RSU Nursing Students Attend Workshop About Child Maltreatment, Domestic Abuse

large group of nursing students posing for photo

RSU’s senior nursing students recently participated in a unique simulation experience with a Jerusalem-based institute that focuses on interprofessional education and training for students who touch the lives of children.

The Haruv Institute in Israel is among the leading organizations in Jerusalem and among the leaders in the world for training and engaging in research to help children suffering from neglect and abuse.

The institute’s Oklahoma-based counterpart, Haruv USA, is at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa which brings together the expertise of international leadership and research-based educational knowledge and expertise of OU-Tulsa and the Anne and Henry Zarrow School of Social Work.

“We took more than 60 of our senior nursing students and several faculty members to Haruv USA for a day of presentations and simulations involving child maltreatment and domestic violence,” said Samantha Rhea, MSN, RN, CHSE, undergraduate program coordinator. “As nursing is an interdisciplinary practice, it’s important that the students get instruction in and exposure to potential situations they will encounter while practicing their profession in real life.”

Held at the Schusterman Center Students, the all-day experience began with informative lectures on the topic of child mistreatment.

Lectures presented included “Introduction to Child Maltreatment” by Dr. Michael A. Baxter, associate professor of pediatrics, medical director of child abuse pediatrics clinic and program director of child abuse pediatrics fellowship, OU-TU School of Community Medicine; and “Domestic Violence” (Between Partners) Through a Child’s Eyes by Jordan Gustin, vice-president of clinical services, Domestic Violence Intervention Services, and Heather Simon, an adult survivor of childhood domestic violence and a community advocate.

During the afternoon, students investigated the clinical aspect of abuse as they broke into small groups and took part in two different simulations to give them insight into potential real world experience involving child abuse and maltreatment.

 By day’s end, each of the nursing students reflected on the new insights given to them by the institute.

“Because of the subject matter we were dealing with, it was a heavy day – it hit home for several of them,” Rhea said, “but it made all of them more aware, more sensitive to child maltreatment and how to recognize and handle it when they encounter it in the real world.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Haruv,” said Kayci Akin, RSU nursing student. “I left impacted by the influential presentations, and I now understand how to access childhood abuse and domestic violence within my nursing career and just as a citizen. Haruv brought awareness to such devastating acts and taught me more than I expected.”

“It was eye-opening to have some of what was being taught to us to be local information,” said RSU nursing student Madi Bliss. “Domestic violence is a topic that hasn’t been talked about a whole lot until now and talking about it is much needed.”

“I was truly impacted by the information and testimony presented,” said Emily Thomas, RSU nursing student. “I learned a lot about child abuse and domestic violence that I didn’t know before. I believe this will truly stick with me throughout my life and career and I now have the knowledge on how to handle these situations and what recourses I can offer to my patients.”

Overall, Rhea said she was appreciative for the opportunity for nursing program students to receive valuable information and training in dealing with child maltreatment at a level they might not have otherwise.

“I’m confident that all of the students took away valuable experiences and information that will serve them – and those they serve – down the line in their careers,” she said.

Rogers State University’s Department of Health Sciences offers career opportunities in nursing, as well as pre-professional allied health occupations.

Get more information about RSU’s Nursing Program or other career paths in the university’s Department of Health and Sciences.

For more information about Haruv USA, visit