DiversityNursing Blog

A Career In Nursing Is The Future For Many Men

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Jan 12, 2018 @ 10:27 AM

00up-nurses-sisante4-master1050-v2.jpgThe Washington Center for Equitable Growth reported the percent of males in Nursing has steadily grown since 1960 from 2% to 13% in the United States. We have seen women entering male-dominated fields for a long time, but it’s less common to see an increase in men joining a predominantly female occupation. The NY Times interviewed many male Nurses, here is what they had to say.

For some men, the idea that caregiving jobs are women’s work is old-fashioned. “This narrative that men can’t provide care in the way that women can is part of that broad cultural narrative that misunderstands what Nursing’s about,” said Adam White, the V.A. hospital student nurse, who is earning his Nursing degree at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland. “We need to talk with young people about caring as a gender-neutral idea, but also as something that’s rooted in skills, in expertise.”

John-Flor Sisante, recent Nursing graduate, said “When my wife told her grandfather that I graduated from Nursing school, he just laughed. But I think there are more men who are less afraid to take on what have traditionally been considered feminine roles.” 

Economic factors play a role as well. There has been a decline in some jobs because of automation. “A lot of those manufacturing jobs and things of that nature just aren’t there anymore,” said David Baca, an emergency department Nurse in Oregon. “We get paid a really livable wage, and I think that is now starting to attract more male Nurses.” Even though men are a minority, they are paid more than women.

Many people change careers to Nursing later on in life. Male Nurses are more likely than females to have worked as emergency medical technicians, military Nurses or lab technicians. Nearly half of Nurse anesthetists, one of the highest-paying Nursing jobs, are men.

Jorge Gitler, Oncology Nurse manager says, “Forget about the stigma. The pay is great, the opportunities are endless and you end up going home every day knowing that you did something very positive for someone else.”

When Nurses closely reflect the patient population, hospitals and patients benefit. Some patients prefer a Nurse of the same sex, particularly for procedures like inserting a catheter, Nurses said, and some men feel more comfortable talking openly with another man.

“I work on this floor with people who just had urology surgery or amputations, and they have told me that when I come in the room and shut the door behind me, they feel more understood and can drop the tough guy attitude,” Mr. White said.

Nurses also focus on the rewarding part of the career. Jonathan Auld, Clinical Nurse leader and Nursing Ph.D. student, said “It’s not just a job. You have this sense of purpose, this sense of service, that you’re in this to really help improve people’s lives.” 

It is a welcome change to the field. Patients and hospitals will benefit from the changing Nurse population. If you have anything you would like to add please comment below!

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Topics: male nurse, male nurses

Health Providers Impacting Youth Sports Related Injuries

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Jan 03, 2018 @ 11:18 AM

la-sci-sn-youth-soccer-injuries-20160912-snap.jpgChildren being involved with sports and other physical activities is a normal and healthy part of their life. Unfortunately injuries can happen. Thankfully healthcare professionals are working to find ways to better treat and prevent injuries. Here are a few examples...

Almost half a million children visit emergency rooms annually in the U.S from traumatic brain injuries due to sports. CT scans have risk of radiation, can be costly, and don't detect concussions.

According to Dr. Shireen Atabaki, emergency medical specialist at Children's National Health System, "It's been estimated that people who get a single CT scan in the first 22 years of life have a 300 percent increase risk of cancer in their lifetime."

Dr. Atabaki has been working on creating a diagnostic tool for concussions that would reduce the need for CT scans. The technology she developed is now used in the electronic health record at Children's Hospital. The hospital saved more than $800,000 in one year by reducing CT scans by 556.

Gregg T. Nicandri, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon and assistant professor in the University of Rochester Medical Center division of Sports Medicine said, "The biggest trend I see currently is an epidemic of ACL injuries. An ACL tear is something that usually requires surgery to repair and typically requires a year-long recovery."

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, about 70 percent of sports-related ACL injuries happen through movements like pivoting, cutting, sidestepping and awkward landings, while about 30 percent result from collisions with other players.

ACL injury prevention programs have shown great results. Dr. Nicandri, who was involved in a URMC ACL injury-prevention program in Rochester said, “We found that we were able to decrease the rate of ACL injury by about 70 percent in the group of athletes that did the program.”

