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UHV nursing graduate to give presentation at national conference

Dalphany Blalock accepts the Outstanding Graduate Student award during the December 2014 pinning ceremony for the UHV School of Nursing. Presenting the award are Kathryn Tart, dean of the UHV School of Nursing, left, and assistant clinical professor Eugenia “Ginger” Blomstrom.

For the first time ever, a University of Houston-Victoria School of Nursing alumna was chosen to give a presentation for an international nursing honor society’s convention.

Dalphany Blalock, a radiology nurse at Memorial Hermann Outpatient Imaging Center in Houston, was selected to the Rising Star of Scholarship and Research Poster Program by Sigma Theta Tau International. She will make a presentation in November in the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas at the honor society’s 43rd biennial convention.

“This is a wonderful development for Dalphany and the UHV School of Nursing,” said Kathryn Tart, dean of the UHV School of Nursing. “Her work was reviewed by a body of peers and accepted, which says a lot about Dalphany and the quality of work she did. It also reflects well on our faculty, who make sure our students do their best work.”

Blalock will give a poster presentation about her evidence-based research on the risk of falls in an outpatient imaging center. The research was part of her capstone project for her Master of Science in Nursing degree with a nursing administration track. She graduated from UHV in December.

“I got the research idea from my current workplace,” Blalock said. “We’d had some issues with patient falls. We are an outpatient center, and we did not have any policies or procedures in place to prevent those falls. I wanted to implement something that would first identify those patients who were at a higher risk for falls and then select an appropriate strategy to prevent those falls.”

She found a tool that relied on a few simple questions to gauge a patient’s fall risk. The questions ask for basic information, including if a patient has previously suffered falls, is taking any medication that might contribute to fall risk or uses walkers or canes. Based on that information, patients are assessed at a low, moderate or high risk for falling.

Blalock piloted the ranking system in her workplace, and during her trial, there were no falls at the imaging center. Ultimately, she wants to implement a policy and procedure for all of the outpatient facilities in the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System.

When Sigma Theta Tau sent out a call for student applications for evidence-based research as poster presentations at the honor society’s convention, UHV assistant clinical professor Eugenia “Ginger” Blomstrom knew Blalock’s research was the perfect choice.

“She was chosen to present her capstone research, which means her project has some of the best research submitted from around the world,” Blomstrom said. “Her work will be something other hospitals can use to reduce the risk of falls and provide patients with the best quality care available. It’s a nice feather in her cap, and it also should help recruit more students for the nursing school.”

Blalock is excited to share her research with others in the nursing profession and is grateful to the UHV faculty and staff for their guidance and assistance. Blomstrom especially was a source of motivation, encouragement and guidance.

“It’s kind of surreal but exciting,” Blalock said. “It lets me know that I’m doing something positive and making an impact. This is physical proof that I am making innovations and creating a good impact at my workplace and for others. It feels good to have achieved something of this size.”

For more information about the School of Nursing contact an advisor at www.uhv.edu/nursing or call (877) 970-4848, ext. 4370.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973, offers courses leading to 70 bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree programs and concentrations in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.