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Tina Weitkamp, a registered nurse and instructor at the College of Nursing, has been interested in nursing since she was a child shadowing her mother at work. During her high school years, Weitkamp volunteered at a nursing home in Waukesha, a suburb of Milwaukee. It was there she decided nursing was her calling.
She earned her nursing degree from Eastern Kentucky University and her masterís in perinatal nursing from Indiana University. Weitkamp has since taught more than 30 courses and has reviewed or contributed to several textbooks.
She is director of the College of Nursingís Center for International Affairs and has served on the board of advisors for the Village Life Outreach Project, a nonprofit organization that works with villagers in Tanzania, since 2007.
How long have you been with UC? Why did you choose UC over other institutions?
"Iíve just completed 23 years at UC. I came to UC mainly because of its reputation as a strong nursing college."
What is the current focus of your research?
"Iíve done research on infant weight loss and maternal IV fluids."
When do you expect your research will begin affecting patient care?
"Typically, infants who lose more than 7 to 10 percent of their birth weight are supplemented with artificial breast milk. Our research showed that the more IV fluid a mother had during labor the greater the infant weight loss, so one of the assessments to be done when infants lose weight is to look at the amount of IV fluid the mom had and consider that along with everything else before making the decision to supplement with artificial breast milk."
What do you typically do in your spare time? Do you have any interesting or obscure hobbies or interests?
"First and foremost, I am rabid Green Bay Packers fan. I am also an avid reader (or listener) to murder mysteries, with Erle Stanley Gardner, Harlan Coben and David Baldacci being my favorite authors. I also enjoy knitting and spending time with my grandchildren when the Packers arenít playing."
In what ways have your experiences in the field, or your own past instruction, influenced your teaching methods?
"Since the early 1990s I've been doing volunteer mission work through my church. This has led to a change from traditional inpatient maternity nursing to a broader public health focus on womenís and childrenís health. It has taught me that flexibility is everything, and that we are truly blessed to have clean, safe water, reliable electric and freedom."
* This story was written by Perry Simpson, an intern in the AHC Public Relations and Communications Office.