Dr. Mark Link from UT Southwestern says commotio cordis is the second-leading cause of sudden death in youth sports, with one medical study declaring it "the single, most common cause of traumatic death in youth baseball." He also went on to say, "It is a tragic, unfortunate event that happens to normal, healthy kids when they're struck in the chest. But there has to be multiple things that occur at the same time."

A teenager's rib cage is more flexible than an adult's, which means a sudden blow to the chest can cause the ribs to bend inward and touch the heart. "That allows the energy of the ball to be transmitted to the heart," Link explains. If the blow hits at "the upstroke of the T wave," in the last part of a heartbeat -- a window of time that's 15 times faster than the blink of an eye -- the heart will go into ventricular fibrillation.

"The heart is being electrocuted," Dr. Link says. "It's the sudden-death rhythm. The pumping chambers just quiver. When they quiver, they can't effectively pump blood. There's no blood flow to the brain."

After Dr. Link told Karen Acompra what had really killed her son, she wanted to find a way to prevent deaths like this from happening. She believes that learning CPR and having an automated external defibrillator (AED) at all sporting events can make a difference between life and death. She says there are still 30 states that don't mandate AEDs on school grounds but is working to make it a national law.

As a Nurse what are your opinions on children playing contact sports? Do you agree it should be mandatory for AEDs to be on school grounds? Please comment below with any thoughts!

Topics: youth sports related injuries

7 Unique Nursing Jobs

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Dec 22, 2017 @ 02:32 PM

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There are many Nursing specialties to choose from. There may be jobs that suit your needs and interests perfectly, but you had no idea they existed as an option. Here are some positions you might not have considered as a career path for yourself.

Camp Nurse

Camp nurses serve typically children or teens, in a camp environment. This can include summer camps or other camps that last from days to weeks to even months at a time, but are usually temporary.

According to RegisteredNursing.org, Nurses with a background in emergency care, pediatrics, and/or trauma will do well in a camp nursing environment. Beyond this, camp nurses usually work alone or fairly independently, so being able to make decisions and deal with any sort of medical emergency is a routine part of the job. Some camps may not even have reliable phone or internet service, so camp nurses need to have enough professional experience to expedite care in this type of environment. Camp nurses also need to have managerial skills, as they generally oversee the whole health office, and must be able to effectively document and record all visits and treatments administered.

NASCAR Nurse

A NASCAR medical liaison coordinator (MLC) is a Registered Nurse who no longer practices “hands-on” nursing. Five full-time nurses are based at corporate headquarters in Daytona Beach, FL.

Responsibilities consist of managing the day to day operation of the department and focusing on the medical needs of the Racing Series. A minimum of two MLCs travel to a new racetrack on a weekly basis.

Disney Nurse

Disney is the place where dreams come true. Could your dream job be there as well? With competitive wages and excellent benefits, jobs in theme parks like Walt Disney World provide Nurses with a positive place to work. These jobs require a skill set they would use to help the park's cast memebers.

Yacht Nurse

As a Nurse/Stewardess you will be expected to maintain the on-board medical ward and Nursing station. This would include stock take, ordering supplies and recording inventories. Depending on the yacht owners health you may be required for certain medical duties.

Although long working hours are required, the benefits are amazing with salaries often  higher than other Nursing positions. Yachting is not for the faint hearted though and must have a sense of adventure and an urge to travel.

Flight Nurse

Flight Nurses are Registered Nurses who provide nursing care on board medical helicopters, airplanes or jets. In the United States, flight Nurses respond to 2 primary types of cases or requests for assistance: response to accident scenes (commonly referred to as scene calls) and requests for inter-hospital patient transfers.

Transgender Youth Nurse

More children and adolescents are identifying as transgender or gender fluid, and they are being seen in a variety of healthcare settings where Nurses are present. Transgender and gender fluid youth are a vulnerable population and are at risk of poor health outcomes, including suicide. Nurses hold a unique position of trust and are therefore perfectly situated to support these youth at every health-related interaction.

