Safety in the Healthcare Workplace: How Safe Do You Feel?

workplace-safety.PNGSafety is something we think about constantly in our daily lives. We look both ways when we cross the street, we buckle our seatbelts when we get into the car, and we put on helmets when we participate in outdoor activities, such as biking, skateboarding and skiing. For many, safety is not an all-consuming concern at work. As health care providers, however, we are exposed to a multitude of dangers every day. According to the United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), a hospital is one of the most hazardous places to work.1 Health care workers experience some of the highest rates of nonfatal illness and injury – surpassing both the construction and manufacturing industries.2 In 2011, U.S. hospitals recorded 253,700 work-related injuries and illnesses, a rate of 6.8 work-related injuries for every 100 full-time employees.1

At work, I regularly lift, turn and transfer patients with limited mobility, strength and balance. I often encounter confused and combative patients who pose a great risk to themselves and the clinical staff. The threat of a needle stick injury and the possible exposure to infectious diseases are two dangers that are perpetually at the forefront of my mind. In nursing school, we were taught basic ergonomic techniques to protect our backs. We were instructed on procedures to prevent unintended exposure to blood borne pathogens. But in the fast-paced world of health care, where patient loads are high, many of these safety strategies fall by the wayside. By nature, nurses often put their own health and safety at risk for the benefit of the patient.3 So, how safe do we really feel at work and what are hospital administrators doing to protect their employees?

In 1979, Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which resulted in the creation of the OSHA. OSHA is the government body responsible for ensuring a safe and healthy working environment for employees by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.3 When I began working in the intensive care unit many years ago, I remember having to complete my first annual competency checklist, which incorporated mandatory lectures developed by OSHA. Topics included blood borne pathogens, fire hazards, fall prevention and methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Today, those topics have expanded to include latex allergy, equipment hazards, workplace violence, and workplace stress.4 These topics are just a subset of the hospital-wide OSHA standards spanning every department from dietary to central supply to housekeeping.

One area of hospital workplace safety that has received great attention in the media in recent years is the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This issue was highlighted in the news when the first laboratory-confirmed case of Ebola was diagnosed in the U.S. in September 2014.5 Controversy surrounded this story, which began when a man, who arrived from Liberia initially without symptoms, walked into a Texas emergency room complaining of fever and other flu-like symptoms. After being discharged, he was readmitted several days later and diagnosed with the Ebola virus. Personal Protective Equipment was provided to the staff assigned to the infected patient. Despite these safeguards, however, two clinicians were exposed and ultimately contracted the deadly virus. Thankfully, both nurses survived, but fingers pointed to the hospital administrators, placing blame on their inability to properly educate and ensure the safety of their staff.  Were they at fault or just inadequately prepared with minimal resources to deal with this seemingly rare occurrence?

Ebola is an extreme example that emphasized the importance of hospital workplace safety and one that forced hospital administrators across the country to evaluate current policies and procedures. All workers, regardless of the industry, have a right to a safe work environment. Have you noticed any areas of your hospital where improvements could be made to increase overall safety? Do you have recommendations or a success story to share? We would love to hear from you – please leave your comments below.

Resources
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA): Worker Safety in Hospitals 
Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA): Hospital eTools
Improving Patient and Worker Safety: Opportunities for Synergy, Collaboration and Innovation (Joint Commission)
References
1. U.S. Department of Labor: Occupational Safety & Health Administration. (2016) Worker Safety in Hospitals: Caring for Our Caregivers. Retrieved from: https://www.osha.gov/dsg/hospitals/index.html

2. The Joint Commission: Improving Patient and Worker Safety. Retrieved from: http://www.jointcommission.org/assets/1/18/tjc-improvingpatientandworkersafety-monograph.pdf

3. U.S. Department of Labor: Occupational Safety & Health Administration. (2016) About OSHA. Retrieved from: https://www.osha.gov/about.html

4. U.S. Department of Labor: Occupational Safety & Health Administration. (2016) Hospital eTools: Intensive Care Units. Https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/hospital/icu/icu.html

5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016). Cases of Ebola Diagnosed in the United States. http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/united-states-imported-case.html

Myrna B. Schnur, RN, MSN


 
Posted: 5/7/2016 5:56:22 AM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 1 comments

Categories: Leadership Patient Safety


Every Day in Every Way

As health care professionals, there are few things more agonizing than listening to a grief stricken mother describe how her young daughter, bravely fighting cancer, died during a hospital stay as a result of delays and failed communication. Looking at the audience at the Patient Safety Seminar that day, you could see that all of us felt her pain. After all, we got into the medical field to help people, to heal the sick and care for the most vulnerable, but in this case, we failed. Sadly, I have heard versions of that mom’s story many times throughout the years. The specifics change, but the result is the same -- the loss of life or permanent injury as the result of a medical error.
 
