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Cannabis 101

January 10, 2019

Following the legalization of cannabis by the Canadian federal government on October 17 of last year, Red River College tendered its inaugural offering of a course on cannabis called Cannabis -101. It was offered via the College’s Continuing Education Department under the auspices of the School of Indigenous Education. Starting on November 6, the course wrapped up December 13. There were 53 students in the class including three from the nursing faculty, Karen Burns, Kate Tate, and myself.

The two course leaders, Dr. Shelley Turner and Dr. Faith Dieleman, are both physicians and strong advocates for the medicinal use of cannabis. Dr. Turner is a family doctor practising in Ontario and Manitoba, who specializes in medical cannabis, addictions, and Indigenous health. Dr. Dieleman works closely with Dr. Turner as a research assistant. She is passionate about her work with addictions and has interests in medical education and ensuring accessible healthcare for all.

Appealing to a broad audience of individuals interested in varied aspects of information regarding cannabis, the course started with details on the legal regulations and restrictions on cannabis use both federally and provincially. Present day policies as well as those of the past were discussed by an inspector from Manitoba’s Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority.

The next few classes focused on cannabis plant botany – looking at the difference between cannabis and hemp, then discussion on the major well-known chemical constituents of the cannabis plant as well as information on less well-known chemicals that hold promise as new pharmaceuticals.

Plant genetics were covered in another lecture along with an overview of the current research and development in the medicinal cannabis industry. The students seemed to particularly enjoy the class on growing cannabis. The speaker for the evening brought several cannabis plants with him and was an affable and knowledgeable lecturer. After demonstrating the procedure for best getting cannabis seeds to grow, he invited the class to check in on Instagram as the plants sprouted and started to grow. He also brought along a number of boxes of cannabis ready for use, and the students enjoyed having a “sniff” of some of the interesting scents that can be created by different strains of the plant.

The focus of class switched to the commercial aspects of the new legal cannabis industry and the rules and regulations for those interested in becoming a commercial cannabis vendor, supplier, or grower.

The final lectures focused on the medicinal uses for cannabis and its potential in treating addictions, cancer, chronic pain, and relief of symptoms in some of the long term neuromuscular diseases like multiple sclerosis. Also included in this topic was emphasis on safety, social responsibility, and harm reduction strategies as they relate to cannabis use.

Dr. Turner is presently in communication with the College about subsequent educational courses related to cannabis.

Post written by Evelyn Lundeen – Nursing Instructor

Happy New Year!

January 3, 2019

The Nursing Department ended 2018 with some holiday cheer! From holiday celebrations to giving back through our Christmas Hamper for the RRC Students’ Association, the department came together in the spirit of the season.

We wish everyone a fantastic 2019!

Post written by Meagen Chorney – Nursing Instructor

Photos by Meagen Chorney, Jennifer Johnson, Tracey Fallak, and Bernie Mandrick

Holiday Food Drive for Agape Table

December 20, 2018

My name is Samantha Eveleigh, and I am a third-year nursing student. This year I have spent well over 100 hours working as a volunteer at Agape Table, a local soup kitchen that helps feed breakfast to 350-400 people a day who are experiencing low income or homelessness. Why do I do it? Growing up, my family was considered low income and utilized some resources like Agape Table. I felt it was my time to give back. I wanted to make a difference. While working at Agape Table, I repeatedly noticed that the kitchen was short on food donations. I quickly realized I couldn’t do it alone, so I started looking for guidance and support from others. I spoke with one of my nursing instructors, Tracey Fallak, and she along with many other instructors supported me throughout my food drive. In Discipline of Professional Nursing, we learn that we can lead from any chair (Zander & Zander, 2002).

I encouraged other nursing students to volunteer to get them involved in my cause, and there was a lot of interest! A poster was created and displayed on many walls of the Notre Dame campus. Selena Jasper, the Red River College Nursing Student Association president, helped me promote the initiative. My goal was to achieve 350 donations, and with the generosity of nursing students, nursing instructors, friends, and family, we more than doubled it! The food drive for Agape Table resulted in a collection of over 700 non-perishable food items. This will help feed well over 1500 people. When the donation was dropped off, they were so grateful and a lot of hugs were shared with the people at Agape Table. As a result of this event, I hope others will see what a small network of people can achieve and the difference they can make in the lives of others.