Nurses interact with transgender and gender fluid youth in a diverse array of clinical settings, including primary care, the emergency department, and other hospital units, as well as in schools, community settings, and most other areas of care.

Health Policy Nurse

According to the University of California San Francisco, Nurses with policy expertise are employed by health services research firms, work in legislative and regulatory offices at the county, state and federal levels, or hold elective or appointed office. Others work in the legislative or policy offices of health maintenance organizations, advocacy organizations, health care companies or health care provider associations, or consult for these and other organizations. One can also find Nurses with careers in policy and program planning at international government health organizations and non-governmental organizations.

If you know of other unique Nursing positions please comment below!

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Topics: nursing jobs, unique nursing jobs

See How Hospitals Are Celebrating the Holidays

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Dec 12, 2017 @ 10:04 AM

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For many people, the holiday season is their favorite time of year, with excitement building for months. Spending time with family and friends, decorating, sharing laughs and getting in the holiday spirit means so much to so many. For these same reasons, this time of year can be the most difficult time to be in the hospital.

Fortunately, there are many ways to bring joy into hospitals during the holiday season.

Shriners Hospital Celebrates Holidays with Atrium Performance Series

AtriumSeries-01UkuleleHeaven.jpgThe holiday season brings the gift of music to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California, where singers and musicians volunteer their time and talent as part of the Atrium Performance Series. Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, choirs, school bands, and local business groups perform in the hospital lobby to make spirits bright.

Gingerbread village event at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital

gingerbread_2017_1_w.jpgGingerbread houses were assembled and decorated by patients and guests in the lobby of Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital who layered them with white frosting roofs and assorted, colorful candies. Other houses were sent to patients on the units who could not come down for the event. Whenever a house was completed, Santa or one of his helpers placed it on a large display structure designed to evoke the shape of a Christmas tree. Patients got to take a Teddy bear and the book of their choice.

Akron Children's Hospital Holiday Tree Festival 2017

akron childrens trees.jpgAccording to cleveland.com, there are 85,000 strings of lights at the festival at the John S. Knight Center. There are 140 trees, wreaths galore and holiday gifts all donated by an individual, group or business. Click Here to See Photos of all the trees!


Santa takes a helicopter to UVM Medical Center Children’s Hospital

santahelicopter.jpgSanta made a trip to visit kids at the University of Vermont Medical Center Children’s Hospital. According to the Burlington Free Press, No reindeer were used for this pre-holiday visit. Santa Claus hovered in a helicopter at the hospital entrance, waving to the children gathered on a balcony inside.

 

There are plenty of ways to bring holiday cheer to your facilities halls. Here are a few ideas:

  • Have a family member bring in a LED menorah or a small tree to make it feel more like home.
  • Light up a hospital room with a simple strand of lights.
  • Play some classic Holiday music.
  • Watch a Christmas movie.
  • Share thank you notes and holiday cards.
  • Bring Holiday desserts and treats.
  • Open some presents with loved ones and staff members.

 

 If you have other ideas or tips to celebrating the holidays in a hospital, please comment below! Happy Holidays!

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Topics: Holidays, holiday shifts, working holidays

Tips For New Nurses

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Dec 07, 2017 @ 09:41 AM

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It can be difficult making the transition from Nursing student to professional. So we’ve put together a list of tips to help you during the first few months and set yourself up for a successful career. If you have any other tips you think we should add to our list, please leave a comment below!

Give yourself a chance to acclimate to shift work. 

There's a good chance you are going to be tired during the first few weeks of your shifts. Don't worry hang in there, it will get better once you're adjusted to the hours. But if you are continually fatigued and don’t see improvement after a few weeks, talk to your hospital wellness team or your supervisor to discuss some solutions.

Don’t be so hard on yourself if you make an error

Every new Nurse makes mistakes. Please don’t set that unrealistic expectation that you’ll just do it right the first time, every time. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself very disappointed in yourself, when in actuality it’s normal to make mistakes and learn from them.

Become efficient at charting

You've probably heard this a thousand times by now.  I will say it again anyway, it is worth repeating.  You absolutely MUST chart everything you do. Be careful not to chart only what was verbalized.  Wait for the orders to be placed and then document accordingly. 