We aren’t perfect, I tell myself, as I hear those excruciating stories. We are human beings and sometimes, despite our best efforts, we come up short. But inevitably, as I let their brave messages sink in, I use those heartbreaking stories to motivate me -- to dig deeper and try harder and to become a more determined advocate for improving patient safety.    
 
Culture-of-Safety-NNW-logo.png

The American Nurses Associations (ANA) theme for National Nurses Week this year is Culture of Safety – It Starts with you. Since the landmark Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System was released in 1999, creating a culture of safety has been a major focus in our profession. The notion that medical errors resulting in patient harm are largely preventable and a result of system failures provided the platform for health care culture reform. 
 
The IOM report provided clear recommendations to address medical errors. The government, professional organizations, and health care organizations have all worked towards reducing preventable medical errors. There is a plethora of information on culture of safety, including webinars, how to guides, frameworks, guidelines, etc. While we have made progress, preventable harm occurs in hospitals every day. 
 
So what is a culture of safety? A culture of safety is an environment in which patient care is safe and effective, and patients are free from preventable harm. The complexity of systems in which health care is provided makes this challenging, but not impossible.
 
So, how can every nurse take a leadership role in creating and sustaining a high reliability culture of safety?
  • Actively engage patients and their family as partners in care.
  • Approach care delivery with interprofessional collaboration and teamwork.
  • Promote a culture of blame-free reporting of adverse events and near misses; analyze and learn from them.
  • Implement evidence-based best practices; remove barriers to ongoing sustainment.
  • Maximize the use of technology as intended.
  • Improve hand-off communication and transitions of care.
  • Maintain a high level of situational awareness in your work area to anticipate problems ie., rounding, huddles.
  • Speak-up if you witness or identify unsafe behavior or safety hazards and hold each other accountable to safe practices.
  • Establish goals, measure outcomes and promote transparency of data.
During Nurses Week this year, let us all make a commitment to ourselves, our teammates and those we care for, that we will become better patient advocates. Let us learn from those heartbreaking stories of loss and take whatever steps are needed to create and sustain an environment founded in a culture of safety -- every day and in every way.
 
Susan Mascioli MS, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, CPHQ, LSSBB
Director, Nursing Quality and Safety
Christiana Care Health System


 
Posted: 5/6/2016 7:31:48 AM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 0 comments

Categories: Leadership Patient Safety


Nurse Who Moved: Margretta "Gretta" Madden Styles

NursingCenter is celebrating Certified Nurses Day, which happens every year on March 19th. Why March 19th? It happens to be the birthday of the pioneer and inspiration behind nurse certification, Margretta "Gretta" Madden Styles, RN, EdD, FAAN.

While we would have been beyond thrilled and honored to interview this innovator in the nursing profession, sadly, Styles passed in 2005 after a long, successful life and career. We thought we would adjust our ‘Nurse on the Move’ blog to feature one of the top ‘Nurses Who Moved’ and truly shaped the profession.
 
Life and Education 

Styles was born in Pennsylvania in 1930. She was married to her husband for 47 years, Reverend Douglas Styles, and the couple had three children.

Styles attended Juanita College and earned undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry. She went on to Yale University to earn her master’s degree in nursing and then on to the University of Florida, where she earned her doctorate in education.

Nurse educator, author, and innovator

Styles started teaching as an associate professor in 1967 at Duke University and then moved on to become the dean of nursing at various universities, including University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Wayne State University in Detroit, and the University of California, San Francisco. 

Styles campaigned and advocated for stricter certification requirements and credentialing standards for nurses. She wrote at great length on this topic and later helped to create the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Her influence on refining the nursing profession in the U.S., extended internationally, and, for a time, Styles also served as president of the Internal Council of Nurses.

While her legacy will always be tied to her role in the creation of the ANCC, her impact on the nursing profession is still widely prevalent. She is often quoted and referenced in medical publications and has had many awards and grants named in her honor. Styles was also inducted into the American Nurses Association hall of fame.  

And, of course, the profession will continue to honor Styles’ work and accomplishments on her birthday every March 19th for Certified Nurses Day.
 
