Three fifth semester BSN students in the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing are using their undergraduate research experience to help empower Latina women about breast cancer and to impact culturally sensitive breast health education.
Kelly Ciera Ingram, Emily Bray and Sara Kimbrell partnered with the School's Young Breast Cancer Survivors Network (YBCSN) and Think Well: Healthy Living to Improve Cognitive Function for a research preceptorship as a part of their honors course curriculum in the Spring 2015 semester.
Collaborating with UAB School of Nursing Doctoral Fellows Jennifer Bail and Timiya Nolan, Program Manager Silvia Camata, and Professor and Associate Dean for Research Karen Meneses, PhD, RN, FAAN, the honors students helped deliver a breast health program for a Latina population in Pelham, Ala.
While breast cancer is not highly prevalent in the Latina community, if a Latina woman is diagnosed her chances of mortality are significantly higher than their Caucasian counterpart due to a lack of culturally sensitive education and access to health care, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The three students helped revise existing Think Well materials on breast health to create a more culturally relevant program for Latinas. They also met with members of their research team once each week during the semester for two to three hours to evaluate their project, plan, and receive feedback.
Ultimately, the materials were used in a presentation delivered in Spanish by another UAB SON fifth semester BSN student, Eva Crump, and incorporated relevant photos and content for the Latina audience. The breast health education event was held at Valley Elementary School on February 24, 2015 with about 30 Latinas in the audience.
"The presentation wasn't just on breast cancer, but also the importance of knowing your own body," Ingram said. "We also demonstrated how to perform self-breast exams on live models."
Following the education event, the group presented the project outcomes, specifically discussing how the program was adapted, how the target audience received the process and what the group adapted, in their poster, "Cultivating Cultural Competence: A Breast Health Program for Latinas"at the first Annual Honors Students Research Project Poster Presentation on April 8 in the UAB School of Nursing. They followed that presentation with two others, one at the Eighth Annual UAB Expo, and at the 14th Annual University of Alabama System Honors Research Conference (UASHRC). The poster was awarded second place in the research category at the Eighth Annual UAB Expo.
"This experience taught us to think about patient care more holistically, versus from a purely clinical standpoint," said Kimbrell. ""It made us think about what is going to happen when a patient leaves the hospital, and we learned to recognize everyone we treat as an individual who needs individualized care."One of the benefits for the honors students has been the immersion in the School's interdisciplinary research setting where they learned about many of the side effects of breast cancer, including "chemo brain." They also worked alongside Meneses, an internationally known breast cancer survivorship expert, assisting with a support group at the American Cancer Society and learning the needs of young breast cancer survivors.
"Having the opportunity to have this type of experience in a research institution and being to challenged to continuously strive for your patient's best health is what sets UAB apart from other nursing programs," Bray said. "We have learned to have the open mind in all that we do and to see a patient's health from holistic point of view."
As s continuation of their work this semester, honors students Ingram, Bray and Kimbrell are volunteering at the YBCSN 3rd Annual Breast Cancer Survivors Workshop on April 18, 2015. The event also emphasizes the importance of holistic care, offering sessions on breast cancer risks and genetics, family and relationships and a yoga soul dance lesson. The three honors students are assisting with childcare activities and event registration.
Honors students partner with YBCSN, Think Well for preceptorship
- April 15, 2015
Three fifth semester honors students use undergraduate research experience to help empower Latina women about breast cancer, culturally sensitive health education