One of my instructors passed this on to me, and I thought I’d share it as well:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead.

Post and photos by Samantha Eveleigh – Student Nurse

Shanghai International Nursing Skills Competition

December 13, 2018

Lauren:

My name is Lauren Lacroix and my competition partner is Jason Juell. For me personally, I have never been travelling overseas other than to your typical beach resorts. When I heard about this opportunity, I was an eager student coming to the end of my first year. I remember hearing the two instructors discuss it in front of our class; I couldn’t keep a smile off of my face. I turned to my friends and told them, “I am going to apply.” I went home, so excited to tell my parents, and they were so supportive of me. It was toward the end of exams in the middle of June, but I directed my focus to submitting my application and gathering a reference letter.

Once I got my application and reference letter submitted, I waited. I was out one afternoon and noticed I missed a phone call from the school, and to my excitement when I called the number back, I was offered an interview. When I was selected to be part of the team, we began our weekly practices. Little did we know those 10 weeks of practice were going to fly by.

Next thing we knew, we were boarding our 12.5 hour flight from Vancouver to Shanghai. Talk about ants in the pants for that flight, but we all slept and ate well. When we woke up again from our nap, we were landing in China. I remember getting off of the airplane and being stunned at the size of the airport. It was instant culture shock, and it was the most intimidating yet exciting experience I’ve ever been part of.

We hopped off the plane, being part of what felt like the Amazing Race to get our luggage, find our transporter to the hotel, and get comfortable in a new city. With being unable to communicate with others around us because of language barriers, we looked for signs with our names to get to the room. We got to our room comfortably, and got settled in for the night.

We had a few days to do some sight-seeing, shopping, and experiencing the Chinese culture. It was great to navigate the subway with the help of our fellow team members, visit temples, and bargain for some great deals in the subway market shops. The following day was our prep day, where we got to visit the Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences, where the competition will be held. We got to meet the other competitors, and get an understanding of how the competition would be set up. With overwhelming excitement and nerves, we went to bed that night to get ready for our 0745 start of the competition day.

Bright and early, our alarms go off. We meet for our breakfast, loading up on steamed custard buns to fuel the stress, excitement, and knowledge. We get to our seats for the competition, and watch a beautiful opening ceremony. Our instructors are guided to the front to pick out a number and a stage for us to compete on. There were 4 stages, with one round in total. All 34 teams would compete on either stage. We kept our fingers crossed that we were not the first ones, and thankfully we were up second. The teams that were not competing yet, including us, were huddled into a room, so we could not see or hear the other teams compete.

Jason:

We anxiously anticipated our names to be called, so that we could begin our scenario. We were soon shuffled out of the room to our stage and given our scenario. We had 2 or 3 minutes, which felt like seconds to quickly read it, brain storm, delegate tasks, and remember all the points we had to complete, along with getting ourselves fitted for microphones on our own (which I put on us backwards, for the whole scenario). We were then asked are you ready, and they opened the curtain and said time has begun. We had 15 minutes for our scenario, which was very challenging, as we had a confused patient. We had to leave nerves at the door as much as possible, but it was not easy, especially when I was trying to get the bed to go up, and the bed was broken. We carried on as best we could assessing our patient, talking with them and the family, and applying our knowledge we have learnt while in school. Those 15 minutes felt like 5, and we were told our time was up, just as we finished. It was all over, and now the long wait, as we finished at 1015, and the closing ceremonies were not until 1600.

