DiversityNursing Blog

Are You an RN or NP? Participants Needed!

Posted by Kathlyn Khoukaz

Thu, May 24, 2018 @ 11:13 AM

transgender study

We received this request to help a doctoral student in psychology conduct her dissertation study on Nurses attitudes toward transgender individuals. Perhaps you can take a few minutes and help her?

I am conducting a study of attitudes toward transgender individuals, an important area of research to understand how to improve transgender healthcare.

  • Please consider participating if you are a licensed and practicing Registered Nurse or Nurse Practitioner over the age of 18
  • Interested participants are willing to take an anonymous, brief online assessment of attitudes and answer questions regarding feelings toward transgender individuals and clinical experiences.
  • The total time needed is ~15 minutes
  • Participation can occur by following this link:

https://mili2nd.co/fgib

If there are any questions about this study, please contact:
Kathlyn Khoukaz | (925) 331-0716 | kathlynkhoukaz@gmail.com
You may contact the IRB with questions or concerns at (856) 612-8384 | irb@nu.edu

Topics: transgender

Establishing a Diverse Workplace Culture

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, May 18, 2018 @ 10:43 AM

diversityhands

Promoting diversity and inclusion within your workplace is one of the best ways to foster an open-minded company culture. When you have a diverse work force, they provide unique employee perspectives and when that work force mirrors the population of patients they're treating they can give you the patient's perspective as well. These insights should give you a better understanding of those colleagues and patients.

Operating any business in this day and age, especially a health system, requires a large degree of diversity within the organization to help provide culturally competent care to an ever growing and changing patient population. Larger well-organized health systems have entire teams dedicated to diversity and inclusion efforts.

Sometimes recruiting and hiring managers unconsciously target diverse candidates who act like the majority rather than seeking to bring true differences to their organization. When you hire people who think and act like you do, it is comfortable. You know what they look and sound like, and uniformity feels easier to manage. However, doing so stifles diversity, a sense of belonging and innovation. When people who all think alike come together, they consistently dream up similar solutions. High levels of innovation only happen when you leverage the insights of people who see the world differently.

Try to get feedback about the hiring process from the applicants themselves. They are the people who have experienced bias and cultural misunderstandings. They know how it feels and will have ideas about positive changes that can be made within the organization.  
 
It is highly recommended that your organization provide all employees with diversity training. Employees should understand that hiring decisions are based on finding the best candidate and not only based on quotas. The recruiting process should be transparent to help ease the minds of skeptical employees. Also, be sure managers fully understand the benefits of a diverse workplace. They will be implementing HR policies and should be fully committed to supporting the practice.
 
Treat others the way they want to be treated. Understanding how different cultures… perceive a handshake, handle eye contact, and deal with the boundaries of personal space, can help to avert misunderstandings. When in doubt, ask. If you accidentally cause offense, apologize. Be respectful of personal and cultural boundaries. Encourage your colleagues to do the same through your example as this will make your workplace more welcoming and productive for everyone.

For diversity to bring strength, it must be valued and integrated into company practices and philosophy. This takes time and a commitment to celebrate diversity. It requires the willingness to be open-minded and non-judgmental about the value of differences.

Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, diversity in healthcare, cultural diversity, diverse workplace culture

Healthcare Organizations Are Adding New Executive Roles

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, May 14, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

healthcareexecsThe healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and with new services come new roles. Policies and regulations are always changing, new technologies are being used, and patient care is becoming more convenient for them with telehealth, transportation to medical appointments and increased access to health data.  Below you can learn more about some of the roles. 

Chief diversity and inclusion officer

The importance for healthcare organizations to have a Chief Diversity Officer on board has grown in the past 10 years as health systems have expanded and their patient populations have become more diverse.

Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officers main focus is to promote diversity and inclusion at the organization. Other responsibilities include vendor diversity and eliminating health disparities. Someone in this position should understand the health system's culture and its patient population. According to Modern Healthcare, providers argue that as they care for a larger and more diverse patient population—both inside and outside the hospital setting—a diverse workforce will help them better care for patients.

