DiversityNursing Blog

Some Tips for A Successful Diversity And Inclusion Program

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Apr 09, 2019 @ 11:57 AM

diversityandinclusion Organizations put a lot of effort into their Diversity and Inclusion programs and yet few of these efforts yield results. What are some of the reasons why D&I programs fail?

Your Diversity and Inclusion programs should be a consistent part of your organization’s culture. It should not be implemented as a response to an issue because it might appear disingenuous. These programs should be used throughout all departments to show an overall belief and commitment that D&I is important to everyone. 

Do not make the programs mandatory because when individuals feel like they don’t have a choice, this can lead to resistance and opposition to D&I programs.

Your leadership must fully support D&I for it to work well. Leadership must be committed to making D&I part of your mission, values and beliefs. It is important they understand D&I is beneficial in acquiring and retaining talent, offering culturally competent patient care, building employee engagement, and improving business performance. Your programs should always be evolving. If it's outdated, it will be ineffective. 

Employees might believe that actual changes won't be made. So it is important to lead by example and utilize what these programs teach. There should be visible and committed role models on the leadership team.

Get your employees who are closely affected by Diversity and Inclusion involved with the design and assessment of the programs to ensure they will work and take hold. Remember, you want ideas and collaboration from employees who represent different cultures, religions, ages, educational backgrounds, etc. The programs must be custom tailored to each company, using its specific culture and goals to determine the best course of action.

According to DeEtta Jones, a diversity and inclusion strategy consultant "when developing an inclusion plan, organizations should keep two goals in mind.  Any inclusion plan should be attainable and measurable.  A lofty plan with goals that can never be achieved ruins employee morale and reinforces the idea that management is not willing to make meaningful changes.  Without measurable goals, leaders and organizations cannot be held accountable for implementing the plan.  Without accountability, any plan will be ineffective.  Good inclusion plans are measurable and achievable. "

Your organization should be an inclusive environment where all employees feel comfortable and open enough to discuss and make real changes. In order to achieve this environment, we all must be aware of biases.

Kristen Pressner said in a Forbes article, "We all have biases, and it’s important to acknowledge them so behavioral tendencies can be headed off at the pass. Make a safe place for everyone to look in their full-length mirror and recognize their own biases so they can work on eliminating them. This can be as holistic as hosting training and workshops, and as personal as articulating and owning them one on one. Articulate how shifting the behavior will lead to better results. Recognizing one’s own biases is a great level set; everyone has them and can support each other in breaking them."

In a different Forbes article, Cat Graham recommends "acknowledging and recognizing great ideas, wherever they come from. Celebrate and communicate with your employees how diversity and inclusion have impacted creativity, engagement and results. Make room for different religious celebrations, and encourage staff to share their cultural heritage with others. Actively create groups that support and connect employees through their shared backgrounds."

The Diversity and Inclusion process can be difficult to perfect, but it is important to make it a major part of your organization's mission. If you have any helpful tips or experiences you’d like to share, please do so here.

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Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, diversity and inclusion programs

You Can Help Human Trafficking Victims

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Apr 01, 2019 @ 11:31 AM

humantraffickingAn article from the American Journal of Nursing notes the precise numbers are impossible to determine but, it's estimated that between 600,000 and 800,000 adults and children worldwide are trafficked across international borders annually and made to work under brutal and inhumane conditions.

Human trafficking is defined by Homeland Security as "modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act."

Nurses are more likely to come in contact with human trafficking victims during the time of their exploitation than any other profession, but very few are identified by staff and helped to find safety according to Johnson & Johnson Notes on Nursing

Danielle Jordan Bastein, an ER Nurse at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan created a new screening protocol to help identify trafficked individuals. She says more than 90% of trafficked victims have some type of contact with health care workers, but fewer than 1% has been identified in a health care setting.

She told a local Detroit news station how the screening protocol worked. "It is a multiple step process and it involves mostly nurses," she said. "What happens is, as soon as you make contact to our area you go through triage. Based on the education the Nurses have, and also the Physicians, and they are triaging this patient and they say, you know what, something doesn't seem right, I am going to flag them."

Once the patient has been flagged, the primary Nurse is alerted and conducts another assessment with specific questions.

Some signs Danielle points out include "A lot of the things we look for is an inconsistent story," she said. "If there is abuse, torture or neglect signs with that person; if they aren't holding their own ID or money. If the person with them is refusing to leave while they answer or is answering questions for them."

"If the person is identified as a victim of human trafficking and agrees to receive help, authorities are alerted and they are given safe housing, necessities and transportation."

As of January 24, 2019 the news station said Danielle's program has saved 17 victims so far and she hopes other hospitals will implement her screening. 

We applaud Danielle’s initiative and creativity because she devised a very useful tool to help identify these victims. You can also find training at SOAR (Stop, Observe, Ask, Respond)  https://www.acf.hhs.gov/otip/training/soar-to-health-and-wellness-training. Soar is jointly provided by Postgraduate Institute for Medicine, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center in collaboration with the Administration for Children and Families, Office on Trafficking in Persons and Office on Women’s Health.

