Teaching the language of patient care

Customized Saluteria game playing pieces.

It might be easy to walk away from a profession when you’ve been named a Living Legend. But not for Norma Martinez Rogers, PhD, RN, FAAN, professor emerita, who received the American Academy of Nursing’s highest honor last fall.

Rogers smiles at a student playing the Saluteria game.Introduced at the awards ceremony as a lifelong advocate for underserved populations, policy expert, mentor, educator and change agent, Rogers continues to generate new ideas.

Who else would repurpose the Mexican version of bingo — Lotería — into a new, healthbased game called Saludteria? Instead of traditional pictures of a bottle, pot of flowers, cello or crown — which players cover with a game piece when the word is called — the pictures on a Saludteria game card are all health-related, including different body parts, a wheelchair, syringe or stethoscope.

“I came up with this idea a few years ago,” Rogers said. “It’s an innovative way of not only teaching nursing students different health-related words to use in Spanish, but also having fun while learning.”

The game is versatile. It can be used to help young children prepare for a doctor’s visit or to facilitate communication between elders, caregivers and health care providers. Rogers is applying for a copyright on the game with the help of the UT Health San Antonio Office of Technology and Commercialization.

Saludteria is just one example of many innovations during Rogers’ 26 years as a faculty member at UT Health San Antonio.

“I am humbled to receive this prestigious award,” Rogers said. “Though I grew up in a lower socio-economic family, I was privileged that my parents believed in getting a good education. I thank them for instilling in me the responsibility to help others. I did not do this alone, and I sincerely thank those who helped me along my journey.”

A tireless advocate for the underserved

For her American Academy of Nursing Living Legend award, Norma Martinez Rogers was honored for her Juntos Podemos (Together We Can) mentoring program developed for first-generation college students. Without the experience of family members to guide them in applying for college or financial aid, or to help them manage coursework and family obligations, many students were dropping out. Rogers’ peer-to-peer mentoring program, funded by grants for more than 15 years, increased retention and graduation rates.

The award also honored Rogers for founding the International Association of Latino Nurse Faculty and the School of Nursing’s Cultural Inclusion Institute.

School’s first Legend

Dr. Styles shovels ground at the School of Nursing's groundbreaking ceremony.Margretta Styles, EdD, RN, FAAN, was posthumously named a 1999 Living Legend of the American Academy of Nursing.

As the School of Nursing’s founding dean, Styles developed and implemented its first nursing programs and planned and completed the first School of Nursing building. She and other founding faculty members developed the undergraduate and graduate majors. Twelve students were enrolled in the first class, Nursing Fundamentals, in summer 1970, and the graduate programs began in 1972.

Formerly president of the American Nurses Association and International Council of Nurses, Styles was a prolific writer and speaker.

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