Population health executives

Population health management is becoming a central focus for more healthcare providers and many are considering adding a Chief Population Health Officer to the executive ranks.

Chief Population Health Officers are responsible for overall strategic direction and coordination of population health and care management. It is expected that a Physician would fill the role but, this Physician will have to have public health experience at a state or national level, have an advanced degree in business or health administration and have experience with team-based care.

Chief clinical officer

The demand for value-based care is growing and hospital executives are better aligning their services by hiring Chief Clinical Officers. This role is becoming clearly distinct from a traditional Chief Medical Officer.

The Chief Clinical Officer (CCO)  role takes on more of the patient engagement and clinical quality outcome work. They must understand lean performance requirements, a management style designed to reduce excess waste and care quality, be familiar with electronic health records as well as experience with the integration of quality data and, broadly, the ability to improve processes.

Physician leadership roles

As the hospital field tackles clinical integration, population health and performance improvement to drive transformational change, Physician leadership is crucial. Physician leaders should have exceptional people skills, be capable of communicating effectively and building trust across multidisciplinary groups. Management training and knowledge of leadership principles are also important.

Chief of staff

The Chief of Staff position has long been a fixture in the political arena as well as in the corporate world. It is fairly new but gaining favor in health care. Not to be confused with a Medical Chief of Staff, the organization’s Chief of Staff serves as the right hand of the CEO.

The health care Chief of Staff's duties depend on the CEO’s needs and what the organization demands of the Chief Executive. Responsibilities can encompass supporting internal operations and day-to-day management, as well as representing and even speaking for the organization in public and with external constituents. The Chief of Staff should fulfill high-level responsibilities befitting an executive.

According to Beckers Hospital Review, other executives, like Analytics Executives, Digital Executives, Technology Transfer Executives and Shared Services Executives are also on the rise.

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Topics: healthcare organizations, executive roles

Nurse Shares Video That May Help You Quit Smoking

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, May 03, 2018 @ 11:13 AM

smoking bannerNurse Amanda Eller in North Carolina shared this video comparing the lungs of a smoker with the lungs of a healthy patient. The damaged lungs belonged to a smoker who had smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years, Amanda wrote on Facebook.

The difference between the two sets of lungs is immediate before she even inflates them. 

As Eller explains in the video, the lungs collapse in a way not seen in the healthy set. She says, "The elastance is gone. So they will stretch out but then the recoil of them just snaps right back because there's nothing left to hold them open."

 

According to the American Lung AssociationEvery year in the U.S., more than 480,000 people die from tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, making it the leading cause of preventable death in this country. Tragically, each day thousands of kids still pick up a tobacco product for the first time.

You know the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Well this video is very powerful and conveys the damage done by smoking! Many Nurses see this kind of damage in the work they do, but many don’t. Please share with your colleagues and loved ones.

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Topics: cigarettes, lungs, lung damage, quit smoking

How Health Systems Are Improving Their Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Apr 27, 2018 @ 10:52 AM

diversity-inclusion-respect-767x362@2xMajor health care giants like Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital have pledged to improve diversity recruitment of health workers. Reports showed a lack of diversity in hospitals and care discrepancies among patients. The hospitals plan to increase resources, hire executives focused on improving diversity and inclusion in their organizations, and more.

The lack of diversity in the healthcare workforce can impact patient care. Minority patients are more likely to seek out and follow advice from health professionals who look, sound, eat, worship and share the same cultural customs and values like they do. 

The U.S. population overall is changing and quite rapidly. In 2010, the number of residents age 5 and older speaking a language other than English at home had climbed 158% to 59.5 million from 23.1 million in 1980, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By 2044, more than half the nation is expected to be made up of minority races or groups, according to a 2015 Census Bureau report.