Happy Birthday, Gretta and Happy Certified Nurses Day! Be sure to check our Certified Nurses Day page on March 19th for lots of great resources and deals to honor this special day.

By Kim Fryling-Resare

References:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margretta_Styles
http://www.nursecredentialing.org/Certification/Certified-Nurses-Day/Overview/Meet-Greta-Styles
Posted: 3/14/2016 8:07:11 AM by Cara Deming | with 2 comments

Categories: Leadership


Nurse On the Move: Carolyn Ackerman (podcast)

nurse-on-the-move-carolyn-ackerman.jpgCarolyn Ackerman Ed.D MS RN CHPN, is from Arvada, Colo., and has almost 40 years of experience in home health and hospice. She actually discovered our Nurse On the Move feature in a recent Home Healthcare Now journal article, Nurse on the Move: Lisa Gorski, and thought to herself, “Well…why not [me]?” 

I had the opportunity to speak to her over the phone to discover why she thought she would make a good candidate, and I am so glad she reached out to us at NursingCenter. Not only is Ackerman a registered nurse, but she is also an assistant professor at Regis University in Denver, and she is very involved in end-of-life interdisciplinary simulation. 

Ackerman recently graduated from Creighton University with her Ed.D in interdisciplinary education. She created an end-of-life board game called The Path of Life: The Journey of Living at the End-of-Life © game, where participants assume the role of the patient as they make decisions related to their terminal disease. 

Listen for the whole interview…
Podcast-(1).jpg

For inquiries around Ackerman’s board game and other work, email cackerman@regis.edu.

*Do you know a great candidate to be featured for Nurses On the Move? We want to know about the nurses who are advancing the profession and inspiring others to do the same. Email your submissions to ClinicalEditor@NursingCenter.com.

 
Posted: 3/9/2016 7:51:01 AM by Cara Deming | with 0 comments

Categories: Leadership


Nurse On the Move: Donna White

Nurse On the Move Donna WhiteDonna J. White, CRNA, MS is an accomplished nurse anesthetist working and living in Rhode Island. She started her nursing career in the 1980’s with a nursing diploma degree from the Shadyside Hospital school of nursing in Pittsburgh, Pa. After testing her skills in a number of settings, White determined she wanted to challenge herself more, both in her professional and personal life. 

White earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She also decided to spend six months hiking the Appalachian Trail with her husband, where she went back to basics and discovered what she really needed to survive in the wild and to thrive in her nursing career. On that trip, she decided to earn her degree as a nurse anesthetist from Southern Connecticut State University, and now, she makes her career work with her active and involved lifestyle as a mom.
 
For January’s Nurse On the Move, White talks about her experiences as a busy nurse and how she makes time for herself in between her family members’ schedules. Learn what her New Year’s resolution is for 2016 and her number one piece of advice for nurses looking for a balance between work and home.

Q: What made you interested in becoming a nurse and what was it like starting out with a nursing diploma degree?
A:  I was 17 when I graduated high school, and I spent a few years fumbling. I was earning college credits, and my mother kept saying, “You should be a nurse.” I did always love the sciences, so finally, I decided to go into nursing because I knew I would always have a job. My motivation was to get a job right away – I needed to work. I was in a hospital-based diploma program, which was excellent. It was a 24-month program that was year-round. At that time when I got my first job, I was better prepared than the baccalaureate nurses to care for patients. In the 80’s, BSNs went through a period where they were very book oriented and you could tell the difference between us, but I believe that has changed. 

Q: Why did you decide to go back to school and earn your bachelor’s degree and eventual master’s degree to become a nurse anesthetist?
A: As I was working, I found myself moving around a lot. I think it was because I needed more of a challenge. Changing setting brought a challenge, but after six to nine months, I was already getting bored. I knew that the only way I was going to advance was to continue my education. I preferred clinical care rather than management, so I knew I wanted to work with patients and not manage other nurses.

Q: You’ve held a number of different roles, such as staff nurse, advice nurse, home care nurse, and emergency nurse. Which setting did you enjoy working in the most and why?
A: As part of being a staff nurse, I worked in the ICU. Definitely, working in the ICU or in my position now as a nurse anesthetist in the OR I’ve enjoyed the most. You have more independence and make more critical decisions in a collaborative way. As an anesthetist, it gives me satisfaction to have the patient feel better by easing their pain.