Resources:

If you know of human trafficking or are a victim, call The National Human Trafficking Hotline (888) 373-7888.

You can also text at 233733, text "help" or "info" hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week. The website: humantraffickinghotline.org.

 

Topics: human trafficking, human trafficking victims

Foundation of the National Student Nurses' Association 50th Anniversary

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Mar 22, 2019 @ 10:57 AM

FNSNAscholarship

Join Us in Celebrating the Foundation of the National Student Nurses' Association 50th Anniversary by Supporting Nursing Education! 

Celebrating the Past, Present and Future of the Most Trusted Profession!
 
2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of The Foundation of the National Student Nurses' Association (FNSNA) in Memory of Frances Tompkins, NSNA's first Executive Director.  FNSNA is dedicated to support nursing education and promote the future of the nursing profession. Since 1974, the FNSNA has awarded over $5 million in scholarships. Scholarships help pay for tuition, books and academic fees. This funding alleviates the stress and burden of rising tuition and decreases the amount of student loans. As we approach a serious shortage of registered nurses,  funding helps a student graduate on time and enter the nursing workforce. 

Get involved and help us double the 3M™ Littmann® Stethoscopes Grant!

3M™ Littmann® Stethoscopes is providing a $50,000 grant to the Foundation. Double the impact! Help us turn $50,000 into $100,000 to support the education of future nurses! 

To make a donation, please click the “Donate Here” link…

Donate Here 

Topics: FNSNA, student nurses

Nurses are Dealing with Tough Issues

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Mar 18, 2019 @ 10:54 AM

icu-nurse-1030x687As you know, Nursing is a demanding profession that requires a lot of dedication and commitment. The field has challenges that you must constantly work to overcome.


Professional Responsibility

You hold legal responsibility for all patients under your care. If a physician gives an incorrect
order, you won’t be absolved of the blame if you carry it out. This requires you to be fully aware of the risk of each order, prescription, and treatment you provide.

Workplace Safety

Nurses face a number of workplace safety issues. According to an AJC article, depending on the setting in which you work, Nurses can also be subject to substantially higher rates of workplace violence injuries than many other professions. They're more likely to experience incidents of hitting, kicking and beating in inpatient facilities such as hospitals, but these injuries often go unreported.

Short Staffing

Beckers Hospital Review discusses short-staffing in hospitals as a top concern for Nurses. The article says, "A 2017 survey conducted by AMN Healthcare showed 72 percent of CNOs acknowledged moderate, significant or severe nursing shortage at their healthcare organizations, and most believe the shortages would worsen over the next five years. Overall, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates more than 1 million registered nurses will be needed by 2022 due to occupational growth and replacement hiring. It’s worth noting, other research shows variation among the nation's major metropolitan areas, with some facing nursing shortages and others facing surpluses."

Changing Technology

Technology is always changing. The challenge is to stay ahead of it. CNO’s, nurse managers, and floor nurses must stay up to date with technology and adopt the systems that improve patient care. Nurses must be trained in the new technology, whether it is enhanced EMR/EHR, patient glucose monitors, patient scheduling systems, or software platforms that enhance patient/family/provider communication.

Long Working Hours

Nurses are often required to work long shifts. Many are working back-to-back or extended shifts, risking fatigue that could result in medical mistakes.

Healthcare is constantly changing. As you know, it’s your duty to navigate through the workload and responsibility the best you can. If you have some tips to share on how you handle these changes, please comment below.

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Topics: nurses, nursing careeer

Growing Leadership Diversity in Healthcare Benefits Everyone

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Feb 26, 2019 @ 11:53 AM

20285688_wideIllness is blind to race, gender and ethnic origins. Since you are in the business of caring for others, it's critically important to ensure that clinicians, executives and even members of the governing boards, accurately represent the communities you serve. 

There is room for considerable improvement in leadership diversity in healthcare. According to AMN Healthcare, A survey by American Hospital Association’s Institute for Diversity in Healthcare Management found that while minorities represented 32% of patients in hospitals, they comprised only 14% of hospital board members, 11% of executive leadership, and 19% of mid-level and first-level managers. On gender, despite a healthcare workforce that is 80% female, women occupy approximately 25% of hospital CEO positions. Representation by women of color is in the single digits.

There are clear benefits of promoting diversity in the C-suite and encouraging stronger representation from groups that have long been underrepresented in executive roles. Not only do patients benefit from having advocates who represent the full spectrum of the community, but it also makes good business sense. 

Having a variety of opinions and perspectives among top leadership ranks leads to deeper discussions, more thoughtful and intentional strategies, and better decision-making. That, in turn, improves operational performance.

Diversity can be a competitive advance in recruiting, hiring, and retaining quality Nurses, Physicians and other healthcare professionals, including leaders. Like patient engagement, the engagement of team members and leaders is crucial to recruitment and retention, so diversity should be an important consideration to make all feel welcome.

