16 January 2014

James Post #2

College of Nursing Scholarship Application

College of Nursing funding would be tremendously beneficial while I pursue my Masters of Nursing degree.  I am an excellent candidate for this because of my leadership experiences in the military, my community, and my profession.  I am very determined to do well in this program to ensure a better future for myself and my family.

Though I struggled as a high school student, I returned to higher education at age 27 with much gusto.  I made it to the Dean’s List at Salt Lake Community College and the Dean’s List at the University of Utah.  I have excelled in my profession by seeking opportunities to learn and improve, including becoming a Certified Lymphedema Therapist and highly skilled wound specialist (though not CWOCN).  I am the clinical educator for wounds, PICC lines, IV infusions, and other high acuity items for First Choice Home Health.

I have served my community by being a board member of my local homeowners association.  I have also held religious leadership positions, including being assigned as a religious leader in the military.

My most unique leadership experiences come from serving in the Utah Army National Guard. During my 14 years in the Guard, I served one 18-month deployment to Iraq.  I quickly went from being a maintenance team leader (instructing five men to repair A6 Paliden cannons) to the maintenance supply leader (instructing/supplying 15 soldiers).   I received this assignment because of my ability to teach others about the equipment, my knowledge of supply requirements, and my ability to maintain assignments. 

Next, I was assigned to be a Logistics Specialist (100-200 soldiers) where I dealt with weapons, equipment, clothing, etc. for the company.  While there, the military was in the process of turning several locations back over to the Iraqi people.  I was assigned to gather and process all of the documentation needed for items being donated to the current village.  I often had to negotiate with both military generals and civilians.  Thousands of dollars of equipment were processed through my hands.  During another occasion I was asked to correct some documentation errors.  I completed the task so expeditiously that the processor was surprised.  She complimented me that other people had taken several days to do the same task. 

As a result of my service and dedication to the Utah Army National Guard, I earned the Army Achievement Medal.  This award is specifically for enlisted soldiers who go above the call of duty by providing guidance and mentoring to new soldiers.

All of these experiences have impacted my profession.  I will use these experiences as I continue in the area care management and work to obtain an administrative position.  Receiving scholarship money will allow me to make this goal a reality.  I will continue to maintain the upmost academic standards and meet the rigor of the program.  I am excited to start the next phase of my nursing career.  I am most appreciative of your consideration to award me a scholarship from the College of Nursing.

James post #1

James is often overshadowed on this here blog.  This last week we have finished submitting both his application to graduate school at the U and a scholarship application to the College of Nursing.  Both required writing samples.  I got to edit them and decided that for posterity's sake I would blog them and therefore archive them in the history books!

Read if you'd like!

Writing Sample #1 - Application for entrance into Masters of Nursing, Care Management:

The medical field has always interested me.  I didn’t always know that I wanted to be a nurse, but through numerous experiences including first aid in the Boy Scouts, high school health classes, military training and volunteer firefighting, nursing became the pathway that was going to fulfill my desire to learn about how the body works and my desire to sincerely help people.  I have been working as a registered nurse for the last three years in the home health arena, but I feel I have the skills and desire to move to the next level.  I am pursuing a Masters of Nursing in the field of Care Management in order to become a leader among colleagues and expand my nursing skill set to a broader spectrum of patients. 
As a youth, I enjoyed learning about the body and specifically first aid through my experiences in health classes and as a member of the Boy Scouts.  However, after graduating from high school I joined the Utah National Guard, was taught how to perform “Buddy Aid,” and even became certified as a combat lifesaver.  Though all this was extremely interesting, things got even better!  I was able to gain a position in my hometown of Garland, Utah as a volunteer firefighter.  I attended satellite classes from the Utah Fire Academy and received certifications in Firefighter Level I and II, Wildfire Firefighter Level I, and Hazard Materials Operations.  I enjoyed this service, whether it was aiding an incident on the freeway, helping in an extraction after a massive car incident, or in assisting those with various illnesses.
I thought I was well on my way to becoming a Paramedic/Firefighter.  However, while in my Firefighter Level II class I meet a Life Flight Medic. Through talking with him, I realized that this was a career path I hadn’t considered before, but it seemed like something I would really like to pursue.  He recommended that I go on and try to become a Flight Medic or Nurse. He said that it would be hard, but that I must be strong and continue my education.  This was the first time that nursing came to mind as a possible career choice, though pursuing it was going to be put on hold.  In 2004 I was called to serve our country for a period of 18 months during Operation Iraqi Freedom. For the first couple months we received training on how to assist our comrades in saving their lives.  Because of my skills and interest, I was placed on a first response team.  I was helping those who fell victim to various injuries, but I felt restricted in the care that I was able to give and was determined to learn more once I returned home. 
Since then, I have been committed to nursing.  I completed a CNA certification, EMT-Intermediate, graduated from Salt Lake Community College with honors, and graduated from the University of Utah BSN program with honors. I have worked in a memory care center and two hospitals as a CNA.  I performed hundreds of practicum hours in pediatrics to intensive care units and have worked the last three years as a nurse for a home health agency which is best in outcomes for Wound Care in the state of Utah, First Choice Home Health and Hospice. 
            As a home health nurse I have served many people from all walks of life. One thing I found consistent with nearly all patients is a lack of knowledge of resources that are there to help them. This is something that is normally addressed with a medical social worker, but most of my patients do not have access to visits from them due to insurance denies or other reasons.  I have experience in gerontology, but I lack the knowledge to effectively assist this population.  I also have patients with Stage III lymph-edema compounded by acute and chronic wounds. I work closely with the company CWOCN and I am the “clinical wound educator” for the staff in the Salt Lake office of First Choice, but my leadership opportunities are limited within my current capacities.  I have experience, but I am ready to move forward in my education in order to 1) more effectively manage the care of a larger spectrum of patients, and 2) pursue the administrative realm of nursing.  These goals can be achieved with a Masters of Nursing in Care Management. 

