UTEP School of Nursing Faculty Awarded Grant to Study Trauma-Informed Care in El Paso
Last Updated on September 18, 2020 at 12:00 AM
Originally published September 18, 2020
By Laura L. Acosta
Melissa Wholeben, Ph.D., assistant professor of nursing at The University of Texas at El Paso, has been awarded $15,000 from the Society of Trauma Nurses to enhance the quality of trauma care in the U.S.-Mexico border region.
Using pre- and post-surveys, Wholeben will evaluate the knowledge and attitudes of trauma-informed care among health care providers and nursing and paramedic students to identify best practices in El Paso.
The goal of the yearlong project is for health care professionals and health care students to collaborate and provide a safe environment for trauma patients in order to prevent them from becoming re-traumatized during their recovery process, Wholeben said.
“Information gained from this study will be useful at both the local and national levels,” said Wholeben, a certified nurse educator (CNE). “This type of care will promote continuity from the initial injury and event through recovery and into restoration of safety and empowerment for the trauma patient.”
Findings may also influence trauma-informed education at schools of nursing, social work, and emergency medical services.
Collaborators include the El Paso Child Guidance Center, the UTEP Department of Psychology, University Medical Center, the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence and students from the UTEP School of Nursing and El Paso Community College’s paramedic program.
“A traumatic event can impact every aspect of a person’s health and well-being; therefore, it is essential for health care providers to incorporate trauma-informed care into their practice,” said UTEP School of Nursing Dean Leslie K. Robbins, Ph.D. “As a practicing nurse and nurse educator, Dr. Wholeben has the knowledge and expertise to advance trauma-informed care in the region. We look forward to the impact her research will have on nursing education.”
Wholeben joined the UTEP School of Nursing’s simulation team in 2007. She was director of the RN to BSN program from 2015 to 2020. Wholeben previously served as a nursing/paramedic faculty member at El Paso Community College and Anamarc College. She holds a bachelor’s in nursing degree from UTEP, a Master of Science in Nursing degree from The University of Texas at Tyler and a Ph.D. in Nursing from New Mexico State University. She earned an associate degree in health occupations from El Paso Community College.