Learning quality patient care

April 10, 2012

Newburgh, NY -

Quality Patient Care

Left to right: Mount Saint Mary College alumnus Ryan McGahan of Rosendale, NY, provides patient care at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, NY. Mount Saint Mary College seniors Ilana Lebron of Monroe, NY, and Nicole Johnston of Northvale, NJ, work with a patient at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY, under supervision of Kay Keise, Mount clinical instructor. McGahan with Mount clinical instructor Mary Lyman at Vassar Brothers Medical Center.

Nursing students have their hands, heads and hearts full: in campus labs, in clinical settings, and in service abroad.

Cleaning out a tracheotomy tube, assessing vital signs, or comforting a patient are some of the ways Mount Saint Mary College nursing students put their education into practice during clinical rotations in local hospitals.

They’ve donned scrubs and stethoscopes since they were sophomores.

Andrea Ackermann, chair of nursing, noted that traditional students take Physical Assessment in the first semester of sophomore year. Students train in long term care facilities during Nursing Skills in the second semester sophomore year. They are in acute care for Adult Health in junior year.

As seniors shadowing a staff registered nurse, they gain valuable clinical experience that increases critical decision making skills and confidence in their ability to care for future patients. At the end of each shift, students meet with Mount instructors to debrief.

Mary Lyman supervised students at Vassar Brothers Medical Center this spring.

“It’s their knowledge of ‘why’ that sets Mount nursing students apart from others,” Lyman said.

Studying pathology and physiology, along with pharmacology and nutrition, Mount nursing students “see the whole system,” she explained.

This “intensive understanding of how and why the human body works as it does” helps prepare “well-rounded nurses with better assessment skills,” Lyman added.

Ryan McGahan, who was one of Lyman’s students, was hired at Vassar right after graduation in 2008.

“My Mount education gave me a solid start on my career in nursing,” said McGahan.

The Rosendale, NY resident works in the intensive care unit, where he does “high level monitoring to find subtle changes indicating a trend” that would need to be reported to a doctor.

Mount nursing students agreed that a desire to help people was the motivating factor that led them into nursing.

The team also concurs that the highly competitive program allows them to hone skills, giving them more confidence in clinical experience. Students work with computerized patient simulators in state of the art labs on campus, as well as with patients in their field clinicals.

“The nursing professors give you a lot of individual attention,” said senior Nicole Johnston of Northvale, NJ.

Johnston’s clinical at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY, included rotations in the operating and emergency rooms.

The college was recently recognized for outstanding community service by the Greater Hudson Valley Family Health Center.

Mount Saint Mary College students also find plenty of opportunities working with supervision in county health departments, nursing homes and hospices, and at West Point military academy.

Samantha Illiano was among numerous students who recently administered vaccines to cadets and lectured Army spouses about healthy eating choices.

Illiano chose Mount Saint Mary College because of its reputation for producing high quality nurses who work in local hospitals in the tri-state region, and elsewhere around the country.

“I can walk into any hospital in the Hudson Valley,” she said, “as well as in New York City, and they know the name Mount Saint Mary College and the type of nursing students the Mount produces.”

Mount Saint Mary College offers the only nationally accredited four year nursing degree program in New York’s mid-Hudson Valley, and boasts a NCLEX-RN passage rate well above the national average. The Mount also offers a continuum of study for a master’s degree.

Alumni have been recognized in many areas. The New York State Nurses Association bestowed its Administrator of the Year award upon Margaret Armento-McDowell, president of Bermac Home Health Aides, Inc. in New Paltz, NY. Another Mount alumna, Margaret Deyo-Allers of St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh, NY, was named the Hudson Valley’s Top Nurse. And alumna Susan Davis is president and CEO of St. Vincent’s Medical Center and St. Vincent’s Health Services in Bridgeport, CT.

Mount Saint Mary College students also serving in clinicals:

St. Francis Hospital, Poughkeepsie, NY -- Samantha Castagna, Franklin Square, NY; Ilana Lebron, Monroe, NY; Cynthia Martins, Wallingford, CT; Kathleen Stenger, Bethpage, NY; Alyssa Zaluski, Croton-on-Hudson, NY

Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Poughkeepsie, NY -- Amanda Duffy, Nichols, NY; Hilary Hazelet, Brick, NJ; Adare Jordan, Highland Lakes, NJ; Jordan Kupperblatt, Marlboro, NY; Caitlin Maiocco, Rockaway Park, NY; Lyndsey Smith, Walkill, NY

St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital, Newburgh, NY -- Samantha Cole, Brick, NJ; Natalie DeCara, Wappinger’s Falls, NY; Jennifer Lacina, Maybrook, NY; Annmarie Llewellyn, Brookhaven, NY; Stephanie Graziano, Levittown, NY; Christopher Rhynehart, New Windsor, NY

Putnam Hospital, Carmel, NY -- Don Nicklas, Brookfield, CT; Amber McCafferty, Newburgh, NY; Natalie Tanski, West Paterson, NJ; Michele Jackson, Newburgh, NY; Veronica Devers, Bronx, NY

Orange Regional Medical Center, Middletown, NY -- Brittany Marrone, Westerlo, NY; Maricel Magday, West Hempstead, NY; Kristen Rogers, Middlefield, CT; Jaclyn Jiminski, Wingdale, NY; Nicole Douglas, Poughkeepsie, NY; Samantha Illiano, Poughquag, NY; Jessica Matuszewski, Goshen, NY; Melissa O’Neill, Middletown, NY; Ashley Waligroski, Washingtonville, NY; Alex Peguero-Medrano, Newton, NJ; Melody West, Poughkeepsie, NY; Alyssa Lonnborg, Broad Channel, NY; Andrea Bednarski, Patchogue, NY; Anna Nicdao, Farmingdale, NY; Carolyn Doerrier, Bloomingburg, NY; Susan Hannigan, Baldwin, NY; Julie Kaese, Barryville, NY; Wayne Beam, Middletown, NY

Good Samaritan Hospital, Suffern, NY -- Breann Quackenbush, Warwick, NY; Erin Burpoe, Hewlett, NY; Sean Murphy, Port Jervis, NY; Meagan Lewis, Rocky Point, NY; Ellen Cashin, Belle Harbor, NY; Heather Knox, Wappinger’s Falls, NY; Alexandra Martinez, Wappinger’s Falls, NY; Megan Sickler, Port Ewen, NY; Erin McKeon, Watertown, CT; Irene Mensah, Newburgh, NY

Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, NY -- Violetta Baginski, Newburgh, NY; Mallory Tewksbury, Rock Tavern, NY; Catherine Ryan, Massapequa, NY; Julie Patterson, Massapequa, NY; Margaret Brunton, Brooklyn, NY; Amy Michalowski, Torrington, CT; Shirley Odarty, Bronx, NY; Kevin LaBanca, Northford, CT; Cindy Azabache, Wappinger’s Falls, NY; Kathryn Martin, Poughkeepsie, NY; Carmen Jacobs, Newburgh, NY