For the second year in a row, Project Access Northwest has partnered with Seattle University as a clinical rotation for three Doctorate of Nursing Practice students.

Our terrific team this year consisted of: Cordelia Cochran, who is pursuing a psychiatry track; Emilie Moser, who is currently on a gerontology track; and Marie Roderick, who is pursuing family nursing practice.

Curriculum covered new specialty each week

These exceptional students came to our offices every Wednesday during their quarter and learned about a different specialty each time. Their curriculum included information and training about the specialty, what we typically see in regard to the specialty, what typical patient charts look like, what things they should watch for in each specialty and how that specialty is impacted by a diabetes diagnosis. Then, each student would be given approximately five referrals to work on — some that had been reviewed by our RNs already and some where the students would be the initial review.

In addition to entering relevant information to the case, the nursing students were also tracking social determinants of health, Body Mass Index, A1C levels, lipids and other relevant information. This allowed them to work through referrals while also catching underlying issues and increasing their ability to see the patient as a whole rather than a referral for a specific issue.

Once the referrals were “scrubbed” or reviewed, the students charted their findings into our database and recorded the patient’s insurance status. Once that work was complete, they worked on additional referrals that were of particular interest to them, regardless of specialty.

I learned so much about what needs to go into a proper referral. And even more, I learned why patients are not compliant and some of the resources that are available.

—Emilie Moser

Our staff nurses took turns as teachers

Each of our wonderful RNs on staff took half of the specialties and came into the office on rotating weeks to work with our students and share their knowledge and expertise. We even had our amazing volunteer, Kelly Hanrahan, MD, teaching the gynecology/urology/uro-gynecology class. Molly James, our care coordination manager, oversaw the students and the program.

Gaining a better understanding of patients and their challenges

The wonderful part of this quarter is reflected by the students when they talk about the program.

Emilie shared, “I learned so much about what needs to go into a proper referral. And even more, I learned why patients are not compliant and some of the resources that are available.”

In addition to the important experience they gained here, our students left with a greater understanding of the work we are doing at Project Access Northwest and our role in the safety net.

Cordelia shared, “I appreciate knowing that Project Access Northwest exists and how important it is. To know a place like this is right here in our community is wonderful.”

We are grateful to them for their work and time with us — and we can’t wait to welcome a new group in 2020.