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Delta Upsilon-at-Large Chapter is affiliated with the University of Rhode Island, Rhode Island College and Salve Regina University. Our vision is to continue to work with our members and our community, uphold the honor society's mission of advancing world health and celebrate nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership and service.

Defining Hope 

On November 1st 2017, Delta Upsilon Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau and ANA-RI collaborated in facilitating the Nation wide screening of the documentary Defining Hope. 

 

images-3.jpegThis film was produced by Carolyn Jones who also created The American Nurse Project. Our organizations co-sponsored the film, shown at the Providence Place Theatre on November 1st to mark the beginning of National Hospice and Palliative Care Month. Across the country nurses and others came together to view the film for the first time on this date. We also asked 5 specialists in the area of hospice and palliative care to facilitate a discussion with attendees at the conclusion of the film. Over 100 nurses and others attended. Feedback was very positive. Walden University sponsored the awarding of 1.25 CE’s for attendance and completion of the post-evaluation tool.

 Here is an excerpt from the director, Carolyn Jones about the film:

 When I started working on The American Nurse Project, I asked nurses about the biggest problems they face in their work. Very often those interviews became conversations about the fact that we’re not dying very well in this country. The nurses convinced me that if we could just educate people to have conversations with loved ones and providers and think about choices, we could have some agency over our own end-of-life experience and make it better.

Our choices are complex—how will the body react to more treatment, radiation, a new drug, another surgery? These are questions nurses can help us answer.

 Nurses see us holistically. Since medicine is sospecialized, sometimes it’s hard to understand how medical recommendations about a specific part of the body will affect the body overall. The process is also hard on our loved ones, who may be taking care of us at home or will be helping with medication and symptom management. Nurses can help guide us through all of this. And more than that – bringing palliative care nurses into the conversation sooner can help us make choices that will lead to what we want.

 Debbie Lafond, a Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner featured in Defining Hope, tells us that there is a lot of misperception about palliative care, and she is so right. She reminds us that to palliate is to alleviate, to ease the pain and relieve the burden of an illness. When we get a cancer diagnosis, for example, bringing in a palliative care nurse soon after diagnosis would go a long way toward improving the entire journey of cancer treatment. As patients, we can learn to ask nurses for their opinions. We can ask for palliative care nurses to participate in tough conversations, and we can listen to their analysis of what we might be facing. If we do, we can make better choices. We often ask family members to make decisions that they are not equipped to make, at an emotionally wrought time. Nurses can help enormously in these moments, but we need to give them a voice and bring them in early.

 When I started this project, I hoped to come up with a path, some sort of manual that would be relevant to everyone, that would show us how to get through the end of life better. It didn’t take long to realize that the path is incredibly individualized. Everyone has a different will to live, a different threshold for what they can endure, and different goals. As time went on, I realized that getting people to talk about the subject—normalizing this taboo topic through storytelling would be most helpful.

 My biggest goal for Defining Hope is to offer a film that reminds us that our time here is limited, and we will all be faced with death. It’s a part of life. Knowing what makes life worth living for yourself and your loved ones will help enormously when the end of life is near.

 Learn more at www.hope.film

 


Featured Student Members: Bags of Hope!     

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Two Rhode Island College School of Nursing STTI DU senior student members, Jena Lerch and Alyssa Dequattro volunteered their time labeling duffle bags at Bags of Hope on November 30, 2017.


Bags of Hope is a non-profit organization that replaces a trash bag with a personalized duffle bag filled with age appropriate comfort items to a child in foster care in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.


The chapter also sold pies during the week before Thanksgiving, collected baby blankets, and sold ornaments to raise money for Bags of Hope.

Featured member: Louisa White Honorary Recognition Award

 
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The Louisa White Award recognizes excellence in nursing. The award is presented to a professional nurse in Rhode Island, and a member of the Delta Upsilon Chapter at Large, who demonstrates a steadfast commitment to excellence in their many roles as a professional nurse.

Delta Upsilon at Large awards the Louisa White Award to Maria P. Ducharme, RN, DNP, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at The Miriam Hospital in Providence.

Throughout her multiple administrative roles at The Miriam Hospital, Maria has paved the way for nurses to practice in an environment that values nursing scholarship and research, shared governance and excellence in the delivery of patient-centered care. She has been instrumental in attaining and maintaining ANCC -Magnet Recognition at the Miriam through five consecutive applications. Maria encourages nurses to become advocates and leaders on Interprofessional, patient care teams; contributing to the translation of evidence based practice at the bedside, and influencing the health and welfare of the surrounding Miriam Communities.

More recently, as a nursing administrator and scholar, she has participated and conducted research on the nurse executive’s influence over professional practice environments and the impact on patient outcomes. Her research closely aligns with her career long commitment to creating healthcare environments which foster excellence in the professional role of nurses and high quality patient care outcomes.

Maria is a graduate Rhode Island College, received a Master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island and a DNP from MGH Institution of Health Professions. Congratulations Dr. Ducharme.

May 2017

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