School of Nursing and First Quality Team Up to Teach Bladder Health

Nurses receive most of their education about bladder health on the job while providing patients with incontinence care rather than preventing and treating bladder conditions like urinary incontinence.

In order to increase bladder health education and accelerate the application of the latest bladder health research to real-world practice, First Quality, one of the UNC School of Nursing’s partners in the health industry, attended this year’s new-student orientation and provided each student with their newly published pocket-guide on bladder health, “Prevailing with Continence Management: A Nurses Guide,” that nurses can easily carry and consult in clinical settings.

Mary H. Palmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, AGSF, Helen W. and Thomas L. Umphlet Distinguished Professor in Aging

First Quality was founded in 1989 and is a leading manufacturer in the adult incontinence healthcare industry. In its long relationship with the School, First Quality has funded a graduate nursing scholarship, sponsored a two-day summit on vulnerable populations, invited students and faculty to tour their facilities to see how their products are made and offered educational opportunities to faculty and students to understand how to manage incontinence long-term and short-term.

Mary H. Palmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, AGSF, Helen W. and Thomas L. Umphlet Distinguished Professor in Aging, says incontinence care occurs more often than bladder health care and students receive little state of the science information on how to preserve and restore bladder health.

Palmer says First Quality is an important part of a new initiative at the School of Nursing to focus on bladder health for all people, providing both the clinical guidebook to students and funding to support student scholarship on issues in bladder health.

“We’re changing the paradigm from talking about what is wrong with your bladder to how to achieve and sustain optimal bladder health,” says Palmer.

Michele Mongillo, BSN, MSN, RAC-CT, Senior Clinical Director at First Quality and adjunct faculty at the School, draws on her own experiences in nursing when evaluating how to best support the School.

“As a nurse in a senior leadership role I have realized that there is a large knowledge gap when it comes to understanding incontinence products and skin health related to incontinence,” says Mongillo. “Our responsibility as a manufacturer is to educate others about this and get them the information they need to make the best decisions for their patients – this is in skilled nursing and senior living facilities, hospitals and the home care environment, everywhere a patient could be.”