Cizik School of Nursing student leader creates COVID-19 resources
Like many nurses, Annie Steinhauser, MSN ’21, RN, PCCN, has seen the COVID-19 pandemic come full circle from when it first emerged as an unknown and frightening virus to the hopeful arrival of vaccines to curb its spread.
Steinhauser, who recently earned her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) on the Nursing Leadership and Administration track at Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth Houston, was on the frontlines at the beginning of the pandemic. She was part of the response team caring for COVID-19 patients aboard the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship that evacuated sick passengers to San Antonio in February 2020.
The knowledge she gained during that experience positioned her well to assist the Texas Nurses Association (TNA) COVID-19 task force with developing educational materials about the virus as part of her preceptorship.
“This past year, we’ve all been bombarded with information from so many different places,” said Steinhauser. “Having a nurse as your information source means you can trust what you are hearing. My experience as a nurse gives me the ability to synthesize the information and distill it into readable, easy-to-understand pieces.”
Working in collaboration with the TNA’s director of communications, Steinhauser produced several infographics addressing aspects of COVID-19, including:
- COVID-19 vaccination types (1)
Steinhauser created a helpful one-pager that offered explanations of how the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines differ.
- Proper masking (2)
Steinhauser’s infographic guided nurses on how to best educate their patients about mask-wearing.
- Mental health personal protective equipment (PPE) (3)
Nurses quickly became educated on the types of physical PPE they needed to safeguard themselves against COVID-19, but not necessarily how to protect their mental health. Steinhauser develop an infographic outlining realistic and easy selfcare measures nurses could integrate into their extremely chaotic and exhausting days.
Those infographics proved to be so helpful to nurses that Steinhauser was asked to create two more – one on COVID-19 vaccine myths and facts (4) and the other on school safety related to the pandemic (5).
“I found creating a list of COVID-19 vaccine myths easy enough because of the work I had done in vaccine clinics. I had heard almost every myth out there. Contributing a resource for nurses to help dispel myths about the vaccines to their patients, family members, and friends was gratifying.”
Of all the resources she developed, working on the infographic about school safety was the most challenging and rewarding for Steinhauser.
“Through this project, I was able to meet a school nurse who was also a member of the TNA COVID-19 task force and learn directly from her about the challenges the pandemic posed in an education setting,” said Steinhauser.
The school safety infographic is available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese. It provides tips for nurses to share with parents and students to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic safely. It highlights the importance of social distancing, handwashing, making sure students wear well-fitted masks, and keeping children at home if they are sick or showing any symptoms.
The materials Steinhauser created and other helpful resources are available for download on the TNA’s COVID-19 website: www.texasnurses.org/mpage/COVID.