We anxiously awaited, wondering how we did, and enjoyed being able to watch all the other contestants perform their scenarios. Finally when closing ceremonies begun, we anticipated what would happen next. As they began to call out names, we thought we heard Red River College’s name being called, but with it being in Chinese and loud music we were second guessing ourselves, until others started pointing at us and telling us to go up. We were very excited, but also in shock, as we hesitantly walked up to the stage not knowing if we had truly won. We were then prompted by one of the organizers to come onto the stage, and then we waited, and then we received our trophy. Once we received our trophy I think it sunk in for both of us that all our hard work as a TEAM had paid off! We were grinning ear to ear holding our trophy, which was one of the heaviest I had ever held, about 7 or 8 pounds. We were 3rd place champions!!!

We made a lot of great friends while we were in China, as we connected with other teams. We had a great time with all the Canadian teams as we went out for supper one night as a group, and on the final night we joined some other teams for supper from the United Kingdom and United States. Meals were an enjoyable experience. The food was amazing, and not like your typical western Chinese food. We were not always sure what to order, as everything was in Chinese, so some days we would go to a restaurant and just point at what looked good. I had the honor, and the stress, of being chosen to be the food guide while we were there. I chose the first restaurant the first day, and everyone loved it! On the second day, someone else was supposed to pick, but somehow that didn’t happen, and it was delegated to me, and again I picked a winner! From there on out, I was nominated as the food guide for the rest of the trip.

China and the Shanghai International Nursing Skills Competition is an experience we will never forget, and we are so thankful to our classmates, fellow teammates, instructors, organizers, families and friends, and Red River College and their sponsors. We could not have done this without each and every one of you and are so proud and honored to have been chosen to be able to represent Red River College and the Nursing student body.

Thank you all for an unforgettable experience!

Post and photos by Lauren Lacroix and Jason Juell – 2018 Shanghai International Nursing Skills Team

Health Promotion Poster Fair

December 7, 2018

At the end of October, third year nursing students from Epidemiology and Illness Prevention held their Health Promotion Poster Fair! The Poster Fair educates the college community on preventable public health issues. From learning about proper condom use to proper hand washing techniques, faculty and students are now one step closer to protecting themselves and others from communicable diseases, vaccine-preventable illnesses, preventable chronic diseases, sexually transmitted infections, and injuries.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to support our students’ learning as they support all of us through their health promotion efforts.

Post and photos by Meagen Chorney – Nursing Instructor (Adapted from post by Ana Stipanovic and Meagen Chorney)

Flu Clinic

November 23, 2018

Recently, the 2nd year Nursing Students in Community Practice: Health Promotion of the Older Adult NRSG 2811 manned the Flu Vaccine clinics at Red River College campuses. In addition to administering the vaccine, on Nov 1st the students held a health education event to highlight the benefits of getting the flu vaccine. They gave each person who was vaccinated a challenge card citing a benefit of getting the flu shot and encouraged them to give away the card to someone who was not yet vaccinated.

Over 320 students and staff received the Flu Vaccine at the Notre Dame Campus alone! Way to Go!!

Post and photos by Lois Tessier – Nursing Instructor

Radon Action Month

November 16, 2018

November is Radon Action Month

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer, next to smoking, and is found in most residential homes. Exposure to residential radon is linked to 3,200 Canadian deaths every year. Talk to your patients about at-home testing and learn more with this free accredited course from @machealth: http://radon.machealth.ca

Quick Facts about Radon

• Radon is a radioactive gas and a known carcinogen. It results from the breakdown of uranium in the ground and can enter your home undetected. You can’t see it or taste it.
• All homes, in all parts of Canada, have some level of radon. The only way to know what the levels are like is to have your home tested.
• Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer next to smoking. Long–term exposure to elevated levels of radon in the home increases your risk of developing lung cancer.
• Smokers exposed to high levels of radon have a significantly increased risk of developing lung cancer.

Post written by Jennifer Morin – Nursing Instructor, who is disseminating this information as a Radon Champion on behalf of Health Canada and the College of Family Physicians of Canada.

The idea is to encourage health care providers to talk about Radon in their profession and ideally with their patients. This post provides a link to a free course for health care providers to access as a way to increase their knowledge related to Radon.

