One of the goals of the UAB School of Nursing is to provide leadership in clinical practice on campus both nationally and internationally.
Dale Tomlinson, nurse practitioner for the UAB Osteoporosis Prevention & Treatment Clinic and School of Nursing faculty member, did just with her presentation on post-fracture osteoporosis care at UAB at the National Osteoporosis Foundation’s International Symposium in Orlando, Fla., in April.
Then she and the school took it a step further.
Tomlinson’s talk was “Post-Fracture Care: The UAB Experience,” and it of course included specifics about UAB’s clinic model. Those caught the ear of Krista Lamoy, a visiting nurse from Presbyterian Orthopedic Hospital in Charlotte, N.C. But it wasn’t enough for Lamoy and Tomlinson simply to have one exchange and move on.
Instead, they also involved others at Presbyterian, which led to that institution’s administrators expressing an interest in developing a similar model at their facility. In turn, that led to a recent UAB site visit by a team of Presbyterian’s nurses.
“I presented Dale’s presentation of their osteoporosis clinic to my administrators at our leadership meeting, and they immediately loved the idea,” Lamoy says. “We are always looking for new ways to grow programs here and educate the community. We really enjoyed our trip to Alabama to see the osteoporosis clinic first hand.
“We learned how all of the interdisciplinary teams at the clinic come together to educate the patients on osteoporosis and how to prevent them from getting a fracture. The knowledge and the dedication that the staff at this clinic put forward to these patients was outstanding.”
Tomlinson says through clinical scholarship activities, UAB School of Nursing faculty in clinical practice are networking with other health care providers to improve patient outcomes. For Tomlinson, that means focusing on patients with osteoporosis, especially those who have experienced fractures.
“I think it’s interesting that a group of nurses who would be on the ground in coordinating and running a clinic were the ones who visited and not administrators,” Tomlinson says. “It’s great to be in a faculty practice that affords me opportunities to network with nurses on a broader scale.”
Sarah Morgan, M.D., R.D., the UAB clinic’s medical director and Tomlinson’s collaborating physician, says that the “impact of nurses working with nurses holds promise in improving post-fracture care for patients with osteoporosis.”
With Morgan’s leadership, UAB began a multidisciplinary osteoporosis clinic in May 1995 to aid in reducing morbidity from osteoporosis and aid in osteoporosis prevention. The clinic provides a thorough evaluation of patients, including an assessment of bone mineral density, nutritional counseling, physical therapy evaluation and treatment and rehabilitation, if appropriate.
Visit toneyourbones.org for more information on the multidisciplinary approach used to preventing and treating osteoporosis.