Use a Mentor

If you work with a Nurse whom you admire and is simply awesome at what they do, you can watch them quietly and learn from how they go about their work. This is a silent mentoring relationship where you just learn through association and observation.

If that isn’t your style, Nurse.com recomends you actually verbalize your wish for a mentor to the Nurse in question. This could involve setting up a regular meeting for you to ask questions and receive coaching, or it could be more of an informal, as-needed arrangement.

Don't be afraid to ask questions

If you act like you know everything (which isn't possible) then you won't ever learn anything. Nurses ask lots of questions all the time, it is a constant learning process. No one expects you to know everything.

Any experienced Nurses have tips to add for new Nurses?  What helped you in your first year after Nursing school? Comment below!

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Topics: new nurses, new nurse

These Nurses Are Also Inventors

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Nov 30, 2017 @ 11:59 AM

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You see problems with the equipment, software, bedding, clothing, etc. you use in your job every day. If you have an idea to make something better, here are a few inspirational stories of Nurses who acted on their ideas to create a better solution to the problems they encountered.

hqdefault-1-380814-edited.jpgDecades ago, Bessie Blount Griffin was a a volunteer Nurse at a New Jersey hospital. According to marketplace.org, while Griffin was there, she noticed lots of veterans had lost the ability to use their limbs. She decided to create an invention that would allow paralyzed veterans to feed themselves using a tube they could bite on with their teeth.

Even though she had worked for so long and invested thousands of dollars of her own money into her invention, the VA wasn't interested in paying the $100,000. So instead, she donated it to the French government who used it in military hospitals nationwide.

Bessie was determined to prove "that as a black female, we can do more than nurse their babies and clean their toilets."

coolingvest.jpgJill Byrne is an operating room Nurse who created a garment that could help surgeons reduce heat stress. Heat shortened the tempers and focus of surgeons. So Jill fashioned a from scrap draping material common in hospitals. Outfitted with pockets for re-freezable ice packs placed around the body, the garment was designed to fit under a surgical gown. She created this piece in her living room.

Heat stress is an occupational hazard for surgeons. They must keep the thermostat in operating rooms above 68 degrees—a standard set by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services—and that's before factoring in warmth from lights, impervious layers of protective clothing and the intense physical demands of some surgeries, such as joint replacements.

As little as 30 minutes of overheating starts to tax internal organs and is associated with weight gain, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and a hindrance on cognitive performance, according to peer-reviewed research and stress studies by the Mayo Clinic.

According to medicalxpress.com,  the first surgeon who wore the cooling vest showed such a dramatic change in personality, Byrne said, he was singing show tunes and was calm, polite and clear of mind during the procedure.

In a product trial at several Cleveland Clinic facilities, 97 percent of the surgeons, technicians and nurses who tested the vest said they would wear it again; it was lauded for its low cost, light weight and how its disposability does not create an additional source of contamination or laundry.

Byrne secured a provisional patent and is working with a team from Cleveland Clinic Innovations to license the property to a third-party manufacturer, and the vest could be for sale within a year.

Screen Shot 2017-11-28 at 2.16.22 PM-452025-edited.pngRegistered Nurse Georgann Carrubba created a product that could improve the quality of life for the more than 800,000 Americans who use ostomy pouches after surgeries. The Choice Cap System and Nurse Carrubba went before a panel of judges at the Rochester Venture Challenge and won the $25,000 grand prize.

The cap system is a double-flanged wafer that a patient could then connect to either a traditional pouch, a light-weight, air-tight and waterproof cap; or a smaller pouch stored in the cap.

Genesee Community College Director of Nursing Kathleen Palumbo said, “Put yourself in the place of these patients — having a bag on your abdomen that fills with stool, that sometimes smells. Even going to the grocery store, a restaurant, never mind swimming, playing golf, tennis or anything like that. Some of these people become virtual shut-ins, they become afraid, embarrassed.”

The Choice Cap is meant to add a more secure and less obtrusive option that will work and cost the same as the traditional systems. Carrubba said users can be more comfortable in public, in activities and in intimate situations.

