Undergraduate research

Undergraduate researcher examines CPR at Harborview

After a tragic accident brought her to Harborview Medical Center as a grieving family member, Emma Jagoe wondered whether she’d have the emotional strength to be able to continue down a healthcare path.

Fortunately for her future patients, her personal experience afforded her empathy and awareness she can now infuse in all her caregiving and research interactions. Jagoe decided to pursue a nursing degree after completing her bachelor’s degree at Seattle University, working as a volunteer firefighter and becoming a certified paramedic.

As a UW BSN honors student, Jagoe chose an undergraduate research project that dovetailed with her passion for saving lives. Her project, “The Metrics of Cardiac Resuscitation: Measuring CPR Chest Compression parameters during In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest for the purpose of Quality Improvement,” looked at patients who received CPR at Harborview — one of the nation’s leading research centers for emergent and pre-hospital emergent care.

Jagoe, her Harborview nurse mentor, Chris Laux, and her faculty mentor, Dr. Joie Whitney, used the newest technology to evaluate the quality of chest compressions. Since the technology is so new, Jagoe was able to design the study down to the details.

“We got to establish the systems, how to analyze the data, and the best way to give feedback,” Jagoe said.

“It was a small sample size,” she said, “but it really highlighted the need for more research that used this technology, and raised questions about how to best implement this technology more widely.”

While Jagoe does prefer clinical care over research, she was delighted by her experience as an undergraduate researcher.

“Research seemed kinda dull,” she said, smiling. “But it’s not at all. It’s a whole process of answering a question, and I loved going down that rabbit hole. I’m also grateful for the research tools I learned in the process.”

Now in her final few months as a BSN honors student, Jagoe just accepted a residency in emergency medicine at Tacoma General Hospital, that city’s oldest and largest emergency care institution. The residency will allow her to focus intensively on emergency care.