1. Gould, Kathleen Ahern PhD, RN

Article Content


Stanley S, Wolanski TB. Designing and Integrating a Disaster Preparedness Curriculum: Readying Nurses for the Worst. Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International; 2015.


Stanley and Wolanski's experiences in the Army, American Red Cross, and as nurse leaders and educators in trauma and public health management shine through as they provide a disaster preparedness framework for all health care providers. The authors amassed a talented group of professionals who share their expertise and comprehensive tools for professionals engaged in emergency management.


A foreword by Susan Hassmiller, senior advisor for nursing at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and director of the Future of Nursing Campaign for America, reminds us that local, state, and national priorities were illuminated after the September 11, 2001, attack in New York. She suggests that all nurse educators read this book and determine how to best incorporate disaster preparedness into their curricula. That same year, the Institute of Nursing report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, called on nurses to assume a greater leadership role in every aspect of care for patients, families, and communities.


This text accomplishes many of those goals, beginning with definitions and a brief history of disasters and their impact on population health.


Chapters devoted to education and simulation experiences introduce new technology and critical skills; utilizing concepts such as virtual reality modules and gaming techniques. Students use methods that incorporate psychomotor skills and gain reinforcement with tactile feedback and computerized interface.


A literature review of simulation research and learning experiences encourage the reader to explore and develop new student scenarios. Throughout the text, experts share examples of what does work and what does not work in emergency planning. This level of strategic advising and logistical design is essential to both protect first responders and to create efficient exercises for simulation and training. Examples include the use of checklist and equipment testing and attention to detail during all communication.


Using this text, disaster nursing may be introduced as a stand-alone course or as part of a comprehensive curriculum; both formats are provided.


The text provides a comprehensive guide for leaders charged with providing a framework for disaster planning and personnel involved in all levels of training and emergency response. Examples, case studies, model curricula, and competencies are provided and can be adapted to inform introductory-level courses or used in a graduate curriculum.


In her foreword, Hassmiller tells us that being prepared takes an enormous amount of advance work. Citing the exceptional response of the health care workers at the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing, she reminds us how casualties can be minimized when a strong preparedness system is in place.


Sherwood G, Horton-Deutsch S. Reflective Organizations: On the Front Lines of QSEN & Reflective Practice Implementation. Indianapolis, IN: Sigma Theta Tau International; 2015.


This book is based on the premise that nursing must transform education and practice to meet the changing environments in health care. The book expands on the original content of the 2013 book, Reflective Practice: Transforming Education and Improving Outcomes.


Sherwood and Horton-Deutsch provide a new structure for developing reflective listening and learning, while acknowledging that it is an emerging science. Nonetheless, it is one that will help us transform health care from an illness/procedure model to a prevention/health maintenance model.


We are encouraged to rethink traditional content-based teaching methods and provide a new approach to new competencies that are guided by quality and safety as the foundation for nursing practice. This, they remind us, requires tremendous change, and changing organization culture is complex.


This book explores many ways to approach this using a 5-section design.


Part I calls for a transition from traditional processes and structure to the development of more transformative, reflective organizations. This section introduces the QSEN (Quality and Safety Education for Nurses) guidelines and calls for the use of reflective models to develop emotional intelligence and leadership capacity. The final chapter in this section highlights successful practices of reflective leaders as they discuss what has been meaningful and significant. This chapter encourages leaders to commit to self-examination and ask questions, such as "Do I listen carefully and seek feedback?" and "In what ways do I reach out to others in the change process?"


Part II examines current nursing curricula and offers suggestions for a shift to concept-based educational models. Chapters in this section encourage innovation and leadership and offer example of clinical learning that encourages deep thought through debriefing and visual-thinking strategies. Education methods support an interprofessional approach. The last chapter in this section explores ways to create online learning environments that help students build meaningful skills and develop professional values.


Part III helps readers consider the value and possibilities that come with meaningful change. Jean Watson, known for her work in Caring Science, guides leaders to develop the human consciousness of people within the organization. This caring model is effective in empowering nurses and uniting interprofessional teams.


Part IV helps leaders develop collaborative relationship and reach across boundaries; individually and within organizations such as academic and clinical centers.


Part V pulls content and context together to focus on how to use reflective practices to sustain partnerships and self-improvement. Exemplars engage readers with stories that describe future-oriented academic cultures. Authors describe methods and tools that help leaders develop the models and theories presented in previous chapters. This section pulls together elements of reflection to envision a way of systematic thinking that is necessary to create and sustain the future of health care.


The message is clear. Creating the future for health care will require transformational leadership; however, leaders and organization that will succeed must engage in future thinking as they learn how the past and present will influence the future.


The book describes visions, structures, and models that will bring us clarity. One of my favorite terms is Liberating Structures, which are described as nonhierarchical methodologies based on complexity science designed to unleash future thinking and improve performance. Questions to stimulate this thinking include the following: "If you were looking back 10 years from now and telling the tale of the organizations greatest success, what would the story be and why?"


Other examples used the Wicked Question Exercise from Liberating Structures. Wicked questions present opposites or paradoxes that complicate many issues. One example presented is: "If both nursing practice and academic organizations have considerable knowledge regarding how to improve systems, how is it that we don't apply that knowledge to improve our academic-practice partnership systems?"


This book is filled with expert advice and innovative models to help nursing leaders transform our organizations. A final exercise guides the participant through critical self-reflection and examination. The final steps challenge participants to articulate what they have learned about themselves and consider what they will do in the future from both a personal and professional perspective!



Viva La Evidence

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This 4-minute, 18-second clip is a great tool to use as an introduction to evidence-based practice (EBP) in a hospital or academic setting. I use it to summarize the lessons learned at the end of nursing research and EBP courses. It serves to delight, entertain, and reinforce many concepts learned in class.


Viva La Evidence is a video parody of the band Coldplay's "Viva La Vida."


James McCormack, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, created the segment guided by his passion for music and medicine. The song and images are all about evidence-based health care. To the beat of Coldplay's catchy tune, McCormack introduces a little bit about the history of evidence, sliding in images of Drs Archie Cochrane and David Sacket imposed on the Cochrane Forest Plot logo. Key principles of research and EBP appear on the screen with engaging lyrics and the chorus of "I hear the evidence bells a ringing[horizontal ellipsis] systematic reviews are singing." Another favorite lyric sings, "I see the beauty of forest plots[horizontal ellipsis] who knew they were more than dots."


The video brings the language and tools of EBP to life while inspiring students and staff about the process of finding clinical evidence to change the way they view the world and care for patients. Students new to EBP are delighted to see new words, concepts, faces, and statistical tools as they hum along with the music and beat of a contemporary song!