“One of the biggest struggles patients had was changing their lifestyle to accommodate a pouch,” Carrubba said. “This is going to bring them back to doing the activities they’ve avoided or feared.”

ZI-2IGN-2015-SEP00-IDSI-4-1.jpgA Nurse named Sister Jean Ward invented neonatal phototherapy in the 1950's. She was in charge of the Premature Unit at Rochford General Hospital in Essex, England and realized that sunlight reduced jaundice in newborns and premature infants. This discovery led to phototherapy, which probably is the most common clinical treatment applied to newborn infants.

Anita Dorr, RN invented the first crash cart in 1968. According to workingnurse.com, while working in the emergency department she became concerned about how long it took the staff to round up all the equipment needed to treat a critically ill patient. With her staff, she compiled a list of items that would be needed in any type of emergency.

Anita and her husband John measured everything and built a red-painted wood prototype in their basement. innovation-technology-commercialization-for-nurses-35-638-180536-edited.jpgThe original cart had a laminate top and included wheels for quick movement to the bedside. Everyone called it the crisis cart.

Nurse Adda May Allen worked at Columbia Hospital in Washington, D.C. in the 1940s. Allen realized it was exhausting for babies to nurse on bottles so she created a disposable liner that moms and hospitals could throw away after just one use. While a baby sucked on a traditional bottle, a partial vacuum formed, inverting the nipple. A plastic liner, however, allowed the sides to close in as a baby drank her milk.

In 1985, Nurse Teri Barton-Salinas wanted to make IV lines different colors to reduce medical errors. Barton-Salinas got the idea when she was working as a labor delivery Nurse and had to use the lines in newborns.

According to dailyrepublic.com, it remained only an idea until 2003 when she and her sister, Gail Barton-Hay, got what they call ColorSafe IV Lines patented. Now, with the help of retired California Highway Patrol officer Royce Brooks, who runs Creative Safety Solutions, the two nurses hope to make hospitals and medical centers safer with their invention.

We hope you are inspired by these creative Nurses and the improvements they contributed to the medical community. Do you have an idea to make things better for you and your patients? If so, how about acting on it? We’d love to hear about it!

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Topics: nurse inventor, nurse innovator, nurse inventions, medical inventions

Nursing Scholarships

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Nov 10, 2017 @ 02:56 PM

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In addition to our DiversityNursing.com Annual $5,000 Education Award, we thought it would be helpful to provide a list of other scholarships that might be of interest to you.

Good Luck!

AACN Scholarship $2,500- https://www.hurstreview.com/AACN

ACLS Medical Training Scholarship Program $1,000-   https://www.aclsmedicaltraining.com/scholarship/

Advancing Men In Nursing Scholarships- http://www.aamn.org/resources

AfterCollege-AACN Scholarship Fund $2,500- https://www.aftercollege.com/content

American Cancer Society Graduate In Cancer Nursing Practice Scholarship $20,000- https://www.cancer.org/research

Asian American/ Pacific Islander Nurses Association, Inc. Scholarships- http://aapina.org/scholarship-awards/

BestNursingDegree.com Scholarship $2,500- http://www.bestnursingdegree.com

Deloras Jones RN Scholarship Program- https://www.scholarsapply.org/delorasjones/

Elizabeth J Davis Scholarship $3,000- http://vnavt.com/elizabeth-j.-davis-scholarship/

Equality Scholarship $6,000- http://www.equalityscholarship.org/

FNSNA Undergraduate Scholarship Program- http://www.forevernursing.org/undergraduate-scholarships.html

Gladys D Goodson Scholarship $2,500- http://www.lcf.org

Health Careers Scholarship Program $7,500- https://www.gallagherstudent.com/scholarship/

Healthcare Leadership Scholarship $2,000- http://www.healthgrad.com/scholarships

HealthGrad.com Leadership Scholarship $2,000- http://www.healthgrad.com/scholarships

IMPACT Technology Recruiting Scholarship $1,000- http://go-impact.com/payments

Jean Andrews Nursing Scholarship $1,200- http://www.vsac.org/pay

Kentucky Nursing Incentive Scholarship Fund $3,000- http://kbn.ky.gov

Kings Daughters Health Foundation Health Career Scholarship $2,500- http://www.kdhealthfoundation.com/scholarships

