DOBSON — Surry Community College’s Associate Dean of Health Sciences, Yvonne O. Johnson, has successfully defended her dissertation from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Johnson’s dissertation topic was “Nurse Perceptions of Elder Self-Neglect.” She explained that self-neglect is a phenomenon that is most often seen in the elderly.
“Currently, there are no commonly accepted definitions, no tried and tested theories, and no causation identified for elder self-neglect. This is a phenomenon that is most evident in the home as these individuals fail to provide care for both themselves and their environment,” Johnson said. “Elders who self-neglect generally neglect their hygiene, living environment, nutrition, medical needs and sometimes their needs for safety even though there is no medical diagnosis for a physical or psychiatric disorder that would lead to these behaviors.”
Although this is a topic which has been in literature since the late 1960s, Johnson indicated only three studies have included nurses, and none of those included nurses who make home health visits.
“This qualitative, descriptive study is the first study of home health nurses and elder self-neglect,” she said. Johnson presented her dissertation in February and completed degree requirements in March. She will attend a departmental graduation ceremony for the School of Nursing at UNCG on May 8, and then the university graduation ceremony on May 9, at the Greensboro Coliseum.
After graduating from Surry Community College, Johnson received a bachelors and masters degree in nursing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has also worked in intensive care nursing, home health nursing, process improvement, and nursing supervision.
Johnson served as adjunct nursing faculty at SCC from 2001 to 2004 when she accepted a full-time role as the aqssistant director of nursing at the college. She served in that role until 2008 when she stepped down to a full-time faculty role to have more flexibility in order to pursue her doctoral courses. She accepted the role as SCC’s associate dean of Health Sciences in the fall of 2009. She has taught nursing at Surry for 13 years. She lives in Pilot Mountain with her husband, Robert, and son, Caleb.