Nursing faculty present at PSU's Interdisciplinary Research Forum and Social

Dr. Michael Evans, instructor in nursing and assistant chief academic officer at PSWS, and Linda McAndrew, RN, MSN, CRNP, CCRN, nursing instructor, recently presented their research at Penn State's College of Health and Human Development and College of Nursing Interdisciplinary Research Forum and Social at University Park.


Evans' research poster was titled Somatic Awareness and Self-Symptom Recognition in Advanced Heart Failure Patients and was based on his dissertation research. The study examined somatic awareness (sensitivity to physical sensations and bodily activity secondary to physiological change) and self-symptom recognition (a patient's noting of bodily changes and linking those changes with a particular disease entity rather than other potential causes) in Stage D heart failure (HF) patients. It also compared newly diagnosed HF patients to patients with chronic HF.


The results of the study showed that the chronic group had higher somatic awareness scores when compared to the newly-diagnosed group. It was unclear if this finding is truly related to their length of time living with HF or other variables, including co-morbidities that may present with symptoms similar to HF. Even though participants did not recognize their symptoms as a result of their HF, it is not possible to conclude that all participants had poor self-symptom recognition, as participants may have been relating their symptoms accurately to another co-morbid condition.


Ms. McAndrew's research poster was titled Nurses' Management of Substance-Using Trauma Patient Pain: A Systematic Review and proposes to investigate the factors nurses experience when providing for the pain management needs of substance-using trauma patients. 


The literature is clear that nurses experience both verbal and physical abuse that leads to emotional exhaustion and burnout.  While nurses experience frustration, patients fear withdrawal. Future research to determine why nurses make specific decisions regarding pain medications may enhance nurse comfort in caring for this population and, therefore, better patient outcomes.


The pair also presented their research at the 31st Annual Graduate Exhibition at Penn State, where Dr. Evans' project garnered second place in the Social & Behavioral Sciences category.


The Graduate Exhibition celebrates research and creative scholarship, in all its aspects, as an essential and exciting part of graduate education at Penn State. Established in 1986, the Graduate Exhibition places special emphasis on communicating research and creative endeavor to a general audience and offers an unusual opportunity for professional development by challenging graduate students to present their work in clear, comprehensible terms to people outside their fields.


Evans received an associate of science in nursing and his bachelor of science in nursing from Penn State University and a master's of science in nursing, with a specialization in adult health and a sub-specialization in nursing education from Misericordia University. In addition, he earned his master of science in education with a focus in professional studies from Capella University.  He recently completed his doctoral dissertation at Penn State University.


He resides in Archbald with his wife, Stephanie and their son, Finn.


McAndrew is a graduate of Wilkes University with a bachelor's degree in nursing. She earned her master's degree in nursing from The University of Scranton, where she graduated with honors and as a board-certified family nurse practitioner. She also has a diploma in animal science and a master's certificate in nursing management.


She has held scholar status in the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Public Health's  Pennsylvania Preparedness Leadership Institute and in the Institute's advanced leadership program. She has also been a guest speaker at Wilkes University, Marywood University, the University of Scranton, the PA Trauma Systems Foundation Annual Conference, the American Trauma Society's PA Division Annual Conference and the Visiting Nurse Association's Annual Education Day.


She resides in Clarks Summit with her husband Gerard and daughter Kate.