Q: You’ve also accomplished many things in your person life. In 1990, you hiked the Appalachian Trail for six months with your husband. What was that experience like and did your skills as a nurse come in handy?
A: The experience was phenomenal. I’m not an extreme sports person, but I’ve always enjoyed being outside and hiking. What hit home the most about being out there is it came down to what you need in life to survive. The basic necessities for survival are water, shelter, and food. Being a nurse, I took hygiene seriously. We filtered all of our water; we never drank directly from a stream. We were very healthy. I had been a nurse for about six years at the time and while on that trip, I thought about going to anesthesia school. I worked with my husband on how we could make this work.
 
Q: You now also hold the role of a busy wife and mother. For other nurses trying to find a balance between work and their home life, what would be your number one piece of advice?
A: You need to take care of yourself so you can take care of others. For me, sleeping well and exercising every day for at least an hour keeps me sane. If you’re not well, nobody is well. 

Q: Nurses are caregivers and many often put the needs of others before their own. With your busy schedule, how do you factor in time for yourself?
A: The main thing is whenever you find a gap in your day, use it wisely.  Do not wait until you feel like exercising or the day will be done as you fulfill other priorities.

Q: How has nursing changed since you began your career? Do you find the expectations and technologies of today help you or hinder you when trying to manage your time?
A: Technology has definitely helped in the care of the patients in terms of diagnosing and the speed of treatment. Today, the expectations related to payment, reimbursement, and the expectations from management and the hospital to turn over things quickly can leave room for error at times. They may say you have 15 minutes to turn over, but they want it in five minutes. Patients are still people and they are not going to behave the way the statistics say they should every time. Mistakes happen because of the pressure to produce. 

Q: You currently work part-time as a nurse anesthetist at Guardian Brockton PC, Good Samaritan Medical Center, where you are scheduled for a 24-hour shift every Friday. What is the most challenging part of this job and how do you work through it?
A: I’ve always been a worker bee. If I can go in and continue to work throughout the shift, that’s fine. The challenge becomes when the cases are done, your mind tells you to relax and then suddenly another emergency requires you to be focused and do your best for the patient.

Q: Do you have any New Year’s resolutions for 2016?
A: I would like to start working more this year. The trick is finding the day that I can do that without affecting my girls. I really enjoy my part-time schedule, and being home in the mornings and the afternoons with them. I do hope to work more as my kids get older. I feel very fortunate for my schedule now.

 
Posted: 1/21/2016 8:00:35 AM by Cara Deming | with 0 comments

Categories: Leadership


New NursingCenter YouTube Channel

We are excited to share the launch of Lippincott NursingCenter’s YouTube Channel! Our first nursing videos are compilations of inspiration from nurses at the ANCC National Magnet Conference® this past October. Learn how your nursing colleagues keep up with new research, information and evidence. Also, discover what inspired them at this year's meeting and their plans for sharing this inspiration with their colleagues.

Take a look: 


 

We are looking forward to sharing more nursing videos as we move into the New Year! Stay tuned for Clinical Resources, Training Guides, webinars, and more nursing videos as we delve into this platform. Go ahead and subscribe today to stay up-to-date and inspired. 

 
Posted: 12/7/2015 11:25:21 AM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 1 comments

Categories: Leadership TechnologyInspiration


Nurse On the Move: Annie Lewis O’Connor

nurse on the move annie lewis o'connorNursing “brought out this side of me that I didn’t know I truly had.” Annie Lewis O’Connor PhD, NP-BC, MPH, FAAN never planned on being a nurse. She didn’t even know if she could handle blood. But, after becoming a single mom at a very young age, one social worker gave her the opportunity to experience a new side of herself. O’Connor was able to shadow nurses, and she saw the “human, caring side of what people did when others were sick. I felt it brought out this side of me that I didn’t know I truly had. I think being a new mom brought out this caring side of me as well.”

Today, O’Connor has expanded that side of herself into an influential career. She holds faculty positions at Harvard Medical School and Boston College and received her master’s degree in nursing from Simmons College in Boston, her master’s degree in public health from Boston University, and her PhD from Boston College. She currently serves as the founder and director of the C.A.R.E Clinic (Coordinated Approach to Recovery and Empowerment) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Specializing in forensic nursing, maternal-child care, pediatrics, and women’s health, O’Connor cares for victims of domestic and sexual violence, human trafficking, and gender-based violence. She also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Forensic Nursing, which makes her the perfect Nurse On the Move for Forensic Nurses Week. Read on to discover the vital work O’Connor is doing for these patients and be sure to check our Nursing Deals and Discounts page for ways to celebrate Forensic Nurses Week.

