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Nursing Receives Top Health Science Awards

Nursing students received first and second place scholarship awards in two categories at the Showcase for Undergraduate Research Excellence (SURE) [1] earlier this month during UCF’s annual Research Week [2].

In the Health Sciences I category, Chelsea Hughes won first place for her research, “Dosing Accuracy While Administering Oral Medications,” which focused on the major problem of inaccurate dosing of children’s liquid medication that causes adverse effects for children every year.

Second place was earned by Shannon Hassett for her research, “Technologies to Enhance Optimal Glycemic Control in Young Adults with Type 1 Diabetes.”

Her thesis was based on exploring how the use of technology like glucose monitors could lead to better control of Type 1 Diabetes in adults ages 18 to 30. This was a topic of personal interest for her since she was diagnosed with this condition at the young age of 11 and since then has struggled to manage it.

“I knew there was a difference between those who were able to stay on top of glycemic control, and those who were trying so desperately and just weren’t quite hitting their goals,” said Hassett. “It has been my mission to narrow down those differences and put into words what truly managing with optimal glycemic control looks like so others may have that example and have a better chance at battling diabetes.”

Additionally, in the Health Sciences II category, Samantha Sermarini won first place for her research, “Black Caregiver Responses to and Perceptions of Signs, Symptoms, and Treatments at the End of Life.” The purpose of her thesis was to determine how black caregivers interpreted signs, symptoms, and treatments for symptom relief during the last months of their loved one’s life.

In second place was Stephanie Levine for her research, “Music Therapy as an Intervention to Reduce Anxiety in Mechanically-Ventilated Patients.”

“Music has certainly alleviated my anxiety in countless situations, so I wanted to closely examine any effects it might have on vulnerable patients in the ICU,” said Levine. “I think it is beneficial to analyze interventions that minimize discomfort and adverse side effects. In this scenario, music seemed like a good focus.”

SURE is an annual poster forum for UCF undergraduates to present their research and creative projects to the broader university community. Fourteen College of Nursing students participated this year, including four students from the UCF Daytona Beach campus [3].

“Our students across all campuses make us very proud and have earned top awards at SURE for the past several years,” says Victoria Loerzel, associate professor and coordinator of the Honors in the Major program at the College of Nursing. “They put so much time, effort and enthusiasm into their projects. It is wonderful to see their hard work rewarded with these scholarships.”