Fall Research Blog Post #2

Hope research has been going well everyone!

Dr. Northrup and I have been making wonderful progress with our data collection. On October 23rd and October 28th, 15 students from Dr. Northrup’s Nursing 110 class and 22 students from Professor Nicholl’s Nursing 110 class were given two pre-assessment surveys measuring their attitude and empathy towards individuals living in poverty. These students then experienced the poverty simulation, on November 1st, and it went extremely well!

The morning began with the volunteers arriving for breakfast and an orientation. When students arrived they were given a short orientation, and were allowed time to become familiar with their roles. During “Week 1” (first 15 minutes), the students were very disheveled, didn’t realize they needed “transportation passes” to go to each community resource table, and did not expect rude actions and words from some of the resource personnel. A lot of students ended up getting “arrested” by “police” because so many of them were not properly taking care of their “children”. Once “Week 2” began, students understood better what they needed to do, in order to achieve their tasks. I was a volunteer at the General Employer table, and saw students realize how important it was to have a “full-time job” and receive their “weekly pay checks”. “Week 3” gave a few families issues because the “school” was closed for the week so “parents” had to arrange care for their “school-aged children”. By the third week, several members in each family were “working”, either “full-time or part-time”, but unfortunately many became “homeless” because they were not paying their “mortgages”. Lastly, “Week 4” was when all students appeared to be most productive and successful. Many of the “homeless” families were able to buy their “homes” back, “children” were in “school” or “day care”, and everyone working was successful in receiving their final “pay checks”.

After the simulation, three groups were formed in the gym, consisting of one faculty member, several volunteers, and three “families” each. Each group was given multiple questions to discuss, such as what happened to their families during the “month”?, how did everyone feel while doing the simulation?, what knowledge can be carried forward into their future profession as a registered nurse?, and how have their views about those living in poverty changed? Everyone had some input about the experience and answered the questions honestly. Some individuals even expressed their real-life struggles of dealing with certain types of elements that occurred in the simulation. Most importantly students became familiar with several types of services available in the community and the lingo (EBT, TANF, etc.) used to describe government programs, which many students never heard about prior to the simulation.

Overall, the faculty, volunteers, and nursing students found this simulation experience to be very informative and eye opening. Many students told Dr. Northrup and I how much they enjoyed it as a learning experience and agreed with our intentions of continuing the simulation for future nursing students. The poverty simulation was fortunate enough to have its own article in the November 5th issue of the Pace Chronicle, which I suggest everyone check out! Dr. Northrup and I have our picture with several nursing faculty members, and I was quoted twice!

On November 6th and November 11th, the students from both Nursing 110 classes were given the post-assessment surveys. Some students were either missing from class, during data collection, or did not fill out the surveys because they did not attend the simulation. Dr. Northrup and I worked together to enter the survey responses into the SPSS Statistics software program, and are going to be running the data for analysis. My mid-year report will contain the thorough process of entering the data and our data analysis findings, which I am very excited to share!

Thank you for reading and have a Happy Thanksgiving!





Author: Colleen

Senior Lienhard School of Nursing RN4 - BSN Program Graduation May 2015

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