Tara Ford – Independent Project

Tara Ford – Independent Project

Class of 2017

Introduction to Topic

For my Independent Project I went to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center’s Emergency Department.  Although I do not wish to be a nurse I am very interested in the atmosphere of the Emergency Department and wanted to observe what went on behind the scenes. The number one reason for me going to the Emergency Department was actually because I wished to observe the treatment of overdoses and addiction related emergencies.  The opioid epidemic is a huge problem in our county, all over the country and further.  It is an issue that has caught my attention and is very close to my heart.  I wanted to better understand this issue and see it up close through my project.  I ended up coming up with an innovation to help overdoses by having a box with Naloxone accessible to all on the streets.

Project Description

My experience at Upper Chesapeake’s Emergency Department went beyond what I could ever expect.  I learned and became aware of so much about the behind- the- scenes of emergency departments.  Now that I am much more aware of all the hard work that goes into nursing, I have a huge appreciation for everything nurses do. The amount of hours they sacrifice from their lives to help others is amazing.  I shadowed many different nurses during my time in the Emergency Department and every one of them was extremely nice and accommodating.  I definitely was able to achieve my goal of observing overdoses and so much more.  I observed the treatment of patients that had pink eye to ones that had seizures.  To tie my project fully with the overdose epidemic I made an innovation that would help overdose patients before they get to the Emergency Department or before the ambulance reach them.  Once Naloxone is administered it will reverse the overdose and this is such a simple thing to do.  To reduce the amount of deaths I thought that a way for everyone to access Naloxone would be the answer.  So I created a Naloxone distributor box for my innovation that would be accessible to anyone.

Experience Description

I believe that my experience in the Emergency department was beneficial to not only me as a biomedical student but as a person.  The people I met in the ED from to the nurses to the doctors to the patients were all so diverse and interesting.  It intrigued me to see a snapshot of so many different peoples lives and how anyone can run into health problems at anytime.  The ED is  a very chaotic environment but I actually liked the diversity that every observation held.  Some of the patients that stuck in my head the most were the overdose ones.  It always saddened me to see a person so helpless and lost to the world.  These people are always completely passed out and it often takes multiple large doses of Naloxone to wake them up. One day I even got to shadow the ED mental health consultant who talks to people who need a mental health evaluation.  She talked to me a lot about what she does with addiction patients and it intrigued me.  I also became aware of how wary the nurses had to be about giving out pain medication because so many different people go to the Emergency Department just to get pain medicine.  One nurse said that about one out of ten people they admit actually have something wrong with them.  Due to people coming into the ED and faking their symptoms it makes it harder for people with real symptoms to get treatment.

I learned a lot about the different machines and processes that an ED nurse goes through.  Once a patient is admitted their vital signs are always the first priority.  The vital signs will tell the nurses if something is wrong to the point where immediate actions need to be performed.  The triage nurses will put a priority number on each patient from one to five and they will put a broad description of their complaint (like right abdominal pain or nose bleed).  The nurses in the ED pick new patients based on the time they have been waiting and the things I just mentioned.  Patients from an ambulance (ambo patients) can also be given to nurses, but I found out that nurses often do not prefer those patients.

One huge observation I had about an issue in the emergency department is the technology.  It seems that the nurses were constantly frustrated with their technology.  Every single time I went to shadow at the ED a nurse would complain about the program they use on the computer, the (very old) cell phones or something else technology related.  It seemed to me that the reason for this problem is that they do not have enough money to spend on improving the technology.

Innovation Description

Throughout the course of my project I thought about ways to help the horrible opioid epidemic that is taking over Harford County.  The nurses always would tell me that there is constantly overdose patients in the Emergency Department.  I have seen how quickly the amount of overdoses and death by overdose there have been even this year alone.  I discussed with other people in the ED this problem and many of them talked about how Narcan can be administered by anyone.  I thought for ages on how to improve Narcan and I could not come up with anything.  Evzio had already been created that has voice instructions on how to administer itself.  I eventually came up with the idea to just make Narcan and Evzio accessible to anyone at anytime.  I came up with a Naloxone distributor box which is a box which distributes Naloxone in case of a narcotic overdose.  This would help by assuring that anyone could help a person they find having an overdose as soon as possible.  This way the patient will be fine while the ambulance arrives and they are brought to the ED and they will not die before help can reach them.

The distributor will be a box which dispenses both Narcan and Evzio.  People who are trained to give someone Narcan can get the Narcan and untrained individuals can use the Evzio.  Evzio includes voice instructions so it really requires no training.  The reason for having both is because Evzio is very expensive (thousands of dollars) but it is also easy to use and is worth it to save a life.  Narcan is much cheaper but requires training.  The box would be funded by the government because Naloxone costs too much for people to be able to buy it during an emergency.  The box would be put in areas known to have many overdoses on the street where it is accessible to anyone.  It has a hose clamp to be connected to a pole as well as holes in the back so it can be screwed into a wall.  The box also has an app that people can download.  This app would help a person find a box near them in an emergency.  

To do my innovation I made a sketchup which showed the design of the box and I made an app to go with the box on PowerPoint.  I first did research on Naloxone and Narcan and I found Evzio and how much easier it is to administer.  I researched if it was legal to give out Narcan without training but everything I found on the Internet said something about the training required.  I found that Evzio has built in voice instructions so no training is needed to administer it.  Narcan and Evzio can now be given out in many states including Maryland without a prescription.  There is no current idea that is close to the Naloxone distributor box besides that there are other medicine vending machines.  My innovation is original because it would be specifically for Naloxone and it would be funded by the government so it would be free.  My innovation also has an app that goes along with it to find the nearest box which other vending machines do not have.