Yet, statistics show healthcare isn't keeping pace with population changes. Minorities made up just 14% of hospital boards and only 11% of executive leadership positions in 2015, according to a survey from the American Hospital Association's Institute for Diversity in Health Management. This disparity exists even though minorities represent roughly 30% to 35% of patients in hospitals.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute officials told Becker's Hospital Review they plan to hire a leader for diversity programs, and will require all faculty and administration to complete a bias awareness workshop, among other initiatives, as part of the institution's 2018 strategic plan.

Dianne Austin, workforce diversity program manager at Massachusetts General Hospital, told Healthcare Dive, "Mass General has an orientation where new employees attend a program on diversity and inclusion and learn about various resources available to employees, such as a citizenship program, careers days and school admissions officers. There are also multiple staff committees focused on improving diversity and inclusion."

Akron Children's Hospital supports a program that aims to improve Nursing diversity. The program's plan is to increase the number of interns in the program and provide tuition support during their senior year of college. The hope is that program participants will return to Akron Children's after graduation to begin their Nursing career.

 "Nursing diversity is vital to ensuring a positive experience for our patients," said William Considine, CEO of Akron Children's Hospital. "Not only does this program provide a valuable educational experience, it also helps Akron Children's recruit more prepared Nurses and helps our workforce reflect the diversity of the patients, families and communities we serve."

UC Health intends to contribute $1.5 million to create University of Cincinnati scholarships designed to diversify the medical profession. The hospital system hopes the scholarships will help all local health systems diversify their workforce when hiring doctors, Nurses, pharmacists and medical technicians. 

“We know through recent research that underrepresented adults in Cincinnati believe their race negatively impacts their treatment from medical professionals,” said Dr. Rick Lofgren, CEO of UC Health. “This investment is a step to improve health care for all of our patients and to foster a health care workforce that reflects the diversity of our population.”

Diversity & Inclusion initiatives can be difficult to sustain, but commitment to increasing D&I at all levels of your organization will bring new perspectives and values to your hospital/health system, which can help decrease health disparities across the board. Bravo to the healthcare leaders that are seriously acting on their D&I initiatives! Do you see progress in this area where you work or teach?

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Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, chief diversity officer, hospital diversity, diverse workforce, diversity recruitment

Culturally Competent Care For LGBTQ Patients

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Apr 20, 2018 @ 02:25 PM

sc-fam-lgbtq-health-care-0220Healthcare organizations strive to provide culturally competent care for individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ). Recent changes in society, including the legalization of gay marriage have raised public awareness of LGBTQ issues. Yet many healthcare professionals lack knowledge in some areas when caring for LGBTQ patients.

As a gay man who is raising a young son with his husband, Michael Johnson, PhD, RN, understands the barriers faced by LGBTQ patients and the assumption often made by nurses and other healthcare professionals that all patients are heterosexual.

“Some members of the LGBTQ community avoid seeking healthcare services because of previous negative experiences in which they faced discrimination,” said Johnson, an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, School of Nursing. “Studies have shown most LGBTQ patients want to be able to share their sexual orientation or gender identity with their healthcare provider, but are often reluctant to open up because they fear they may be treated badly or even refused care."

LGBTQ individuals have a long history of discrimination at the individual and institutional levels, including the healthcare system. They may check to see if the environment is a safe place to reveal personal information, especially about sexuality. Some things an individual may take note of during their time in your waiting room area include:

  • Your organization’s nondiscrimination policy: Is it in a visible location?
  • A rainbow flag, pink triangle, or other symbol of inclusiveness
  • Availability of unisex restrooms
  • Health education literature with diverse images and inclusive language, including information about LGBTQ health
  • Posters announcing days of observance such as World AIDS Day, Pride, and National Transgender Day of Remembrance

To understand LGBTQ populations and their health needs, it is important to first define the distinct core concepts of sexual orientation and gender identity. You can read about key LGBTQ terms here.

