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Melissa Straub '12
2011-2012 Honors Student

Melissa StraubName:  Melissa Straub '12
Honors in: Nursing
Hometown: Easton, PA
Major: Nursing

Title of project: Nurse Practitioner Management vs. Traditional Management of Pediatric Asthma on Specific Outcomes in the Primary Care Setting: A Comparative Study

Project advisors: Dr. Michele August-Brady and Dr. Susan Scholtz

Abstract or brief description: The purpose of this study is to assess the differences between two strategies in the management of pediatric asthma in the primary care setting in 2010. One pediatric clinic utilizes a nurse practitioner model of care that emphasizes holistic management of pediatric asthma as outlined by the NAEPP- EPR3 (NHLBI, 2007) guidelines. The second clinic utilizes a traditional model of care and does not follow standardized guidelines, adding to treatment variability. A convenience sample (N=121) was utilized.

The following outcomes were measured between sites: (a) emergency department (ED) visits; (b) hospitalizations; and (c) oral steroid use. There was a significantly increased number of ED visits in the clinic utilizing the traditional model of care. Although not significant, the clinic site utilizing the nurse practitioner model of care had 3 percent hospitalizations and 31 percent oral steroid use. The clinic site utilizing the traditional model of care had 8 percent hospitalizations and 28 percent oral steroid use. Additional research needs to be done to further explore the value of a nurse practitioner educative model care used in the management of pediatric asthma.

How did you get interested in your topic? I became interested through collaboration with nursing professors.

Do you intend to research your topic further? If so, how? I will use the skills developed through this Honors process in future research projects.

How did you benefit academically by conducting research/participating in honors? I'm proud to be graduating with honors.

How has the department (or faculty advisor) prepared you for the future? The nursing department has helped me develop confidence both personally and professionally.

What advice do you have for other students interested in Honors? All the hard work will pay off in the end. Do it!

My future plans: I would like to work as a nurse in critical care. Eventually, I would like to further my nursing education and become a nurse practitioner.