Madeline Pickett Cogswell Nursing Scholarship $2,500- http://www.dar.org/national-society/scholarships

Medsite Medical Scholarship $5,000- https://www.medsitemedical.com/scholarships/

Mildred Nutting Nursing Scholarship $2,000- http://www.dar.org/national-society/scholarships

NAHN Scholarships- http://nahnnet.org/NAHN/About/Scholarships

National CPR Association Scholarship $2,000- https://www.nationalcprassociation.com/scholarship/

NBNA Scholarships- http://www.nbna.org/content

Nurse Plus Academy $1,000- http://nurse.plus/#scholarship

Nurse.org Healthcare Leaders Scholarship $1,000- http://nurse.org/healthcare-leaders/

Nursing.org Scholarships $2,000- http://www.nursing.org/scholarships/

Oliver Joel And Ellen Pell Denny Healthcare Scholarship $3,000- https://www.wsfoundation.org

Perinatal Graduate Nursing Scholarships $5,000- https://www.marchofdimes.org/nursing

Philippine Nurses Association of America, Inc. Scholarship $2,000- http://www.mypnaa.org/News

Professional Caretakers Scholarships $1,500- https://professionalcaretakers.com/scholarship/

Sarah Margaret Macdonald Nursing Scholarship $6,000- https://s-caf.org/index.php

The Genvieve Renn Roscher Nursing Scholarship $1,000- http://johnrandolphfoundation.org

The Meland Foundation Nursing Scholarships $2,000-$5,000- http://melandfoundation.org

The Nurses Foundation of Wisconsin, Inc. Scholarship $2,000- http://wisconsinnurses.org/education/scholarships/

The Rick And Sherry Murray Medical Futures Scholarship $5,000- http://webfl.alsa.org/site

Transcultural Nursing Society Scholarships- http://www.tcns.org/Foundationawards.html

Travel Nurse Source Scholarship $2,000- https://www.travelnursesource.com/resources/scholarship/

Western Governors University Scholarships- https://www.wgu.edu/tuition_financial_aid/scholarships/nurses

Click Here to register for our $5,000 Education Award!

Click Here To Register For 2018

Topics: nursing scholarships

Hospital Fall Prevention Tips

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Nov 07, 2017 @ 10:43 AM

HE-AA393_IMMOBI_J_20170908161830.jpgAs a Nurse, you have long been committed to reducing and preventing patient falls. In fact, call lights, checklists and risk assessments are just a few types of fall-related tools that you've become accustomed to. While these strategies have improved patient safety, it’s time to start thinking differently about how we approach falls.

According to EBSCO, Fall prevention remains one of the most challenging patient safety initiatives in any healthcare setting. Notwithstanding the risk for patient injury or death, a fall with injury is expensive and the estimated average cost is $14,000 (TJC, 2015). Falls and trauma were identified by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as preventable adverse events. CMS will not reimburse hospitals if falls and trauma occurred as a secondary hospital acquired-condition.

Below are some tips from Brigham and Women's Hospital that may prevent future falls.

  • Fall and injury risk assessments for each patient
  • More sensitive bed alarms or chair alarm to help alert staff that a patient is getting up and may need assistance
  • Video, informational brochure, communication signs to inform patients and families about fall risks and how to be safe in the hospital
  • Patient Comfort Rounds, which includes routine safety checks on each patient by the nurse or care assistant to make sure that the patient:
    • Is comfortable and pain is controlled
    • Receives assistance with toileting and other personal or special needs
    • Is assisted with re-positioning in the bed or chair
    • Can reach personal items
  • Is in a safe environment
  • Discussions with pharmacists and doctors to review and adjust certain medications as needed if a patient is at high risk for falling
  • Communicating the risk for falls, injuries from a fall, and a safety plan to patients/families and other members of the health care team
  • Having no more than three side rails up on the bed at any one time to allow patients an easy pathway out of the bed
  • Mobility supports and assistive devices that meet the patient's needs
Have more questions or concerns about fall prevention? Click below to submit your question to our Nurse Leaders!
Click Here To Ask Question

Topics: fall prevention, preventing falls

Quality Patient and Nurse Safety

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Oct 30, 2017 @ 03:43 PM

nurse-safety.jpgNurses are a constant presence at the bedside and regularly interact with physicians, pharmacists, families, and all other members of the health care team but, physicians may spend only 30 to 45 minutes a day with even a critically ill hospitalized patient. This means Nurses have the critical role in ensuring a patient's safety.

