MONT ALTO, Pa. ― On May 28, Penn State Mont Alto College of Nursing students Kaylee Read and Katherine "Katy" Grimm presented research to members of the Waynesboro Hospital Board comparing the health outcomes of hospitalized patients who share rooms with those who have private rooms.
“As it turns out, Summit Health, the parent organization of Waynesboro Hospital, has been discussing whether to have single rooms in their new cancer unit,” said Penn State Mont Alto Chancellor Francis K. Achampong, who is also a member of the board. “The head of oncology was present and naturally, he asked how their findings would be relevant to his chemotherapy unit.”
Read and Grimm had previously presented their research in April, during Penn State Mont Alto’s annual Academic Festival, which included 43 student projects — undergraduate research-based posters, information exhibits, and oral presentations — as well as 40 individual works of art.
Achampong noticed the student’s poster as he walked through the exhibit hall during the festival.
“Being a member of the Waynesboro Hospital Board, I thought they would be interested in hearing from the students, so I asked and got them on the agenda,” he said.
Read and Grimm presented summaries of relevant refereed journal articles and then shared their own findings and conclusions, according to Achampong.
“Our research suggests that single rooms are more beneficial … I chose this topic to learn more about how hospital layout could impact the patient experience,” said Grimm.
While completing clinicals at the Waynesboro Hospital as part of earning her nursing degree, Grimm noticed that most patients were in a shared room and wondered if that is the best practice.
“This research project was an opportunity to learn more about this matter,” said Grimm.
The students were not only pleased for the opportunity to present their research but also to provide information that could help the board make good decisions for patient care.
“When Kaylee and I presented to the board, I felt as if our hard work during the semester was paying off. It was a great experience as a student to be able to share our findings with the hospital board,” said Grimm.
“They [Read and Grimm] were very professional, confident, articulate, answered questions and handled themselves very well,” said Achampong.