Q: How has nursing changed since you began your career?
A:
Careers are very much about a journey. I believe back in the day when I ended up in nursing school, it was sort of a calling. Today, it’s a great job, profession, and it’s a business. It didn’t feel like a business when I first started out, and that’s not good or bad. What I hope I bring to it is that people never lose sight of the honor and privilege it is to take care of people at the most vulnerable time in their life, and that’s when they are lying in a hospital bed. I get to do this every day with young nurses in the clinic where I work. I love that I am at the stage in my career where I really am feeling that “pay it forward.” I don’t want anyone to feel that nursing is just a good job. It’s much deeper than that, and I try to model that for the next generation of nurses.

Q: You founded C.A.R.E. (Coordinated Approach Recovery & Empowerment), which assists victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, human trafficking, and gender-related violence. Why is this approach important to you?
A:
Brigham and Women’s Hospital gave me the opportunity to grow and develop this clinic; I couldn’t have done it without the support of that administration. This was done through dialogue and gathering statistics on my concerns around victims of intentional violence. These patients are unique in so many ways. My research, which is published in Journal of Forensic Nursing, shows a lot of these patients who come into the emergency department (ED) just experienced a traumatic event, and they get handed a packet of information they are expected to navigate through. It’s a mess; they don’t know who to call first.

I wanted to create a follow up with these patients through C.A.R.E. that will become a national model. Within 48 hours, a victim, with their consent, will receive a text message from us. We provide phones if they don’t have one. About 98% of the victims we see agree to the follow up, and our numbers around being able to contact patients have gone from 27% up to 91%.

We also do consultations with in-patients. For example, they are admitted for a non-related issue and during their stay disclose violence and trauma. This week alone, I’ve done six in-patient consults. I have two victims of human trafficking who came in for asthma and diabetes, and we are educating the nurses on how to provide trauma informed-care for these other issues they are experiencing.

I would also like to mention that I invited 14 survivors to become my patient advisors and to name our clinic. When suggestions come from the actual survivors, the policies and procedures we develop have much more relevant and significant meaning.

Q: When a patient comes in with suspect injuries, what should nurses keep an eye out for?
A:
People want a domestic violence screening tool, which we’ve had for three decades now. But, this has not transformed well into actual health care. I think we need to have an actual conversation with these patients about their relationships and pay attention. As I’m taking the history, I am looking for the red flags, such as a partner who won’t separate or the young girl who comes in with an older man. You need to educate yourself around what those flags are and then talk to the patient. You don’t want to go in and say off the bat, “Have you been hit, kicked, or punched? Has your partner forced you to have sex when you didn’t want to?” The correct way to ask is after you’ve established a rapport with the patient to say, “What do you like about your partner or your work? What don’t you like about it? Tell me three things you would change if you could.” The next thing you know, they are telling you their whole story. Really recognize that this affects one in four women. People are always surprised by this, but the statistics are pretty solid.

Q: What is the biggest challenge related to caring for these victims and how do you combat it?
A:
The biggest challenge is really when there are mental health issues or substance abuse involved. If you look at homeless women, women with mental health problems or substance abuse, you think of it as an onion. You start peeling that onion back to get to the core, where you find that there’s a lifelong history of exposure to trauma and violence. You may be treating them for this one incident they came into the ED for, but you are really treating their whole history.

Q: Has there been a particular patient whose story has stayed with you?
A:
The real hard one recently was we had a woman whose boyfriend strangled and beat her pretty bad. The neighbors called and the police came and brought her in. He choked her so bad we could see the strangle marks. As we are working her up and getting her ready for discharge, she was calling the boyfriend to come pick her up. She just looked at me and said, “I know you must think I’m crazy. I don’t even know if I love him, but I just don’t want to be alone.” That was a “Wow” moment for me. I told her, “How about we try to work on the loneliness? So, you aren’t alone.” She left and two weeks later he beat the living day lights out of her again. She wound up in a different hospital, but called and asked for us. I was able to get her transferred and care for her and that was it. She finally left him, and now she’s soaring. If we didn’t have this follow up program, she would have walked out of there and never come back.

Q: Why is every nurse a forensic nurse?
A:
When you look at ED nurses, they see themselves as ED nurses. But, when they see an injury, like someone looks like there were whipped with a belt, they don’t see that as forensic science, they see that as the emergency care. I think that forensic nursing is not a term they are familiar with, and the more we define and share what it means, the more nurses will recognize that’s what they are doing. Nurses in all aspects of delivering health care will see that.