LGBTQ health requires specific attention from health care and public health professionals to address a number of disparities, including:

  • LGBT youth are 2 to 3 times more likely to attempt suicide.
  • LGBT youth are more likely to be homeless.
  • Lesbians are less likely to get preventive services for cancer.
  • Gay men are at higher risk of HIV and other STDs, especially among communities of color.
  • Lesbians and bisexual females are more likely to be overweight or obese.
  • Transgender individuals have a high prevalence of HIV/STDs, victimization, mental health issues, and suicide and are less likely to have health insurance than heterosexual or LGB individuals.
  • Elderly LGBT individuals face additional barriers to health because of isolation and a lack of social services and culturally competent providers.
  • LGBT populations have the highest rates of tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use.
 
lgbtq quote
Nurses should avoid asking any unnecessary questions. People are sometimes curious about LGBTQ people and their lives, which can lead them to want to learn more by asking the patient questions. However, like everyone else, LGBTQ people want to keep their medical and personal lives private. Before asking any personal questions, first ask yourself: “Is my question necessary for the patient’s care, or am I asking it for my own curiosity?" If for your own curiosity, it is not appropriate to ask. Think instead about: “What do I know? What do I need to know? How can I ask for the information I need to know in a sensitive way?"

Effectively serving LGBTQ patients requires you to understand the cultural context of their lives, and to modify your procedures, behavior, and language to be inclusive, non-judgmental, and helpful at all times. By doing this, healthcare staff can help ensure that LGBTQ patients receive the level of care that everyone deserves. What helpful information can you add regarding this topic?

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Topics: LGBTQ, LGBTQ Healthcare, cultural competency, LGBTQ health disparities, culturally competent care

Improving Nursing Engagement

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Apr 16, 2018 @ 10:38 AM

nurseengagement

Nursing engagement is the commitment level and satisfaction you have for your job and the organization that employs you. Nursing engagement correlates directly with safety, quality, and patient experience outcomes. In fact, research conducted by Gallup found that it’s a primary factor in determining healthcare quality and preventing complications. It’s also found to be the number one predictor of mortality variation across hospitals.

Change is a constant in the healthcare environment, and employees’ needs change as new generations with different attitudes, values, and beliefs join the workforce. Leaders must view employee engagement as an ongoing journey that demands intentional interventions. During the past decade, healthcare agencies have experienced unusually low turnover, but this is changing, and turnover rates are beginning to increase. Engaging and retaining staff is a high priority. Below are a few ways to improve employee engagement.

Value

Leaders must create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and supported. It is essential to provide support such as material, human, and emotional resources. Genuinely acknowledge the significance and complexity of the work provided by caregivers. Recognition does not always have to involve rewards. Effective recognition can be as simple as showing empathy or acknowledgment in a sincere way such as a statement like “I understand what you went through today.”

Team-building Activities

Nursing is a stressful field. Working with the same group of people every day in a stressful environment can lead to conflict. Organizing team building activities helps staff blow off steam in a healthy manner. Having a department-specific holiday party, summer picnic, cookie exchange, etc. are just a few things that help promote teamwork while having fun.

Be Available

Skillful leaders are visible, available, and approachable in the workplace. Effective leaders engage with staff, patients, and families—not  to check up on employees, but rather to genuinely interact and converse and to be available to team members. Many managers proclaim to have an open-door policy, which generally refers to extending an open invitation for employees to visit and share ideas with the manager in his or her office. However, a better way to view this policy is to have the manager open the door and walk through it on his or her way to spending meaningful time in the workplace to build goodwill and engage with staff.

Work/Life Balance

The work you do is meaningful and purposeful. Much of what you do in healthcare is task oriented and checklist driven. Caregivers need to be reminded frequently that what they do is important and impacts the lives of their patients and their families in ways that they may never know. You want to leave work a “good tired” - that is, tired from a long day, but knowing you gave your patients excellent care and feeling good about that care when you finish your shift. When you begin to experience burnout or compassion fatigue, leaders must intervene quickly and appropriately.
 
