School of Nursing graduates from Chaminade University presented three, year-long projects on mental illness issues at the sixth annual Pacific Regional Behavioral Health Summit.
Held in September at Tripler Army Medical Center, the summit brought together clinicians, researchers, policymakers, clergy, artists, community leaders and professors to discuss a broad range of evidence-based care for active duty military personnel, veterans and their families.
“Participating in this summit brings attention to the quality of work expected of our nursing students,” according to Associate Professor Julie Elting, the school’s Clinical Facilities Coordinator.
“This demonstrates Chaminade’s commitment to providing health education for our community partners and their populations,” she added, while giving graduates an opportunity to meet other medical professionals from Hawaii and the Pacific region.
Among the summit attendees was Mark Kawasaki ‘17, who presented on the topic of “Best Practice for Dual Diagnosis Patients.” Working with him on the project were classmates Charles Cutaran, Theresa Cameron and Hui Tsuji.
Chaminade graduates also submitted posters on “Effective Coping Strategies for Adolescents” and “Telehealth for Mental Illness and Crisis Management.”
Kawasaki and his group focused on Po`ailani Inc., a nonprofit organization in Kailua that treats patients suffering from a combination of mental illness and drug addiction.
“The staff at Po`ailani noticed that there had been an increase in the prescription of a certain antipsychotic medication among their patients called Clozaril, and they wanted to know the reason for that,” Kawasaki explained.
To answer that question, the nursing students gathered information on Clozaril from peer-reviewed journals and online resources. They also researched the best ways to care for dual-diagnosis patients.
“Without this type of research, the standards of nursing would stagnate and we would not progress or grow as a profession,” Kawasaki said. “New information is being released constantly. So, as a nurse, you have to keep up.”
Kawasaki, who’s studying for the National Council Licensure Examination in November, plans to work with youth afflicted by mental illness.
Chaminade’s School of Nursing is a four-year, full-time undergraduate program that offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. The unique program immerses students in nursing preparation with educational curriculum, human-patient simulations, community outreach projects, and service-learning and supervised clinical experiences. The curriculum for our undergraduate program is consistent with the Baccalaureate Essentials of Nursing produced by the American Association of Collegiate Nursing. The nursing program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.