Family Nursing Simulation

November 8, 2018

On Monday October 29th, students in Family Nursing 2701 participated in a simulation along with nursing faculty. The simulation occurred in a community setting (i.e. the home of an older adult who had experienced a family member misusing her finances, who is considering moving to an assisted living complex as she has dementia). The family is present to help the client with the decision making process. Faculty members played the role of the family, and the students were members of the interprofessional team who came to visit the home and collaborate with the family to identify their most pressing concerns in order to provide them with appropriate support and services.

The objectives of this simulation activity were to provide students with the opportunity to practice the following family nursing skills:

1) participation in therapeutic conversation
2) application of relational family nursing skills
3) exploring the experience of the family
4) reflecting on the experience of the family and personal relational skills
5) discussing the benefits of an interprofessional team approach towards caring for the older adult and their family
6) to utilize teaching opportunities to enhance the functioning of an older adult and their family.

Students and staff participated in a pre-briefing prior to the simulation to learn their roles and de-briefed as a whole group about the experience.

Thank you to all nursing instructors who offered their time to make this activity a success and to our students who participated with such enthusiasm to make this a great experience!

Post and photo by Sandy Alguire RN MN – Course Leader Family Nursing 2710

Blood Pressure Clinic

November 1, 2018

Thank you everyone who came out to support our first year Baccalaureate Nursing students’ Blood Pressure Clinic! 

Heart attacks and cardiac arrest affects everyone whether directly or indirectly.  It is great to know your regular BP reading, so when something does happen, you’ll know your normal because normal is different for everyone.

Knowing the warning signs of a heart attack is a great beginning: Light headedness, nausea, vomiting; jaw, neck, or back pain; discomfort or pain to the shoulder or arm; chest discomfort or pain; short of breath.

Did you know cardiac arrest and heart attack are very different from one another?

Cardiac arrest is when the heart is in abnormal rhythm and can’t pump the blood, causing the heart to quiver, causing death within minutes if no life saving treatment is done.

Heart attack is when the blood flow in part of the heart muscle is blocked and, if not treated, can cause sudden cardiac arrest and death.

So please everyone, take care of your heart. You only have one!

 

Pa Pump Pa Pump Pa Pump!

See you next term!

 

Post written by

Jennifer Johnson – Nursing Lab Manager

ARNM Honours Our Own!

October 25, 2018

The Nursing faculty at Red River College (RRC) is proud to announce that Tracey Fallak, long time RRC Nursing faculty member, was honoured by the Association of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (ARNM) on Wednesday, October 24, 2018, for her excellence in teaching.

The Award of Excellence in Nursing Education is presented to registered nurses who practice as a nurse educator in a college/university or clinical setting and demonstrate teaching excellence by encouraging critical thinking and innovation. Tracey is the 2018 winner of this award.

Tracey’s drive to provide the most up to date peer-reviewed information in her role as an educator is inspiring. Tracey researches topics extensively and then presents them to students in an understandable manner using anecdotes from her practice and the literature to emphasize her intent. Tracey is the first to try innovative teaching strategies when she believes they will “reach” her students and lead to student success. Tracey is passionate about her life’s work, and this is recognized by her students who consistently identify Tracey’s passion as contributing to their learning and enjoyment in her classes. Tracey’s passion for nursing extends beyond her workplace, as she was integral in resurrecting a professional association for registered nurses in Manitoba.

The Nursing faculty of RRC has benefitted from Tracey’s example of use of a relational approach with her students, her sharing of herself, and her efforts to produce high quality, compassionate, and caring nurses. We all aspire to the standard Tracey provides. We are so very proud of Tracey and congratulate her on this most deserving recognition!

Of note, at the same awards evening, 2017 RRC Nursing graduate Paige Proctor was honoured with the ARNM’s Emerging Leader Award.

This award is presented to registered nurses in clinical practice who have entered the profession as an RN within the past five years, demonstrates excellence in his/her practice area, outstanding communication, and promising leadership qualities.

We are also very proud of Paige!

Congratulations to both of RRC’s honourees!!!

Post and photos by Bernie Mandrick – Nursing Instructor