Q: Why is Forensic Nurses Week important to you?
A:
We get to recognize our colleagues in forensic nursing and that there’s a body of knowledge and expertise we’ve built. During this week, I also think it’s important for every nurse to reflect on their own practice and see what is in their own job that is forensic nursing. Working with the elderly or children, for example, there’s a lot of forensic nursing that goes on there.

Q: How has serving on the editorial board of the Journal of Forensic Nursing affected your career as a nurse?
A:
It’s been really wonderful. It takes me to a different level, where I can grow and develop. Reading manuscripts, providing feedback, and encouraging others to write has been great. It makes me very proud of our profession, and I’m honored to be on the editiorial board. I know that whatever winds up in print is very good quality. I’m very proud of the high standard we set in this journal. I see this journal as the flagship for forensic nursing.

Q: You are traveling to Haiti in November. What work will you be doing there?
A:
I travel to Haiti frequently, where I have two roles. One is that I work with local Haitian nurse leaders to develop nursing leadership in Haiti along with my organization, EqualHealth.org. We host a conference there and our work is very interdisciplinary. There teams need to work in harmony, so we focus on that. Second, I’ve done research on gender-related violence in Haiti.

Q: What do you envision for the future of nursing?
A:
Nurses will be allowed to practice in the full extent of their license. I would love to see all nurses continue their education in some way, shape, or form. I also think that nurses need to be at those tables where policies are being made. Nurses can play a vital role in education, practice, research, and policy, and I want nurses to recognize that.

*Do you know an inspiring nurse to be featured for the next Nurse On the Move? Email your submissions to ClinicalEditor@NursingCenter.com
Posted: 11/9/2015 9:53:48 AM by Cara Deming | with 1 comments

Categories: Leadership


​Pearls from Nursing Management Congress 2015

conference room at nursing management congressAs a follow-up to last week’s conference wrap-up, here are some of my favorite pearls and words of inspiration that I picked up during Nursing Management Congress 2015. 
 
  • “You learn as much from people who do things the wrong way as from people who do things the right way.”
    Pamela Hunt, BS, MSN, RN
    New Manager Intensive: A Focus on Finance

  • “As a manager, the worst thing you can do with a ‘ring leader’ is avoid them.”
    Shelley Cohen, RN, MSN, CEN
    New Manager Intensive: A Focus on Leadership

  • “Get to know your nurses. You already know them as nurses; get to know them as people.”
    Debra Ruddy, CMSRN, MSN
    Winner of the Richard Hader Visionary Leader Award

  • “With regard to debriefing, remember it’s not who’s right – it’s what’s right.”
    Jim "Murph" Murphy
    Plan. Brief. Execute. Debrief = Win: A Fighter Pilot’s Secret to Success
conference presentation at nursing management congress
  • “Strong, effective leaders lead from a place of confidence, with humility.”
    Jeff Doucette, DNP, RN, CEN, FACHE, NEA-BC
    The Courageous Leader: Dare to be Different

  • “The patient experience is not owned by nurses. It is a team sport.”
    Amy Cotton, MSN, APRN, FAAN, EMHS
    Look Out for the Booby Traps: Navigating the Patient Experience Landscape

    What are some pearls that you’ve taken away from recent conferences? 
Posted: 10/25/2015 7:51:51 AM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 5 comments

Categories: Continuing EducationLeadership Inspiration


Conference Wrap-Up: LCNC & NMC

disney resort for nursing conference
How does a week in Disneyworld sound? Good, right? Add in two dynamic nursing conferences and you’ve got an amazing week! While it was busy, I’d like to share some highlights and encourage you to make attending a nursing conference a priority. There is nothing like being surrounded by nurses, hearing from nurses, and hanging out with nurses to renew your passion for nursing!

 


LCNC

lippincott clinical nursing conference swagLippincott Clinical Nursing Conference (LCNC) was up first. Geared to front-line nurses, this clinical-intensive included skill building sessions related to cardiac, pulmonary, and neurologic assessments. During the opening address, Christine Kessler, MN, CNS, ANP-BC, ADM, CDTC, FAANP gave attendees a choice in what they wanted to learn about – managing patients with diabetes or the impacts of shift work. I don’t know many speakers who can poll the audience and then present based on those results! If you’re wondering, attendees opted to hear about shift work and the session was informative and thought-provoking. While some might think that night shift is the most opportune time for nurses to take care of certain tasks (think baths and other personal care), it’s not always what’s best for patients. 

