Agnes Cho, a nursing major from Yonkers, Westchester County, New York, has been named a 2018 Falvey Scholar. Cho’s project “Unintentional Gun Violence by Toddlers & Pediatric Nurse Practitioners’ Preventative Measures” addresses the ability of nurses to prevent tragic gun accidents in homes with young children. “I think that asking questions, first of all, is the most important part,” Cho quipped during an interview with Falvey, “And if you’re curious enough, the answers will come.”
During the course of our interview, Cho credited Honors Program Director Dr. Thomas Smith and her mentor Dr. Elizabeth Burgess Dowdell with inspiring her work. She also stressed the importance of finding a mentor in studies generally. You will find further excerpts from that interview below.
William Repetto: What brought you from New York down here to Villanova?
Agnes Cho: That’s actually a funny story. I had it added to my list by my guidance counselor and I hadn’t known about it and she knew that I was interested in nursing programs, so she put it on my list. And after that, I started digging and I visited this school. After that, I really liked the feel of the campus—I guess just the cohesiveness of everyone kind of coming together. So I decided to come here.
WR: If you were to put the conclusions that you came to in your project for people who maybe aren’t nurses, how would you say it?
AC: Well, so far, the advanced practice registered nurses are doing a great job at screening and assessing, but the problem is that there aren’t standardized assessment tools; there are no official guidelines. There’s kind of very, very general goals and objectives in terms of trying to promote more safety, but there isn’t a specific nursing tool. And similarly, once families are identified who maybe don’t know as much about safe gun storage in the home, there isn’t really a resource or formal teaching plan to provide those families either.
I guess the main takeaway is that the APRN’s advanced practice nurses are doing a great job on their own, but they’re doing so without official resources. It would be great if we could make those standardized and provide those resources in the future.
WR: Does your project propose a solution for this lack of assessment? Did you develop your own tool?
AC: No, my project was more asking about what is being done right now, so the nursing processes I remember: ADPIE – Assess, Diagnose, Plan, Implement, and Evaluate – the first step of that is to Assess. Because there’s not that much literature out there, I wanted to see what was being done before we decided to implement new changes. Mine was just the “A” piece of the process.
WR: It sounds like this project took shape over a long period of time. Did you enjoy writing all of it? It also sounds very humanistic. Was there an element of philosophy to your project?
AC: So I guess my love of writing kind of grew, and in high school, I remember never having the privilege of taking a philosophy course, but the way I asked my questions and placed importance more so on the questions than the answers made me think in a philosophical way even if I didn’t know that’s what I was doing. So when I got to college and I discovered there was a word for it, I realized this was my other passion.
I wanted to be a nursing major because throughout my childhood and my education, I’ve always loved science, and I really believe in using knowledge to make the surroundings of other people better, so I think there are many ways people can do that, but for me, I found nursing to be a noble way to bring science, knowledge, and just that very, very basic human-to-human contact together.
WR: Do you see this work as fitting in with your career path? What’s next for you?
AC: Yes. I’m going to take the nursing boards, which are called the NCLEX and after that I’ll be board-certified and able to practice. I would love to practice in a heart-vascular intensive care unit, so I’m looking for jobs doing that, and I think that’s what’s next for me.
Article and photos by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.
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