I have a unique background of experiences that have contributed to my skills as a nurse.  I have experience in pre-hospital emergency care, firefighting, care-giving, combat care, memory care), and immediate care in a hospital setting.  I have experience in hospitals and in home health.  I can educate a patient and teach new skills to colleagues.  But, to continue developing new skills and pursue any further career experiences, I need to become a Masters prepared nurse.  This is what will allow me to continue to enhance the nursing profession.  Just as my story began, I still have a desire to continue to learn about the body and to continue helping people.  The next step in my journey is to earn a Masters of Nursing from the University of Utah.  I appreciate your time and eagerly await your decision!


January has been a blur. It has been a bit of a blur kind of like this foot portrait Molly took of herself with my phone.  I can't believe January is already halfway over!  Ahhhhhh...

So, the main reason that January has been a blur is because this other kid, Jack, has decided to stop sleeping.  It's exhausting.  He has always been the superstar of going to bed until just before Christmas when he started waking up in the night.  He'd usually wake up once, drink a bottle, then go back to sleep.  This went on for a while until he was waking up more than once and refusing to go back to sleep at all.  This was then compounded by the fact that he figured out how to climb out of his crib (and fall out of his crib).  James took the front rail off and replaced it with the toddler bed rail.  This created two new problems: 1) he refused to go anywhere near his crib and 2) there was no way to confine him to let him "cry it out." There were a few nights in row when we got him to lay down on the floor and go to sleep, but otherwise it has just been a war of attrition to outlast mom or dad on the couch.  

With two working parents, it is important for little children to go to sleep.  Once that event happens, the parents then have a couple of hours to do everything else they are supposed to do, much of which is work related.  Due to the nature of our recent nighttime routines, the parents fall asleep in random places, wake up at crazy hours, and don't get their work done.  Sigh.  

Finally last night we tried a few things different.  I made him run around outside before his bath.  I didn't give him a bottle of milk, but made him drink juice instead, we put his playpen in his room, we drugged him, and we let him "cry it out."  It took him about a half hour (which is more crying than I'd like, but we had to do it) and he finally fell asleep.  Then . . .  he slept all night!!!!  Woo Hoo!!!


On Thursday of last week my mom was able to come get the kiddos from school while I stayed late into the evening to try and catch up.  It was a productive night, but I hate doing that.  James was working late, too, and then just went home to finish up there.  I was late enough the the kids fell asleep on the way home and we avoided the go-to-bed-wrestle with Jack (though he still woke up a few hours later).

The next night was Friday and the Binggeli's came down to tend the kids while we went to James' work party (always held in January).  It was Olympic themed and involved some spirited ribbon twirling choreography by some of his coworkers.  The Binggelis stayed overnight and the kids had a lot of fun.

We've spent some time at the Hunstman Center.  The kids have been pretty good this season, though Jack and I end up walking the concourse during the second half.  This photo was taken at the Oregon game when the Utes lost in a dumb turnover with seconds left.  It was a gut-wrencher.

Willie took out his own endowment at the Jordan River Temple a couple of weeks ago.  We went for pizza afterwards.  Miss Bethany (or Beffany, according to Molly) tended the kids and they had a fun night.  

One night we had milkshakes at my mom's house and all the kids wanted to help.

That is the report.  Tomorrow is the end of the term and my mountain of papers will be moved if only one shovel of dirt (or one paper) at a time.  Next week starts the second semester, teaching on my prep, and teaching a class I've never taught - Math 1030.  Let's just hope Jack can sleep!