Fulfilling A Need — UMMC School of Nursing student’s project benefits children’s hospital

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, June 30, 2013

While completing her clinical hours in the Batson Children’s Hospital Emergency Department, University of Mississippi Medical Center student Maranda Jordan saw a need.

Parents were reporting that their children were hot and when asked about their temperature, most could not give an answer. Jordan said that parents could be in danger of overmedicating or under medicating their children because a fever could not be determined, even though nurses educate them on which medications to use based on the child’s weight. She knew something had to be done.

“We saw a lot of parents that came in that didn’t have them (thermometers),” said Jordan.

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The Brookhaven native confided in a nurse in the emergency department, Darrah Wyatt, about the issue and with Wyatt’s encouragement, decided to head up a thermometer drive for the department. This way, parents could know whether their child was feverish or not.

After writing her proposal and getting it approved by the dean of the School of Nursing, Jordan solicited help for the drive. A fellow Brookhaven native and junior BSN student, Olivia Oberschmidt, helped her design the T-shirts to be sold – the proceeds going to buy thermometers. Oberschmidt came up with the theme, “Keep Our Kids Cool.” Jordan designed the graphic on the back and T-shirts and tank tops were sold all over the medical center’s campus and even in Brookhaven.

A collection bucket was put in the School of Nursing and Jordan suggested that people could also donate thermometers. Some gave gifts cards and outside donations were received. Jordan’s goal for the School of Nursing was to be able to purchase 250 thermometers.

May ended the T-shirt sales, which began in April – the total proceeds coming to over $800. Also, Jordan’s senior class donated $250 to buy more thermometers. Because of Jordan’s efforts, the Batson Children’s Hospital Emergency Department received over 1,000 thermometers to hand out to parents in need of them.

“I’m glad we could make a difference and it wasn’t just me – it was the whole School of Nursing and the hospital,” said Jordan. “We couldn’t have done it without the people who bought T-shirts and gave,” she added.

The drive is not closed. People can still give to the cause. Next year, however, Oberschmidt and fellow student, Emileigh Seal, will continue the drive.

“We’re hoping to make this an annual thing,” said Jordan.

She will still oversee the drive from her new position at Batson Children’s Hospital Emergency Department. Jordan passed the required boards this summer and has joined the department team.

Jordan and two of her former instructors plan to take the thermometer drive a step further and turn it into a research project, so that they can show the need for thermometers and possibly receive a grant for funding.

Jordan said her ultimate goal was to try to better the lives of the children in Mississippi. For her efforts, she received the Exemplary Leadership in Service Award and the Trustmark National Bank Scholarship. She was also recognized as a member of the Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau.

Now that parents have access to thermometers, the nurses in the children’s emergency department will present the devices to parents in need of one, with instruction on how to use it.

Batson Children’s Hospital recently gained an exemplary employee – a young woman who sees a need and finds and facilitates a way to fulfill it.