Partnership with Slovenian University Sends Two Abroad

July 5, 2019

St. John Fisher College professors Dr. Lori Dambaugh and Tara Sacco recently traveled to Slovenia to meet with faculty members from the University of Maribor Faculty of Health Sciences, thanks to a partnership between the central European university and the Wegmans School of Nursing.

Tara Sacco and Lori Dambaugh demonstrate the health assessment process.

Tara Sacco and Lori Dambaugh demonstrate the health assessment process.

This summer’s trip is the second time Dambaugh and Sacco have traveled to the University of Maribor to deliver workshops on how nursing health assessment, a skill not widely performed by nurses in the many European countries, is taught and performed in the United States.

“The University of Maribor would like to include this information in their curriculum. This would mean not only including this in training, but also a shift in the way that nursing is practiced,” Dambaugh said.

Each time the pair has visited, Erasmus+, a program through the European Union that supports education, training, youth, and sport, and sponsors study, training, and volunteerism abroad, has provided a faculty exchange grant to fund the trip.

“We really appreciate the opportunity to network with nursing faculty and leaders around the world,” Dambaugh said. “We learn so much from them each time we travel, the exchange of ideas is so important to our profession.”

As certified adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialists, Dambaugh and Sacco are advanced practice nurses who trained in advanced health assessment at the graduate level, and bring bedside clinical experiences to the subject, as well. Both Dambaugh and Sacco supervise students honing their health assessment skills in and outside of the classroom as well.

During their time with Maribor faculty, Dambaugh and Sacco presented on focused assessments, which are done to examine a patient who presents with a specific complaint. “The body systems we discussed were neurologic, cardiac, pulmonary, abdominal, and renal/genitourinary. We did include a review of different assessment techniques,” said Sacco.

While there, Dambaugh and Sacco also presented at the 26th International Scientific Conference, “Research and Education in Nursing.” Sacco discussed portions of her dissertation work, “Compassion Satisfaction in Nursing: A Concept Analysis,” and Dambaugh presented a talk, “Literature Review: Comparison of Efficacy and Safety of Direct Acting Oral Anticoagulants vs. Warfarin: Implications for Nursing Practice.”

“On this trip we were able to network with not only colleagues form the University of Maribor Faculty of Health Sciences, but also from Waterford Institute of Technology, American University of Beruit, Staffordshire University, University of Edinburgh, Hangzhou Normal University, among others,” Sacco said. “We are hoping to collaborate this summer and fall on a systematic review about the benefits of nursing health assessment and other publications.”

Sacco and Dambaugh, who delivered a talk on the new Golisano Institute for Developmental Disability Nursing earlier in the visit, also had the opportunity to visit a facility for the intellectual and developmentally disabled, which operates as both a school and home for individuals.

“The facilities included a working farm, small zoo, and stables for equine therapy. We had the opportunity to tour with the head teacher and nurse, and learned about the differences in care provided between the U.S. and Slovenia,” said Dambaugh. “We look forward to partnering with them and learning from their very innovative model of care.”