Trainee Projects

Current Trainee Projects

Project Title Biomechanics of Back Injuries in Nursing
Trainee Michael Callihan
Summary This project is exploring risk factors associated with biomechanics of back injuries in nurses. Currently Mr. Callihan is doing 3D motion capture and EMG studies on nursing students and EMTs to determine joint angles and muscle activation during several lifting and moving tasks. His goal is to identify areas of weakness that can be improved upon with proper training.
Project Title Are Long Shifts Causing Nurse Burnout and Depression Causing Nursing Errors and Patient Dissatisfaction in the Workplace?
Trainee Ashley Ziegler
Summary This new OEHN trainee’s project will focus on analyzing if nurses working long hours experience higher rates of burnout and depression both of which in return can lead to workplace errors and a decrease of overall patient care satisfaction. The project will also focus on the risk factors that are associated with the two related disorders.
Project Title Intimate Partner Violence in long-haul truck driving teams
Trainee Kimberly Bourne
Summary This research will look at workplace sexual violence (harassment, sexual assault and intimate partner violence) in female long-haul truck drivers.  I will explore how background variables (age, race, marital status, income, prior experience with sexual violence), social and work variables (driving status, company reporting policies, cultural views of women within the industry), and psychosocial variables (support systems, coping styles, tolerance levels, female drivers’ perceptions of violence) affect the incidence of workplace sexual violence. I am also looking at the physical and psychological consequences of workplace sexual violence in this same population.

OEHN Past Trainee Projects

Project Title Effects of obesity on the work and safety of farmers
Trainee Sharon Hunsucker (Graduated with Ph.D., Spring 2016)
Summary This project describes the relationship between obesity and work ability, work productivity, and work-related injuries in farmers.  The project team will conduct anthropometric measurements and administer the work ability index (WAI) survey and work limitations questionnaire (WLQ) among farmers attending the National Farm Machinery Show, North American Livestock Expo, and other events (n > 394). The WAI and WLQ were developed by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and Tufts Medical Center, respectively, and have established reliability.
Project Title Tobacco Use Workplace Policies in Kentucky Manufacturing Facilities
Trainee Kacy Allen-Bryant (Continuing work on Ph.D.)
Summary The objectives of this secondary data analysis from the study entitled Community Partnerships for Tobacco Use, Prevention & Control are to: 1) examine the presence of tobacco use-related workplace policies in Kentucky manufacturing facilities and changes in these policies over time; and 2) examine the factors associated with the presence of tobacco use-related workplace policies. These factors include county-level middle and high school tobacco-free policies, population size, income, education, adult smoking rates, and pounds of tobacco produced.
Project Title Predictors of Psychological Well-Being in African-American Registered Nurses
Trainee Arica Brandford (Continuing work on Ph.D.)
Summary This research will focus on reducing health disparities in the African American community through diversification of the health care workforce.  Nurses comprise the largest proportion of the health care workforce, and modifying the demographic composition of registered nurses by focusing on retention of qualified and diverse registered nurses has the potential to reduce health inequities. Nursing is a highly stressful, demanding, and taxing profession and increased job stress is linked to poor psychological health outcomes. In addition to the inherent stress of being a nurse, African-American registered nurses may experience bias and discrimination in the workplace that may create additional stressors. The goals of this study are, using a web based survey of nurses recruited from the National Black Nurses Association, (1) evaluate the mental health of African-American registered nurses, and (2) identify predictors of psychological well-being in African-American registered nurses.  Such data will bring together important themes, highlighting and synthesizing the complex relationship between stress, discrimination, its impact on psychological well-being and its effect on retention of a diverse registered nurse workforce.


Trainee Publications

Warshawsky, N., Brandford, A., Barnum, N., & Westneat, S. (2015). Achieving 80% BSN by 2020: Lessons Learned from Kentucky. Journal of Nursing Administration 45 (9), 449-456.

Abell, C.H., Evans, C., Alexander, L., Bourne, K., Jones, M.S. (in press). A unique clinical experience for RN to BSN students: Providing farm safety education. Journal of Nursing Education.

Bourne, K. (2015). Mine workers, heat related illnesses, and the role of the occupational health nurse. KY Nurse, 63(3), 6-7.