Nurses ensure their patient's safety by monitoring them for clinical deterioration, detecting errors, understanding care processes, and performing countless other tasks. There are many ways to help you achieve quality safety for yourself and your patients. Here are a few...

Nurse-to-patient ratios

According to Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, assigning increasing numbers of patients eventually compromises a Nurses' ability to provide safe care. Several seminal studies have demonstrated the link between Nurse staffing ratios and patient safety, documenting an increased risk of patient safety events, morbidity, and even mortality as the number of patients per Nurse increases. The strength of these data has led several states, beginning with California in 2004, to establish legislatively mandated minimum Nurse-to-patient ratios; in California, acute medical–surgical inpatient units may assign no more than five patients to each registered Nurse.

Safe and healthy workplace

OSHA, which enforces the Occupational and Safety Health Act of 1970, ensures employers are providing a safe and healthy workplace for workers and comply with OSHA’s regulations. Some of the obligations include:

• Complying with your employer’s policies and procedures based on its obligations under OSHA;

• Using personal protective equipment, including masks, when indicated;

• Informing your Nurse manager and others designated in the facility policy of workplace violence (e.g., bullying, intimidation, verbal abuse);

• Using proper body mechanics when lifting, pushing wheelchairs or otherwise working with patients;

• Reducing risks for slips, trips or falls by removing obstacles, wiping up wet walking surfaces and wearing shoes that support your feet and your walking;

• Speaking with your Nurse manager and CNO when policies and procedures governing safety are not being followed.

Overtime and long shifts

It is common for hospitals and clinics to request that their Nursing staff work overtime. While working overtime can be an effective solution to a Nursing shortage, it also can present a number of problems. Nurses risk becoming burned out, tired and/or stressed if they take on too much overtime.

 A study conducted by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System showed working a 12-hour shift or working overtime was related to having trouble staying awake during the shift, reduced sleep times and nearly three times the risk of making an error. The most common medication errors identified in the study due to Nurse fatigue were wrong doses, dose omission and extra doses.

Communication

Health care teams that communicate effectively and work togehter reduce the potential for error, resulting in an improved clinical performance. According to the American Hospital Association,  A key aspect in improving teamwork and communication in health care is engaging patients and families. Increasingly, research shows a correlation between increased patient and family engagement and fewer adverse events. Determining how patients and families want to be involved in their care and then engaging them in designing their plan of care increases their understanding of tests, procedures, and anticipated care outcomes, including a successful discharge.

If you have any questions about patient or staff safety, please click below to ask your question and a Nurse Leader will respond.
Click Here To Ask Question

Topics: patient safety, nurse safety

Nurses Team Together To Invent Device For Infants

Posted by Andy Rosen

Thu, Oct 26, 2017 @ 12:11 PM

24nurses01.jpgEvery day we see aspects of our job that can be done better. Improvements can be made to the way we do many things and the materials we use. We’re often so busy, we think to ourselves there must be a better way to do our charting, administer meds, etc, but we’re too busy to actually do anything about it so we go with the same old routine.
 
Here's a story about a Nurse seeing a need for improvement, having a creative idea, and seeing her idea become a much needed device to improve healthcare for babies.

This article written by By from the Boston Globe- Maggie McLaughlin’s path from nurse to entrepreneur started last year when an IV tube became unhooked from an infant in the neonatal intensive care unit at Tufts Medical Center, where she works, causing the child to begin bleeding unexpectedly.

A specialist in IV procedures, McLaughlin was asked to study ways of preventing such an incident from happening again, and she learned there is no universally accepted tool to safely lock the line onto an infant’s tiny body.

“It left me wondering,” she said. “There’s got to be something we can do. There’s got to be a better way.”

