adolescents is a complex problem that requires a paradigm shift on many levels. Researchers in adolescent mental health and youth risk factors suggest that children and adolescents are targeted and exploited with negative images of sexually graphic material, exposure to violence and abuse against women, children, persons with disabilities, persons that are gay, and many other cultures that are disenfranchised from mainstream America.

Qualitatively, there is evidence that there is a general disrespect for authority and persons that are older. Many epidemiologists would state that the most significant risk factor of youth violence may be living in America. Unless the adolescent resides in the Amish communities of Ohio and Pennsylvania, they have likely been exposed to 26,000 murders on television alone by the time they have reach 18 years of age. More than 85% of high school students by the time they have reached their senior year have drank and experimented with illicit drugs.

Overall, adolescents have been exposed to thousands of other graphic visual images of violence in moves, video games, and on the internet. It is important to consider it is more likely that children will be exposed to childhood obesity, diabetes, teen smoking, teen pregnancy, sexual abuse, substance abuse, pornography, and other acts of violence- at much higher rates than an act of school violence.

This is no comfort to the parents of Newtown today. However, these are issues we will need to address that are at the foundation of our children and adolescents mind, body, and spirit. This is not time to listen to the experts “talk” about school violence and adolescent mental. Rather, this is a time to come together as a culture of compassion, empathy, faith, and hope that we can change the future of youth in our communities.

Dr. Mark Stebnicki, PhD
Professor
Department of Addictions and Rehabilitation Studies