Social Work and Nursing Students Conduct Collaborative Research for New GMercyU Course

GMercyU's new Interprofessional Global Outreach course, which began this spring, offers social work and nursing students a way to collaborate on client care with service to society at the forefront of the course. The class is team-taught by Janice Nuss, MSW, LCSW of our Social Work program and our nursing faculty's Cathy Razzi, DNP, RN, ACNS and Laraine Amoia-Watters, EdD, MSN, CRNP.

"This course allowed nursing and social work students to work together toward a common goal," said Dr. Razzi. "They learned about interdisciplinary teamwork, culture, social determinants, client teaching, evidence-based practice, and dissemination."

For the class, students worked with a nonprofit organization in Jamaica called Mustard Seed Communities, which supports pregnant teens, children with HIV, and individuals with developmental disabilities.

In a typical year, students would participate in a service-learning trip with Mustard Seed Communities during spring break. Since the class was unable to travel to Jamaica due to the pandemic, the students chose to participate in Mustard Seed's Race for Residents fundraiser as their service project instead.

The class raised nearly $1300, with nursing student Anna Blackney bringing in $1000 of the total.

Students were also asked to research and design a training for the caregivers at Mustard Seed. "Despite being disappointed about the travel restrictions, the students were able to present their work virtually to the administrators at Mustard Seed," said Dr. Razzi. "Mustard Seed was very appreciative of all the effort that the students put into their presentations as well as their support of the organization through the fundraiser, Race for the Residents."

"I hope that the caregivers in the Mustard Seed community can take away many of the tips that we presented and gain a better understanding of how to work with patients who have experienced past trauma. For others, I hope that they can take away a realization that the subject of trauma and trauma informed care is very important for health care workers, and there is a lot of room for research in this area of health care." -Hailey Bennett '22

Students also had the opportunity to present their research at the Eastern Nursing Research Society conference, which was held virtually in late March.

The group projects are now being shown in GMercyU's virtual 7th Annual University Research Conference, including:

Relaxation Techniques to Reduce Caregiver Stress
Anna Blackney, Megan Ward, Siobhan McShea, and Abigail Lamnin

Trauma Informed Care for Health Care Workers
Bianca Poindexter, Hailey Bennett, Meghan Chasar, and Brianna McDonald

De-Escalating Aggressive or Violent Patients
Allison Wright, Danielle Blisard, and Sydney Edsill

To view their presentations and dozens of other original student research, visit our University Research Conference digital magazine!