Melinda Thompson entered the medical field 22 years ago as a transcriptionist and part-time certified nursing assistant. Now a senior in MSUM’s nursing baccalaureate program, Thompson earned the Student Leadership Award, which covered the cost of attending the National Gerontological Nursing Association Convention in Louisville, Ky.
The Student Leadership Award, a scholarship awarded to two students nationwide, is given to exceptional graduate and undergraduate students in an accredited nursing program. The application required a statement of educational and professional goals of the student and what he or she hopes to contribute to the care of older adults, as well as a letter of recommendation from a faculty member.
Thompson cites professors Terry Dobmeier and Vicki Teske as some of her most influential guides in her experience as a nursing student.
“(Terry Dobmeier) has been invaluable in her guidance and knowledge. I have also taken several classes from Vicki Teske, and I will always be thankful for her teaching style as I have learned so much from her,” Thompson said.
The conference, held Oct.13-16, hosted sessions that covered a variety of topics involved in the care of older patients, including “End of Life Conversations with Older Adults,” “Predictors of Post-Operative Delirium in Geriatric Patients Undergoing Hip Surgery” and “Detection, Early Management, and Prevention of Urinary Tract Infections in Older Adults.”
Described as a hard-working, dedicated and motivated student by Dobmeier, Thompson’s diligence and knowledge in her field is made evident by her eloquence and clear focus on her goals.
“I want to base my care on the best evidence available while taking a holistic approach to provide patient-centered and culturally appropriate care to improve quality of life for all of my patients,” Thompson said.
In her free time, Thompson enjoys spending time with her family, going to the lake, four-wheeling and snowmobiling.
BY MAUREEN MCMULLEN