Nursing Fair Highlights Obstetrics Research

December 6, 2013

By Matt Hawkins

Bradley junior nursing students showcased a semester of obstetrics research at a women’s fair hosted by Rachel Borton’s obstetrics maternal-newborn nursing  class. Topics covered the obstetric gamut from umbilical cord blood donation to circumcision in Borton’s effort to take learning beyond classroom lectures.

“I cover things all semester long, but it’s complete ownership when they finish,” Borton said. “They can explain and retain material longer.”

Cord blood donation research by Rebecca Stieber ’15 and Shelby Goodwin ’15 revealed a general lack of knowledge on the potential benefits to saving the blood.

Because of the cost of storing blood, the practice is only available at hospitals in 25 states.

“I found it really interesting because I didn’t know anything about it,” Stieber said.  “There’s a huge knowledge deficit and there isn’t a huge need for private donations, either.”

Goodwin echoed those sentiments.

“It’s so easy to do, but nobody does it because nobody knows about it,” she said.

Other students learned more about premature rupture of membranes, a condition often fatal to babies. This condition, which affects about 3 percent of pregnancies, opened the eyes of Nikki McDonald ’15.

“It’s interesting because it’s so spontaneous,” she said. “This project is really educational for us because you never know what type of client will come in.”

Beyond learning topical knowledge and presentation skills, Borton encouraged students to invite non-nursing majors to visit and hear information from new sources.

“That’s absolutely valuable,” she said. “Non-medical laymen aren’t paying attention to details, but to hear it from students and friends at the fair helps.”

Jen Buerger ’15 saw the fair as a chance to give the campus medical knowledge that would be valuable later in life.

“Anyone who wants to have a child in the future can benefit,” she said. “Knowledge about the things that can happen educates you for the future.”