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“Mini Stroke” Led Student to Nursing

January 2018

Megan Parr

College of Nursing graduate Megan Parr was born with a hole between the top two chambers of her heart, which disrupted the normal flow of blood to her body.

“My freshman year I had a transient ischemic attack, which is like a mini version of a stroke,” says Parr. “The nurses who took care of me at the hospital were fantastic. They inspired me to study nursing.”

Parr changed her major as soon as she left the hospital. After being accepted into the nursing program, she was asked by one of her nursing professors, Blaine Winters, to join his research team, which was looking at ways to prevent elderly people from falling. At the time, Parr was working in a nursing home and knew that falls were a serious problem. She realized that there was a lack of fall-prevention training for dietitians, housekeepers, and other non-nursing staff. This became the focus of their research.

Now a nurse in a Utah hospital, Parr is still motivated by her experiences as a patient and a student. “Doing research really enhanced my education and helped me realize the importance of an evidence-based practice,” says Parr. “It put me a step ahead.”

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