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Karla M Abela

Karla M Abela, PhD, RN, CCRN-K, CPN

Assistant Professor
Department of Research
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Karla M. Abela, Ph.D., RN, CCRN-K, CPN is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Houston Health Science Center (UTHealth) Cizik School of Nursing in the Department of Research. Her clinical experience as a pediatric nurse working with acutely and critically ill children and their families led to her interest in examining factors that impact physical, social, psychological, and emotional recovery after hospitalization in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Dr. Abela's research interests include exploring the experiences of families of critically ill children. She is particularly interested in the health outcomes of siblings of children admitted to the PICU and examining the factors that may contribute to these outcomes. In addition, she is interested in finding innovative ways to recruit and engage children experiencing critical illness in research, across the range of developmental stages.

Dr. Abela has present ed her research at the Southern Nurses Research Society Annual Conference and published her research in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing. She earned her doctorate at UTHealth Cizik School of Nursing, her MSN in Nursing Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her Diploma in Nursing from Humber College in Toronto, Canada. She was awarded a very competitive grant from the American Nurses Foundation for her dissertation research and was awarded the Doctoral Student Writing Award and Community and Health Services Award at Cizik School of Nursing. She previously served as the Assistant Director of Clinical Practice at Texas Children's Hospital. She was recognized by the Houston Chronicle as a Top 15 Nurse, was awarded a Bronze Good Samaritan Award, and received the Texas Children's Hospital Nursing Excellence Award for Nurse with an Advanced Degree.

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Publication: Parent and Child Anxiety Evaluated During an Early Period of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Mixed-Methods Study (Oct 2022)