U of A Nursing Student Wendy Hart Gives Heart Patients a Helping Hand

A nurse with heart: Wendy Hart poses with one of the bathroom scales she recently presented to patients.
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A nurse with heart: Wendy Hart poses with one of the bathroom scales she recently presented to patients.

Wendy Hart, a Doctor of Nursing Practice student in the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing at the University of Arkansas, recently used a $500 grant to purchase equipment for patients with heart failure issues.

She received the money as part of her final doctoral project, which involved working with a dozen local patients at Northwest Medical Center's heart center in Springdale.

Hart purchased weight scales and blood pressure cuffs for each of the patients who participated in the project. She's been a registered nurse for 13 years at Northwest with a primary focus on cardiovascular disease. She's currently an emergency department registered nurse and has continued to work while earning her doctorate at the U of A.

Hart graduates with fellow College of Education and Health Professions students on May 11.

Her final D.N.P. project focused on implementing a quality improvement project in the healthcare field of her choice. She worked with Dr. Michael Green at Northwest Medical Center. 

"I have always been passionate about patients in the heart failure population," Hart said. "The goal of this project was to improve self-care management and decrease unnecessary hospital readmissions. Heart failure patients require a lot of management and continuous communication with a provider to assure that they are maintaining their baseline well-being."

She said the main objectives for maintaining overall well-being include daily weight, fluid and salt management, and early recognition of worsening symptoms.

"I recognized that oftentimes a patient is unable to obtain a bathroom scale or blood pressure cuff to monitor their physiological parameters," she said. "I wanted to assure that each patient had the best chance for individual success, so I reached out to the American Heart Association local branch to see if they would assist me in the success of this project and each individual that participated."

Hart was able to purchase 12 bathroom scales and 10 blood pressure cuffs.

"Each patient was so grateful for the items that they received," she said.

Hart's final D.N.P. project chair was Anna Jarrett and her committee included Lindsey Sabatini, Jan Emory and Susan Patton, head of the university's nursing school.

Contacts

Shannon G. Magsam, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-3138, magsam@uark.edu

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