Engaged Nurses are committed to their peers, workplace, and delivering the best patient care. We welcome any stories or comments you’d like to share on this subject.

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Topics: nurse engagement, nursing engagement

Life After Retiring As A Nurse

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Apr 10, 2018 @ 09:53 AM

retireSome retired Nurses have a difficult time figuring out what to do with their new free schedule. There are those who are looking forward to permanently taking time off from work. They’ve been waiting for this time to finally relax, take it easy, and indulge in hobbies.

Some Nurses, on the other hand, prefer to continue some type of work or activities after retirement. Here are some job ideas for the retired Nurse who still wants to work a little bit.

reviewer for Nursing Licensure Exams

To be considered a full-fledged registered Nurse you need to pass the Licensure exam. Being a reviewer comes with flexible hours and good pay. Not only that, you gets to help out a new generation of Nurses fulfill their dreams of being professional nurses.

Freelance Nursing Writer

Nursing writers create content for test prep courses, instructional manuals, and other training materials. If you're interested in this sort of work, other terms to search for are, Nurse Certification Writers, Nurse Research Writers, Learning Development Writers, and Medical Writers.

Teach Health Classes In Schools

Nurses teaching health classes in high schools is common. They know the topic and have first-hand experience with actual cases and are just about the most qualified in teaching subjects like sex education and nutrition.

This can be a very rewarding job for a retired Nurse since he or she doesn’t need to take on fully loaded schedules and can also work part-time in the school clinic.

School or summer camp nurse

Nurses who love kids couldn’t ask for a better position. Schools and summer camps often hire RNs to provide basic care for their staff and students. They will avoid the hectic atmosphere of hospitals but still practice their medical skills in an energized environment.

Nurse Educator

Many opportunities exist for Nurse educators outside of the hospital setting. Common settings for Nurse educators include medical device manufacturing companies, community clinics and government offices, pharmaceutical companies, research facilities, textbook publishing companies, and, of course, colleges and universities. The opportunities are rapidly expanding due to the growth of online jobs, and the possibilities for self-employment.

Nurse Bill Auditor

Perform audits of medical records to identify over-payments/underpayments. Must be a licensed RN with excellent communication skills, 3+ years’ clinical experience, and at least one year of reviewing/auditing experience. Mostly remote, freelance role.

There are many opportunities for Nurses thanks to all the life skills and experiences that the profession provides. So long as you keep your eyes peeled and your spirit positive, the right opportunity will come your way.

Topics: retirement, retiring nurse, retired nurse

Appreciation

Posted by Pat Magrath

Thu, Apr 05, 2018 @ 11:43 AM

Pope-FrancisTo be appreciated for who you are and what you do makes us feel good about ourselves. It affirms that we’re doing a good job and we’re being recognized for it. Appreciation goes a long way at work, at home and how we connect with each other. We thought you’d “appreciate” reading this article because someone pretty special thinks Nurses are amazing and we do too!

"I thank her and I want you to know her name: Sister Cornelia Caraglio,” said Pope Francis as he remembered the nurse who saved his life at 20 years old. 

"When, at the age of 20, I was on the verge of death, she was the one who told the doctors, even arguing with them, 'No, this isn't working. You must give more,'" the Pope said during a meeting with thousands of nurses - members of Italy's national association of nursing professionals.

“And thanks to those things [her suggestions], I survived,” recalled the Pope. 

The Pope Thanks Nurses

Pope Francis thanked all nurses in attendance, "you are there all day and you see what happens to the patient. Thank you for that!" he continued, “many lives, so many lives are saved thanks to you!”

He spoke about the importance of the nursing profession and the unique relationships nurses form with all members of the healthcare team - patients, families, and colleagues. Pope Francis stated that nurses are at “the crossroads” of all these relationships. 

