Egan Students Present Capstone Research at Virtual Innovative Research Symposium

Egan Students Present Capstone Research at Virtual Innovative Research Symposium

The Innovative Research Symposium, traditionally held in the Barone Campus, was presented this year in a new online format.

Each year at the annual Innovative Research Symposium, Fairfield University students from nearly every discipline and field of study come together to share their scholarly projects. Traditionally held in the Barone Campus Center, the Symposium shifted to a new online format following the coronavirus outbreak (Covid-19). 

“Times of challenge such as these create constraints that generate new ways of knowing the world,” said Jocelyn M. Boryczka, PhD, associate vice provost for scholarly, creative, and community engagement. "We are put into positions of seeing differently. The Innovative Research Symposium, this year more than ever, captures the capacity to create and turn constraint into opportunity as we quickly reimagined this signature event in an online format that opens up horizons of possibility for the future.” 

At this year’s symposium, 128 Egan School students presented their capstone projects on Quip, a collaborative platform allowing the Fairfield community to have an online dialogue with students about their research projects. The students conducted and presented original research on varying aspects of the healthcare industry; each having selected individual topic ideas that hold personal interest to them.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, half of Egan students were able to complete their transition hours prior to the shift to remote learning. Students stayed in contact with their preceptors and clinical sites in order to find out the learning needs, complete their research, and share with staff. 

"Their projects were exceptional and represented cutting-edge, evidenced based practice to advance nursing science. It is very important to note that during the Covid-19 pandemic, perhaps more than ever, the senior projects also provided a huge service to the clinical units, despite social distancing," said Associate Professor and Undergraduate Nursing Program Director Linda Roney, EdD, RN-BC, CPEN, CNE. "Overwhelmed by the evolving patient care demands, nursing teams appreciated the update-to-date information that our seniors provided. This is yet another example of Fairfield University, and specifically our Egan undergraduate nursing students, being men and women for others, even with all of the barriers of social distancing during a global pandemic. We are so proud of all of them and know that they are ready to be nurse leaders."

The following research projects are a taste of the great work shared at the 2020 Innovative Research Symposium.  

Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Perioperative Care

Brianna Mahon ’20

Faculty Mentor: Sally Gerard 

Brianna Mahon ’20 presented an original research project explored the use of complementary and alternative medicine in perioperative care. In the United States healthcare system, emphasis on pain control has contributed to the mass-prescription of narcotic medication, particularly in surgical cases, during the hospital and home recovery period.

“Many patients are sent home with large supplies of narcotic drugs that have the potential to be abused, misused due to lack of education, and depended upon, ” wrote Mahon. “The implications of using complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in the perioperative setting include improved patient outcomes, patient-centered goal-setting and care, and reduced use of narcotics for symptom management.”


End-of-life Communication From Nurse to Patient

Silvana Cardona ’20

Faculty Advisor: Katherine Saracino 

Silvana Cardona ’20 created “End-of-Life Communication From Nurse to Patient” project after becoming interested in palliative care. Palliative care programs and services benefit patients who have a life threatening illness and who require supportive care, pain and symptom management from a multidisciplinary healthcare team to enhance quality of life. The goal of her research was to expand healthcare workers’ knowledge of palliative care and to provide resources for nurses to have end-of-life communications with their patients in the Immediate Care Unit at Stamford Hospital. As a result of this project, an end-of-life communication resource pamphlet was developed to help nurses have these conversations.

“Knowing the different options and feeling well-educated about what these options entail for you or a loved one at their end-of-life is very important,” explained Cardona. “As a nurse, you are with a patient and their family when they are at their most vulnerable.”


Modern Fight Club: Avoid the Code Grey

Courtney Krechel ’20

Faculty Advisor: Katherine Saracino and Lisa Guardino 

At Norwalk Hospital, an aggressive or violent patient who is at risk to themselves or others is referred to as Code Grey. Courtney Krechel ’20 research focused on de-escalating strategies emergency department healthcare workers can utilize to decrease the occurrence of these types of situations without the use of chemical or physical restraints.

“Being knowledgeable of the different techniques to turn to in a situation involving hostile or aggressive behavior allows a sense of peace. It is important for emergency nurses to have a training on how to de-escalate patients,” she wrote.

The Symposium garnered more than 1,800 website pageviews, 5,000 video views, and reached more than 18,000 people through the University’s social media channels. For a complete listing of all projects presented at the Symposium, please visit the Symposium web page to download the eBook.

Tags:  Egan School


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