Another opportunity that presented itself to me at LCNC was the chance to speak myself. It’s been a while since I presented to a large group and it felt good to connect with attendees during the session on adverse drug reactions. I quickly got through my nerves and I think that we all learned some things!  

Nursing Management Congress

carolyn jones and lisa bonsall at nursing conferenceNursing Management Congress (NMC) followed and did not disappoint. Never have I attended a conference session where the opening session ended in a standing ovation followed by silence. I’ve been a fan of Carolyn Jones’ work on The American Nurse Project for several years. I am not kidding that I was somewhat starstruck sitting there in the front row while she presented and then again later when I met her in the exhibit hall. I’m also really looking forward to her new project, Dying in America. I’ve mentioned before about my interested in end-of-life care and after watching the trailer for this new film, I know I won’t be disappointed. 

I also spent time helping out with the New Manager Intensive preconference workshops. Day one focused on finance and day two focused on leadership. Wow! I knew nurse managers have a lot to juggle, but these two days really opened my eyes to the amount of calculations, hiring and firing issues, workplace conflict situations, and so much more that’s involved in their work each day. I’ll be sharing some more from this conference in the next few days, so stay tuned…

Don’t forget to visit Lippincott’s eConference Center to complete your session evaluations and obtain your CE certificates. You can see more photos from these conferences on NursingCenter’s Facebook page

 
Posted: 10/20/2015 9:21:45 PM by Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP | with 0 comments

Categories: Continuing EducationLeadership Education & Career


Nurse On the Move: Lauren Everingham

 
IMG_1484.JPGLauren Everingham RN works on the Pediatric Medicine and Pediatric Short Stay units of All Children’s Hospital Johns Hopkins Medicine in St. Petersburg, Fla. 

Everingham is a second-career nurse. She originally studied writing at Muhlenberg College and worked as an editor for a healthcare magazine. Feeling drawn to a more service-oriented job, she earned her master’s degree in teaching English literature from Western Carolina University and briefly taught English in a North Carolina high school. Everingham quickly realized that she would prefer to serve children and families in a different capacity and went on to earn her BSN from the university’s nursing program. She finally found her home as a pediatric nurse.

Now, equipped with her nursing expertise, Everingham just came back from a week-long medical mission to the Dominican Republic with Team Tampa Bay. There, she used her nursing knowledge to help set up medical clinics and provide care to the people who reside in the bateys, which are small villages in the sugar cane fields of La Romana

Through our email interview, we discussed why Everingham decided to pursue nursing, how it has changed her life, and what her medical mission taught her. 

*After our interview, Hurricane Erika resulted in unforeseen tragedy and disaster in the Dominican Republic. To make a donation, please visit the Caribbean Red Cross

Q: After earning an advanced degree in teaching, what made you decide to switch careers to nursing?
A: I quickly became disenfranchised by the state of education in North Carolina—its teachers are some of the lowest paid in the United States, the state government has eliminated the master’s degree supplement, and when I graduated in mid-2010, teaching positions were being cut left and right due to our struggling economy. For me, the best part about teaching was the kids, so I sought out a career that would allow me to help children while also securing my own future. Turns out, the third career’s the charm! Plus, I use my teaching skills every single day as a nurse.

Q: How has becoming a nurse impacted your life? 
A: Being a nurse in a children’s hospital means I am daily reminded to count my blessings. I am sure all nurses feel this way. It is so easy to take your own health and well-being for granted. My job puts me face to face with children and families coping with heartbreaking traumas, difficult chronic illnesses, terminal disease, abuse and neglect. I am more aware of how fortunate I have been, and I am honored to be able to help these families through a difficult time in their lives.

IMG_1359.JPGQ: What made you choose pediatrics as your specialty? 
A: Above, I mentioned some of the dark things I witness as a pediatric nurse. But, I also experience joy at work every day: seeing mermaids roll down the hallway in wheelchairs to visit patients, watching a child hug his new foster parent for the first time, and helping new parents pose for a picture with their tiny baby who they finally get to bring home after three months in the NICU. Every time I walk into the hospital, through the brightly colored hallways, past the pirate ship playground, and into the elevator where a child’s voice announces, “Going up!,” I think how lucky I am to work in pediatrics. I wish adult hospitals were more like children’s hospitals; I think people would heal faster.


