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UMFK nursing professor Jenny Radsma presented at conference in Edmonton, Alberta

April 28, 2006

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University of Maine at Fort Kent associate professor of nursing, Dr. Jenny Radsma presented at the 12th Annual Qualitative Health Research Conference, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on April 5.

The theme of this international and interdisciplinary conference was Understanding Differing Perspectives in Health and Health Care.

The title of Radsma's presentation was Counteracting Ambivalence: Of Nurses and Smoking.:

Radsma's interest nurses and their tobacco use stems from the fact that up to18% of nurses continue to smoke, despite their knowledge, clinical experience, and an avalanche of evidence related to the adverse health effects from tobacco use.

"Nurses who smoke are more likely to underestimate the risks from smoking, and are less likely to intervene with and assist patients to quit smoking." said Radsma.

As part of her research, 18 nurses who smoked, and 5 who had quit smoking were interviewed to explore how nurses who smoke approach the health promotion needs of patients who smoke.

The study findings revealed that nurses' ambivalence about their smoking influenced the interactions and health teaching with patients who smoked.

The findings from this study have implications for enhancing the knowledge and evidence-based skills of nurses who smoke to intervene more effectively with patients who smoke. Moreover, strategies to promote and support nurses and nursing students to quit smoking also require consideration.

All presentations during the conference were made by world-class qualitative researchers and included panel discussions, keynote addresses, and concurrent sessions.

The purpose of the conference was to explore the voice of marginalized and vulnerable populations, to challenge the status quo, and to uncover new solutions to issues in health and health care

Radsma joined UMFK's nursing faculty in 1997.

Throughout her tenure at UMFK, Radsma has maintained a varied teaching load consisting of instructional, clinical, and laboratory instruction for freshmen, sophomore, junior, senior and distance education students enrolled in the registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program.

The classes she has taught range from introductory to advanced, including courses to promote personal health and wellness and promoting healthy communities course offerings. In addition to teaching in the regular classroom and clinical settings, Radsma has also offered courses over interactive television (ITV), compressed video, and online courses via the Internet.

She was instrumental in developing the program evaluation plan for the division of nursing in 2001, and was an active participant in the development of the self-study for the Fall 2002 national accreditation with the Commission for Colleges of Nursing Education.

Radsma was awarded promotion and tenure in the spring of 2003.

She received her masters in nursing from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, and her bachelor of science in nursing at the University of Lethbridge, in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.

In 2005, Radsma earned her Ph.D. in nursing at Barry University in Miami, Florida.

The UMFK nursing professor has been an active member of the St. John Valley PATCH (Planned Approach to Community Health) group, and the community health council for Partnership for Tobacco Free Maine.

She currently offers counseling to staff and students on campus seeking assistance to quit smoking.