Shojaei, I., Allen-Bryant, K., & Bazrgari, B. (in print). Viscoelastic response of the human lower back to passive flexion: The effects of age. Annals of Biomedical Engineering. doi: 10.1007/s10439-016-1569-7

Allen-Bryant, K.T. (2013, February). Putting wellness into occupational safety and health. Annual Worksite Wellness Conference, Lexington, KY.

Reed, D.B., Allen-Bryant, K., & Hunsucker, S. (2014). Worker demographics and implications for the OEHN. In Moore, R., & Moore, P.V. Core Curriculum for Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing. Pensacola, FL: AAOHN.

Warshawsky, N., Lake, S., & Brandford, A. (2013). Nurse Managers and their Practice Environments. Nursing Administration Quarterly (37)4: 317-325. doi: 10.1097/NAQ.0b013e3182a2f9c3. 

Brandford, AA., Reed, DB. Depression in Registered Nurses: A State of the Science (2016) Workplace Health and Safety 64 (10) 488-511.


Trainee Presentations

Bourne, K. (Nov 2015).  “Behind Closed Curtains on Eighteen Wheels: The Risks Factors and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence in Female Long-Haul Truck Drivers.  Poster presentation at the Sigma Theta Tau International, Biennial Convention, Las Vegas, Nevada

Bourne, K. (March 2016).  “Hidden Behind a 53 Foot Trailer: Are Women Truck Drivers at Risk for Sexual Assault?”  Poster presentation at the Ending Violence against Women International (2016 International Conference), Washington, DC.

Bourne, K. (May 2016) “A Unique Clinical Experience Increases RN to BSN Students’ Knowledge about Farm Safety” Poster presentation at the  Kentucky League for Nurses 12th Annual Nurse Educator Conference, Louisville, Kentucky

Bourne, K. (May 2016) “Truck Drivers: The Challenge with Healthy Living” Oral presentation at the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) Chapter meeting, Bowling Green, KY.

Bourne, K. (April 2016) “Workplace Sexual Violence in Female Truck Drivers: A Conceptual Framework to Look at the Problem” Poster presentation at the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN) 2016 National Conference, Jacksonville, FL.

Bourne, K. (April 2016) “Developing a Workplace Sexual Violence Framework Related to Women Truck Drivers” Oral Presentation at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.

Bourne, K. guest lecturer in a Knowledge Development class presenting “Developing a Workplace Sexual Violence Framework Related to Women Truck Drivers”.

Callihan, M. (April 2016).  “Getting to the core of back injury prevention in nurses”.  Presented as a 90-minute concurrent session oral presentation at the AAOHN (American Association of Occupational Health Nurses) National Conference April 11-14, 2016, Jacksonville, FL.

Callihan, M. (August 2016).  “Who Takes Care of Us” Oral presentation at the Kentucky ENA (Emergency Nurses Association) conference in August 18-19 2016.

Allen-Bryant, K. (Nov 2015) Total Worker Health: The role of nurses in improving the health of workers. Poster presentation. University of Kentucky Annual Nursing Research Papers Day. Lexington, KY.

Brandford, A. (2015, March). Depression in Registered Nurses:  Current State of the Science. Poster presentation at the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Annual Conference, Boston, MA.  2nd place poster award.

Brandford, A. (pending July 2015). Revisiting Access to Care as a Barrier to Mammography Uptake in the Era of the Affordable Care Act: Poster Presentation at the Sigma Theta Tau International Research.  

Brandford, A. (2013, October). Future of Nursing: Transforming Education. Podium presentation at the biannual Jonas Nurse Leader Scholarship Conference, Washington, DC 

Brandford, A. (2014, April). The Current State of Kentucky’s Registered Nurse Workforce: Poster Presentation at the University of Kentucky Student Scholarship Showcase 

Brandford, A. (2014, May). Findings from a Recent Kentucky RN Capacity Survey. Podium Presentation at the 10th Annual Faculty Development Workshop, University of Kentucky. 


Trainee awards

Callihan, M. received a $3000 AAOHN 2016 New Investigator Research Grant award sponsored by Medique Products.   He will be recognized during the AAOHN Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, at the AAOHN National Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Kimberly Bourne was nominated for Sigma Theta Tau Mentorship award

Michael Callihan was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau International, April 2016.

Arica Brandford received 2 awards:  National Elizabeth Carnegie Scholar (2014-2015); University of Kentucky Graduate School Academic Fellow (2014-2015)

Sharon Hunsucker – first OEHN PhD graduate