Tiffany Epps

The Ohio State University
College of Nursing at The Ohio State University

Spring 2016

“I learned about a number of programs offered through the Ohio Department of Aging that I will recommend and discuss with patients regardless of where I practice.”

In my last semester as a Nurse Practitioner student, I completed seven weeks in an outpatient neurology clinic. The majority of hours were completed in the neurology clinic and where I completed the internship project. The second seven weeks were in home health care. Both placements were set through the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University.

For my project, I researched sleep disorders among the multiple sclerosis (MS) population. It was meant to be educational to health care providers and show that sleep disorders are more prevalent, yet underdiagnosed among MS patients. Sleep disorders that go untreated can lead to more health problems. I recommended a six question screening tool to be administered every year and when someone is diagnosed with MS. The neurology clinic was interested in this topic because MS is a neurology disorder treated in the clinic. It reinforced patient centered care and quality of life, which are two fundamental concepts in health care. The biggest challenge I faced was determining what recommendations to make to the clinic. The next step, I would trial the screening tool in a clinical setting to assess if screening improved or not.

I am very happy that I participated in the Ohio Scholars in Aging program and hope more people in the health care field get involved. I learned about a number of programs offered through the Ohio Department of Aging that I will recommend and discuss with patients regardless of where I practice. Steady U, Healthy U and nutrition programs are a few of the programs I discussed with patients in home health care. I plan to apply for an NP job in a long term care setting. I will reach out to family members and caregivers to assist and make them aware of resources through the Department of Aging.