Furthermore, Pope Francis acknowledged the “truly irreplaceable” role nurses play in the lives of their patients. “Like no other, the nurse has a direct and continuous relationship with patients, takes care of them every day, listens to their needs and comes into contact with their very body, that he tends to,” stated Pope Francis. 

The Pope called nurses, “promoters of the life and dignity of the persons.”

He spoke about the sensitivity they acquire from “being in contact with patients all day," and addressed the healing power of listening and touch. Calling touch an important factor for demonstrating respect for the dignity of the person. 

He praised nurse’s continuous and tiring commitment to their individual patients despite the patient’s societal status. Calling a nurse’s care particularly important in a society which often leaves weaker people on the margin, only giving worth to people who meet certain criteria or level of wealth. 

Pope Francis called the nursing profession “a real mission,” and referred to nurses as, “experts in humanity.” 

When speaking of touch, Pope Francis told the story of when Jesus healed the Leper through touch. Encouraging the nurses, "we must recognize the importance of this simple gesture," Pope Francis said. "Mosaic law forbid touching lepers and banned them from approaching inhabited places. But Jesus went to the heart of the law, which is summarized in love for one's neighbor," stated Pope Francis.

While acknowledging the difficulty of the nursing profession, Pope Francis encouraged patients to have patience with nurses, to not demand things from nurses and to smile more at their nurses.

The Pope reminded nurses, "a caress, a smile, is full of meaning for one who is sick. It is a simple gesture, but encouraging, he or she feels accompanied, feels closer to being healed, feels like a person, not a number.”

Pope Francis encouraged nurses, to not forget the “medicine of caresses.”

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Topics: Nurse appreciation

Nurse Educators Are Needed To Battle Nursing Shortage

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Apr 02, 2018 @ 02:12 PM

nurseeducator

We all know there’s been a Nursing shortage for years, but are you aware there’s also an issue with Nurse Educators? Existing Nurses aren’t going into education, according to www.marketplace.org. “I find that teaching challenges me as a provider because I always have to stay on top of what’s new and what’s best, but I would love to teach more, but there are a lot of disincentives to do that,” said Anna Kent, a certified Nurse Practitioner who works as a midwife in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

“Unless you really have a passion and a desire to be a Nurse educator, we don’t see people migrating to that field, because of the pay,” said Ron Moore, the recently retired vice president for Nursing at Charleston Area Medical Center. Moore said without qualified Nursing faculty to teach the people who want to be in a Nursing program, states like West Virginia aren’t going to be able graduate enough Nurses to meet the needs of its aging population. “So without an adequate workforce, hospitals can’t function to their capacity."

Nursing shortages are forcing hospitals to close beds, hire temporary Nurses at great expense to fill the gap and possibly provide less than optimal care to patients.

According to Benedictine University, with the amount of Nurses approaching retirement, there are a variety of concerns that there will not be enough Nursing professionals to fill this void. Demographic changes and the aging population are expected to become more serious as Nursing demands grow. Individual’s lifespans are increasing and require more attention to long-term care. Nurses educators are sought after for guidance and teaching to prepare seniors for long-term home care and educate future Nurses who will be the care providers.

“The average age of a Nurse is around 50,” says Dr. Knestrick. “It’s estimated that over 50% of Nurses that are practicing are over the age of 50. This means that within 10 to 20 years they will be retiring from Nursing, which will further add to the shortage.”

In some states, there are already strategies in place to address the shortage of Nurse educators. According to indeed.com, the Nurses for Wisconsin initiative provides fellowships and loan forgiveness for future Nurse faculty who agree to teach in the state after graduation. Some Nursing schools have formed strategic partnerships to help boost student capacity. The University of Minnesota has partnered with the Minnesota VA Health Care System to expand enrollment in the schools Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing program.

Nursing programs should emphasize the invaluable role of Nurse faculty, step up recruitment efforts for the next generation of Nurse faculty and provide Nursing education tracks that address the healthcare needs of today’s multicultural and growing society.

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Topics: Nurse Educators

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