+ Project Topic

Introduction to Topic

For my Independent Project I went to Upper Chesapeake Medical Center’s Emergency Department.  Although I do not wish to be a nurse I am very interested in the atmosphere of the Emergency Department and wanted to observe what went on behind the scenes. The number one reason for me going to the Emergency Department was actually because I wished to observe the treatment of overdoses and addiction related emergencies.  The opioid epidemic is a huge problem in our county, all over the country and further.  It is an issue that has caught my attention and is very close to my heart.  I wanted to better understand this issue and see it up close through my project.  I ended up coming up with an innovation to help overdoses by having a box with Naloxone accessible to all on the streets.

+ Project Overview

Project Description

My experience at Upper Chesapeake’s Emergency Department went beyond what I could ever expect.  I learned and became aware of so much about the behind- the- scenes of emergency departments.  Now that I am much more aware of all the hard work that goes into nursing, I have a huge appreciation for everything nurses do. The amount of hours they sacrifice from their lives to help others is amazing.  I shadowed many different nurses during my time in the Emergency Department and every one of them was extremely nice and accommodating.  I definitely was able to achieve my goal of observing overdoses and so much more.  I observed the treatment of patients that had pink eye to ones that had seizures.  To tie my project fully with the overdose epidemic I made an innovation that would help overdose patients before they get to the Emergency Department or before the ambulance reach them.  Once Naloxone is administered it will reverse the overdose and this is such a simple thing to do.  To reduce the amount of deaths I thought that a way for everyone to access Naloxone would be the answer.  So I created a Naloxone distributor box for my innovation that would be accessible to anyone.

+ Experience

Experience Description

I believe that my experience in the Emergency department was beneficial to not only me as a biomedical student but as a person.  The people I met in the ED from to the nurses to the doctors to the patients were all so diverse and interesting.  It intrigued me to see a snapshot of so many different peoples lives and how anyone can run into health problems at anytime.  The ED is  a very chaotic environment but I actually liked the diversity that every observation held.  Some of the patients that stuck in my head the most were the overdose ones.  It always saddened me to see a person so helpless and lost to the world.  These people are always completely passed out and it often takes multiple large doses of Naloxone to wake them up. One day I even got to shadow the ED mental health consultant who talks to people who need a mental health evaluation.  She talked to me a lot about what she does with addiction patients and it intrigued me.  I also became aware of how wary the nurses had to be about giving out pain medication because so many different people go to the Emergency Department just to get pain medicine.  One nurse said that about one out of ten people they admit actually have something wrong with them.  Due to people coming into the ED and faking their symptoms it makes it harder for people with real symptoms to get treatment.

I learned a lot about the different machines and processes that an ED nurse goes through.  Once a patient is admitted their vital signs are always the first priority.  The vital signs will tell the nurses if something is wrong to the point where immediate actions need to be performed.  The triage nurses will put a priority number on each patient from one to five and they will put a broad description of their complaint (like right abdominal pain or nose bleed).  The nurses in the ED pick new patients based on the time they have been waiting and the things I just mentioned.  Patients from an ambulance (ambo patients) can also be given to nurses, but I found out that nurses often do not prefer those patients.

One huge observation I had about an issue in the emergency department is the technology.  It seems that the nurses were constantly frustrated with their technology.  Every single time I went to shadow at the ED a nurse would complain about the program they use on the computer, the (very old) cell phones or something else technology related.  It seemed to me that the reason for this problem is that they do not have enough money to spend on improving the technology.

+ Innovation

Innovation Description

Throughout the course of my project I thought about ways to help the horrible opioid epidemic that is taking over Harford County.  The nurses always would tell me that there is constantly overdose patients in the Emergency Department.  I have seen how quickly the amount of overdoses and death by overdose there have been even this year alone.  I discussed with other people in the ED this problem and many of them talked about how Narcan can be administered by anyone.  I thought for ages on how to improve Narcan and I could not come up with anything.  Evzio had already been created that has voice instructions on how to administer itself.  I eventually came up with the idea to just make Narcan and Evzio accessible to anyone at anytime.  I came up with a Naloxone distributor box which is a box which distributes Naloxone in case of a narcotic overdose.  This would help by assuring that anyone could help a person they find having an overdose as soon as possible.  This way the patient will be fine while the ambulance arrives and they are brought to the ED and they will not die before help can reach them.

The distributor will be a box which dispenses both Narcan and Evzio.  People who are trained to give someone Narcan can get the Narcan and untrained individuals can use the Evzio.  Evzio includes voice instructions so it really requires no training.  The reason for having both is because Evzio is very expensive (thousands of dollars) but it is also easy to use and is worth it to save a life.  Narcan is much cheaper but requires training.  The box would be funded by the government because Naloxone costs too much for people to be able to buy it during an emergency.  The box would be put in areas known to have many overdoses on the street where it is accessible to anyone.  It has a hose clamp to be connected to a pole as well as holes in the back so it can be screwed into a wall.  The box also has an app that people can download.  This app would help a person find a box near them in an emergency.  

To do my innovation I made a sketchup which showed the design of the box and I made an app to go with the box on PowerPoint.  I first did research on Naloxone and Narcan and I found Evzio and how much easier it is to administer.  I researched if it was legal to give out Narcan without training but everything I found on the Internet said something about the training required.  I found that Evzio has built in voice instructions so no training is needed to administer it.  Narcan and Evzio can now be given out in many states including Maryland without a prescription.  There is no current idea that is close to the Naloxone distributor box besides that there are other medicine vending machines.  My innovation is original because it would be specifically for Naloxone and it would be funded by the government so it would be free.  My innovation also has an app that goes along with it to find the nearest box which other vending machines do not have.

By | 2017-05-24T20:03:23+00:00 May 24th, 2017|Biomed Capstone Project 2017|0 Comments

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