As a student nurse, Tayrn Zyburt noticed a medication error and became an advocate for a patient who could have received the wrong dosage of a powerful and uncommon chemotherapeutic drug.
The situation was complicated because the patient only spoke Spanish, Zyburt said. She was reviewing the patient's chart and brought the error to the attention of a pharmacist.
"He looked into it and later that night told me I was right," she said. Zyburt was then asked to serve as a translator for the patient.
"I speak enough Spanish to communicate and ask her when and how much of her medications she was taking," Zyburt said. Zyburt's language skills and ability to communicate health care needs in Spanish improved after volunteering at a health clinic in Peru.
Melodee Vandenbosch, faculty member in the Kirkhof College of Nursing, said Zyburt “demonstrated excellent critical thinking skills that are beyond the scope of a novice nurse.”
Zyburt graduated in April with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She also received a Niemeyer Award for academic excellence in April.
Zyburt said she would like to work in an emergency room after earning a nursing license.
“There is a lot of independence as a nurse in the ER,” she said. “There’s also a level of respect among the health care professionals who work together: the doctors, nurses and physician assistants.”
Zyburt was active in KCON’s Student Nurse Association and also researched cervical cancer screening rates for Planned Parenthood during an independent study course.