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Nursing Archives - Niagara County Community College

Tami Scruggs Portrait with Rocks

NCCC’s Nursing Student “Rocks” Exams

By News Archive
EKG Rock

Tami’s painted rocks are left at the NCCC campus for nursing students to find.

During the summer months of 2020, nursing student, Tami Scruggs, received news that the classes she signed up for at Niagara County Community College were going remote because of the continued threat of COVID-19.  Tammy revealed, “I am a bit older than the traditional college student so, when the nursing program went online, I was not excited. It’s difficult for me to be behind a computer and not in a classroom. I have to be more creative in the way I learn and study.”

Coincidentally, at the beginning of the pandemic, Tami began a new painting journey to deal with the stresses of the world’s new normal.  “My daughter and I had found a painted rock while on a walk. We thought painting rocks would be a good hobby while everything was shut down. It was a way to relax, clear our minds, and cope with the changes that were happening so quickly around us,” Tami explains.

During the fall 2020 semester, Tami applied her new hobby to the way she studied for exams in the competitive nursing program. She began painting cardiac rhythms in order to remember them. “Painting on rocks helped me to not only memorize certain EKG strips, but it also helped me to relax. Usually, there is nothing relaxing about nursing school,” jokes Tami.

Tami Scruggs Placing Rock

Tami places a rock with a cardiac rhythm painted on it at the NCCC campus, hoping it will brighten a nursing student’s day.

Tami is now a part of the rock painting community, Sweet Buffalo Rocks, in Western New York. Tami joined the Facebook group and became a part of the trend spreading across the country of painting, hiding, and finding others’ rock creations. She is now an active contributor to an act that spreads joy, wonder, and a family-friendly treasure hunt at any given moment. She says “I like to leave my rocks near walking trails, bike paths, or public rock gardens for people to find. Sometimes a silly rock really brightens someone’s day.”

In addition to painting rocks to de-stress, study, and make people smile, Tami is also painting them to teach. During the summer of 2020, Tami’s husband, Jeff, was diagnosed with Lyme disease. To help prevent the illness in others, Tami took her message to the woods, leaving rocks with ticks painted on them, reminding hikers to do a tick check, and including a fact about Lyme disease.

While the world awaits a safe COVID-19 vaccine, Tami continues to find the silver linings while living and studying through the pandemic. “You really build some amazing friendships in the nursing program and we all miss each other.” However, “Online learning does allow for more flexibility in my schedule,” said Tami.

To stay connected and supported, the NCCC faculty have carved extra time into their schedules to connect with students in new and resourceful ways. Whether it is through one-on-one check-ins, lecturing outdoors while the weather cooperates, or moving classes to larger spaces like the campus’ banquet hall, faculty and staff are striving to meet students’ needs. Tami says she feels supported because “The nursing staff has open office hours via Zoom or we can send emails if we have any questions or concerns that need to be verified.”


Media Contact Information

Denyel Beiter
Event Coordinator
Phone: 716-614-5974
Email: dbeiter@niagaracc.suny.edu

NCCC’s Dr. Pytlik-Flammia Elected as Secretary for NYS Nursing Council

By News Archive

The Council of Associate Degree Nursing in New York State, Inc. (CADN) has announced that Niagara County Community College’s Chair of the Nursing and Allied Health Division, Dr. Diane Pytlik-Flammia, has been elected as their Corresponding Secretary.

The CADN is a voluntary, non-profit organization whose mission is to address issues of students, faculty, and administrators in Associate degree nursing programs throughout the State. Through their forum, the council seeks to resolve educational, professional, and political matters that are of key importance to the nursing profession and have a specific connection to undergraduate nursing programs.

NCCC has been a member of the CADN since its inception in the 1970’s. Dr. Pytlik-Flammia has been a member for five years. She states, “Being a part of the CADN for New York State has been a great way for me to network with deans from other nursing programs as well as State Education Offices, and many other professional organizations.” She adds, “The CADN has provided guidance for students, courses, faculty, and administration at NCCC. We have also provided input on experiences of our nursing program to the Council.”

The CADN offers professional development activities for members and nursing faculty across New York State to ensure educators are up to date on the latest practices in the healthcare field. These trainings are passed down to students, cultivating knowledgeable, experienced graduates entering our hospitals and medical practices. These core principles of the CADN align with Dr. Pytlik-Flammia’s values as her “Favorite part about leading the Nursing and Allied Health division is playing a part in securing a quality education and excellent career opportunities for students in the healthcare field.”

Dr. Pytlik-Flammia has been employed with the College since 2007. In 2015, she became the Assistant Vice President of Nursing and Allied Health. This NCCC alumna recently earned a Doctor of Health Administration from the University of Phoenix.  She, along with the rest of the experienced faculty, continue to lead and support students who have an interest in joining the healthcare field. For more information about the Nursing and Allied Health program at NCCC, please visit www.niagaracc.suny.edu/nah or call 716-614-5940.


Media Contact Information

Sara Harvey
Assistant Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-6220
Email: saharvey@niagaracc.suny.edu