Three Shenandoah University nursing faculty members received honors at the Celebration of Heroes event of the American Red Cross of Central and Shenandoah Virginia for their years of innovative and dedicated efforts.
Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Professor of Nursing Janice Smith, Ph.D, RN, and Assistant Professor of Nursing and Director of Scholar Plaza, Loudoun ASD Nursing Program Kathleen Eid-Heberle, Ph.D.(c), RN, received the Disaster Heroes Award recognizing the impact of Shenandoah’s Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Nursing course, which is required for all students in their final year of their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. Dr. Smith and Eid-Heberle oversee the course at Shenandoah.
Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Edythe “Edie” McGoff, MSN, RN, CEN, FAEN, an adjunct clinical instructor for Shenandoah’s Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing, received the group’s Nurse Hero Award. The award recognizes several qualities, including a commitment “made to the community through an act(s) of kindness, courage, or unselfishness in response to an identified need.”
The three received their awards in Charlottesville, Virginia, on May 2.
Learn more about the event at https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=634015603670513.
Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Nursing
The Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Nursing course is, to Smith and Eid-Heberle’s knowledge, the only one of its kind in the country to be a required course for nursing students. Other nursing schools may offer it as an elective, but at Shenandoah’s school of nursing, it is a requirement for graduation. The course, established in 2005, and offered at both Shenandoah’s main campus in Winchester and at Scholar Plaza, Loudoun, received the first Innovations in Professional Nursing Education Award from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in 2008, and more recently, received a SREB Pacesetting Program Award at the Southern Regional Education Board, Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing Conference (2018) in Atlanta, Georgia.
Shenandoah nursing began offering the emergency and disaster preparedness course after the American Red Cross Chief Nurse at the time pointed out at a conference that disaster content was not being covered adequately in nursing curriculum. This was a major contributing factor for the initial development of a separate course to teach this content. Shenandoah added the American Red Cross RN Disaster Health Services component to the course after realizing its nursing students could not volunteer in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina because they did not have the required American Red Cross credential.
The three-credit course incorporates the American Red Cross’ online disaster training modules, which, once completed, allow Shenandoah program graduates to volunteer their services in disaster situations. Shenandoah’s course has also provided inspiration for the American Red Cross at the national level to adopt a similar approach to teaching the Red Cross content in nursing programs across the United States. In the of the earliest days of development, Janice Smith established the course and Edie McGoff was part of it. Eid-Heberle began overseeing the class at Scholar Plaza in 2012. The course runs concurrently with the students’ community health course content at both sites.
Along with American Red Cross training, the course includes Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) classes, simulation exercises (including an interprofessional disaster drill including physical therapy, occupational therapy, athletic training and conservatory acting students, with the latter performing as patients), and instruction on triage, decontamination, patient surge, and disaster planning. Nurses who complete the course learn how to evacuate bed-confined patients from upper floors, for example, and how individuals can be cared for in makeshift situations. They also receive “Stop the Bleed” training, and additionally, naloxone administration training has started since disaster victims/clients can overdose on drugs in a shelter, Smith and Eid-Heberle said.
Smith, who is a former emergency department nurse, has a dozen years of service with the American Red Cross. Eid-Heberle, who is a former critical care and emergency department nurse, has volunteered with the organization for 35 years. They are tireless advocates for emergency preparedness and disaster training education for nurses. Nurse educators have a professional responsibility to provide well-trained nurses (nurses make up the largest proportion of healthcare professionals) for disaster response, Smith said. She added that she always reminds students that Winchester had an anthrax case in the early 2000s, when public officials were targeted with anthrax sent through the mail (the patient, a Winchester resident, worked at a Washington, D.C.-area mail facility). Disasters are ongoing events, not only regionally and nationally, but also globally.
Both Smith and Eid-Heberle said they are deeply thankful for this special American Red Cross honor; it was quite a surprise for both of them. They added that they offer the course because of their passion for emergency preparedness and disaster response. Since the course’s inception, Shenandoah University has educated more than 1,500 nurses-to-be in the subject. And there are no plans to change the curriculum as Smith and Eid-Heberle continue to teach and write articles about both the course and teaching the subject, as well as participate in webinars to encourage other schools to offer such a course.
Nurse Hero Edie McGoff
McGoff has spent 45 years as an emergency department nurse and nurse director in Virginia and West Virginia. She joined the West Virginia Air National Guard in 1989. Deployments have included Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Operation Joint Guardian (Macedonia), and Operation Iraqi Freedom. She retired from the military after 20 years of service.
Since her retirement from the clinical practice setting, she has supported the school of nursing at Shenandoah as an adjunct faculty member, educating future nurses.
She has been an American Red Cross Nurse since 1972. She started out with Disaster Preparedness in Pennsylvania. Over the years, she has presented the American Red Cross Pillowcase Project, which is an hour-long program that educates third-to-fifth-grade students about personal and family emergency preparedness, local hazards and coping skills. She provides assistance for American Red Cross Reconnection Workshops, in which social workers and therapists help military members and veterans and their families adjust again to civilian life.
She is part of the American Red Cross Services to the Armed Forces group. In addition, she provides leadership to annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies of celebration and remembrance hosted by the American Red Cross of Central and Shenandoah Virginia at the Winchester National Cemetery in Winchester, Virginia. Edie also serves the veteran community on Honor Flights to Washington, D.C. and also serves as parish nurse.
McGoff said of her American Red Cross service, “I’ve done it for so many years, I never even thought about awards. I just do it because it’s the right thing to do.” Nonetheless, the award left her awed and humbled, she said.
Congratulations to our 2019 Celebration of Heroes award recipients and thank you to our sponsors for your efforts to support our mission and this event. Sponsors: CBS19 News: Charlottesville News First, R. E. Lee Companies, WorldStrides, Northrop Grumman Corporation, AG Dillard Inc., Lumos Networks, MichieHamlett Attorneys at Law, Paul Davis Restoration and Remodeling of Suburban Virginia, Perrigo Company Charitable Foundation, Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, Wealth Wilkinson Management and Woodard Properties
Posted by American Red Cross Virginia Region on Thursday, May 2, 2019