Q: Can you describe why your medical mission to the Dominican Republic was important to you? 
A: I have always wanted to participate in a project like this. My life has been full of opportunity and I’ve been fortunate to have access to education and training. The least I can do is use my skills and education to help people who don’t even have access to basic medical care. Plus, I knew it would be a life-changing experience. It’s one thing to be educated about the struggles of people living in poverty around the world; it’s another thing to see it firsthand. I know I gained more from the people in the bateys of La Romana than I could ever offer to them.

FullSizeRender-(5).jpgQ: What was it like working in nursing outside of the U.S.? 
A: We worked with Dominican physicians and we had very limited resources, so needless to say it was a lot different than nursing here. We navigated language barriers and encountered different practices in dosing medications. It was also eye opening. One of the older patients we saw had a blood pressure of 210/110. Here in the states, we would have done a comprehensive workup for this patient. There, we had to give the gentleman some blood pressure medication and briefly educate him, and that was it. Hopefully there will be some follow up with those types of patients, but we will not be there to see that, so it was pretty unsettling.
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Q: What was your favorite part of your trip? 
A: The kids. They were full of joy and so proud of what little they had. At the first batey we visited, child after child took our hands and led us around to show us their fruit trees. Another day, a group of about 15 kids walked us out into the sugar cane fields, cut down some sugar cane, and showed us how to taste it. The sense of community among the batey children was so beautiful to watch. An older child would give a small child medicine or carry him down a hill when the younger child was afraid. They played in large groups of widely varying ages. They walked around the village holding hands. It was inspiring, and I hope to provide my future children with that sense of community. 
 
Q: You worked with other medical and non-medical volunteers. How did your skills as a nurse fit in interprofessionally on your mission? 
A: The team was made up of 10 American nurses and several Dominican doctors and translators. In previous years, non-medical volunteers (often teenagers) have also accompanied Team Tampa Bay and helped hand out supplies and play with the children. As nurses, our role was to take blood pressures and measure blood sugars, fill prescriptions, administer medications, and hand out supplies. We were able to ensure correct dosing of medications and appropriate antibiotic prescriptions, as well as screen patients for potential surgical needs or other in-depth follow up care. We also helped the translators to educate patients about how to take their medications properly.
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Q: What is the biggest issue that you encountered with healthcare in La Romana? 
A: Access to care. The bateys are often in very remote areas, requiring us to ride 30 to 45 minutes or longer on our school bus from the city. The folks living out there do not have cars, and there is no public transportation. So most of the time, there is no way to get to a doctor’s office or a hospital. This is frequently a problem for women in labor—they often give birth in the batey without any midwife, nurse or medical assistance because they simply cannot get to a hospital. It can be a life-threatening situation for both mom and baby.

Q: What will happen to the medical clinics your team set up now that you left the country? 
A: The medical clinics that we set up are temporary—we set them up and take them down all in one day. However, the Good Samaritan Mission is a large organization that is in place year round and hosts more than 60 mission teams throughout the year. Each team visits several bateys and in total the mission reaches approximately 3,000 people in more than 100 bateys each year. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough teams and supplies to reach every batey each month, so many of the people we saw were provided with a 30-day supply of medication but will not have the opportunity to visit another clinic for months. When it comes to cardiac and diabetic medications, for example, it is a really big problem.
 
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Q: Would you recommend other nurses sign up for a medical mission with Team Tampa Bay, and what are some of the other projects they could get involved in? 
A: I would definitely recommend joining Team Tampa Bay on a medical mission to La Romana. It was an incredible experience. The leaders of our team work hard to organize these trips every year and they are always in need of more volunteers, supplies, and donations. Nurses can also organize their own mission team through Good Samaritan or get involved with some of their other projects, including the clean water, construction, and Sugar Cane Kids programs.


Q: Finally, what do you see for the future of nursing? 
A: As I mentioned above, nurses are uniquely poised to provide solutions for many of the problems we face in our health care system today. Forward-thinking and innovative nurses, whether in bedside care, outpatient, management, or advanced practice, will seize opportunities to lead us toward a more preventative, holistic approach to healthcare.

*Disclaimer: The author of this blog has a personal relationship with the interviewed party. 

Do you know an inspiring nurse to be featured for the next Nurse On the Move? Email your submissions to ClinicalEditor@NursingCenter.com.

 
Posted: 9/3/2015 9:10:54 AM by Cara Deming | with 1 comments

Categories: Leadership


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