Since then McLaughlin has been working to develop an IV connection that lies flatter on an infant’s skin and holds more securely to the needle than the alternatives on the market today. She has teamed up with a former nurse she met at a Northeastern University event to form a company called IV Safe T to make and market the device.

24nurses05.jpgMcLaughlin is among a number of nurses — with the help of programs from nursing schools and their own hospitals — who are using their bedside experience to develop new products and innovations in the medical industry.

Rebecca Love, director of the year-old Nurse Innovation and Entrepreneurship program at NU, said research has shown that nurses spend a significant portion of each shift using workarounds and making impromptu fixes to ineffective processes or equipment. One simple example is using medical tape to secure a device that doesn’t sit right on a patient’s body.

Such adaptations take up time that could otherwise be devoted to patient care, but they also demonstrate creativity that can be channeled into developing new tools and procedures to improve the delivery of medicine.

The NU program, which connects nurses to resources and guidance to help them carry out their ideas, said it has attracted 1,600 people to events it has held, and it has connected at least 20 nurses to business mentors. It is also beginning a certificate program this winter.

Meanwhile, Massachusetts General Hospital provides grants to nurses and other patient care workers who have ideas to improve the way the facility operates. One nurse at MGH, Jared Jordan, is using the grant program to develop a harness that will allow patients to use the bathroom on their own without risk of falling. He came up with the idea after a patient took a bad spill at the hospital, slowing his recovery.

Patients understandably want privacy while they use the toilet, even when they are so weak they are at risk of falling. The goal of the product is to provide enough stability that nurses can stand watch from outside the bathroom.

Jordan said he is still working out what his business relationship with MGH will be if the product comes to fruition. His main goal is not so much to make money, but to help solve the big problem of falls in hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutional settings.

“I love being a bedside nurse, and I couldn’t imagine not doing that,” Jordan said. “I want this product to take off because I just think it’s going to be so impactful.”

These programs strive to put nurses on equal footing with other professions, including doctors, who are commonly seen as the most likely innovators in medicine. “Nursing historically has not been at the top of the hierarchy,” said Tim Raderstorf, chief innovation officer at The Ohio State University College of Nursing, which has a studio where students, faculty, and staff can test out ideas. “Although we are the largest profession in health care, we tend to have the least influence when it comes to making decisions.” That can be a major factor in determining whether nurses stay in their jobs. Research by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has found that nurses who have autonomy and feel involved in decision-making say they are more likely to stay in their jobs.

Some who follow innovation in health care say nurses represent a relatively untapped reservoir of expertise about improving patient care.

“Doctors aren’t really trained to do the business of medicine. They’re trained to be doctors, but they run practices, and they start businesses,” said Paulina Hill, principal at the venture firm Polaris Partners. “It’s the same with nurses. There’s nothing really that limits them from innovating.”

McLaughlin calls her device “Lang lock,” after her maiden name. The rounded device connects tubing to an IV catheter with a single twist, and it has one flat side to make the needle approach the skin at a lower angle so it sits more securely.

She has teamed up with Melinda J. Watman, a former nurse who later got an MBA and went into business, to start their own company. She works on the business in her spare time from the kitchen table at her Chelmsford home, and still clocks three, 10-hour shifts a week at the Tufts Floating Hospital for Children in Boston.

So far, McLaughlin and Watman have spent about $5,000 of their own money to make a prototype. NU has been helping them to protect their intellectual property and study the market. The pair are exploring how to pay for the more daunting costs of getting regulatory approval, which could exceed $10,000. That might happen through a licensing agreement, or finding someone to bring the product to market by selling any patents they receive.

They believe the product could also benefit adults, because they’ve designed to be easier to connect and to reduce the risk of irritation and skin tearing even on larger bodies.

McLaughlin, who describes herself as a “worker bee,” said the rapid immersion in the business of medical devices has been “eye opening.”

“Going in, doing my job well, making sure that every patient I contact has what they need — that’s been my specialty,” she said. “So when it comes to the whole business part, it’s a learning curve that I’ve been taking baby steps and baby strides to.”

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Topics: infant, nurse inventor, medical device

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