Healthcare systems are aware that diversity among staff, leadership and board members is important to improving patient medical outcomes and reducing health disparities. Diversity also improves the bottom line. Companies with the most ethnically diverse executive teams are 33% more likely to outperform peers on profitability, according to McKinsey & Co.

Healthcare organizations should pursue diversity in their leadership and workforce to improve healthcare outcomes and their bottom line. 

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Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, workplace diversity, healthcare leadership

A Pixar Short Film Shows Why Companies Struggle With Workplace Diversity

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Feb 18, 2019 @ 12:02 PM

264f8c45-d452-4959-b297-5d6fe68047df-screen-shot-2019-02-04-at-20550-pmThe eight-minute film, titled Purl, emphasizes the importance of workplace inclusivity and diversity. Writer and director, Kristen Lester, used her own experiences in the animation industry for Purl's story. 

“It’s based on my experience being in animation”, says Lester, “my first job, I was like the only woman in the room and so in order to do the thing that I loved, I sort of became one of the guys. Then, I came to Pixar and I started to work on teams with women for the first time and that actually made me realise how much of the female aspect of myself I had sort of buried and left behind”.

This film emphasizes complaints about male-dominated industries and how they're still way behind in terms of hiring diverse teams, publicly reporting those figures, and properly onboarding a new employee. HR managers believe those things are key to preventing toxic or alienating work cultures. 

Watch Purl's first day at B.R.O Capital, below! 

Topics: Diversity and Inclusion, workplace diversity

Escape Rooms Are a New Way To Practice Nursing Skills

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Feb 15, 2019 @ 12:13 PM

teamworkOver the past few years, themed escape rooms have become a top team-building event. Nurses are taking this idea and creating their own escape room concepts to improve healthcare professionals' knowledge and skills. 

Nurses Paula M. Gabriel, MSN-RN, and Casey Lieb, MSN-RN at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center created a sepsis awareness escape room.

A variety of healthcare professionals signed up online including Social Workers, Physical Therapists, Physicians, Nursing Assistants, Nursing Students, members of the Infection Prevention Team, and more.

According to a HealthLeaders article, teams of six to eight people were locked in the Penn Presbyterian sepsis escape room together and asked to complete a mission. The teams had 25 minutes to detect and treat sepsis in a mock patient before they could escape the room. They did this by solving four puzzles and responding to clues. At the end of the either completed or failed mission, the teams debriefed with Gabriel and Lieb who informally evaluated the participants' understanding of sepsis.

"The escape room format allows different types of learning, so you have people that are auditory, visual, or kinesthetic learners [and] they can touch things and talk through things. You have to use your critical-thinking skills and think outside the box," Gabriel says. "There's that pressure element of having to escape something in a certain amount of time and you know it's a different way of learning, compared to the traditional, ‘Come and sit in a classroom' and have somebody give you information."

The University at Buffalo School of Nursing and School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences built an escape room to improve Nursing and Pharmacy students teamwork and communication. 

“Communication is critical between Nurses and Pharmacists because both professionals have key information about patients that, when combined, can enhance the care that patients receive,” said Nicholas Fusco, PharmD, Clinical Associate Professor.

According to a University of Buffalo news release, The escape room with Patient X, features riddles, puzzles, combination locks and invisible ink. The game highlights critical lessons surrounding infection control, patient restraint and medication safety.

Participants will complete a survey after the simulation, regardless of whether they completed the escape room. The results will help the researchers determine the effectiveness of team building exercises on performance and perceptions surrounding teamwork in interprofessional training.

University of Arizona College of Medicine added an escape room to their curriculum. 

Third-year medical students teamed up with physical therapy, occupational therapy and physician assistant students from Northern Arizona University to solve cases that involve rare diseases and bioterrorism. The scenario featured a terrorist who accidently exposed himself to his chemical/biological agent. Students had to figure out which agent he was exposed to and decide how to treat him in under 30 minutes.  

“The purpose of the escape room was to create a situation with external pressure that helps us observe how these students work in teams,” Lee Anne Denny, MD, director of Interprofessional Education, said. “Pressure to perform can cause teams to behave differently and sometimes unhelpful behaviors can emerge. This provides an opportunity to reflect on teamwork skills in a safe setting.”

Have you tried an escape room at your school or place of work? Was it a great learning experience that you would recommend? We would love to hear from you, comment below!

 

Topics: escape room, nursing skills

Coping With The Death Of A Patient

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Jan 28, 2019 @ 11:13 AM

grievingnurse

Dealing with the passing of a patient can be very difficult. There are many coping mechanisms you can use during these difficult times. It is best to face the emotions instead of avoiding them and be open with yourself and fellow team members. 

According to an article on boardvitals.com, avoidance and emotional distance can exacerbate stress. Even when the situation makes withholding one’s emotions appropriate, doing so will take its toll on you. It can compound the sense of loss. "Nurses who don’t allow themselves to process grief may feel reluctant to get close to other patients, have difficulty with personal relationships or have trouble sleeping or eating properly" said, Robert S. McKelvey, MD, a professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health and Science University.

Try speaking with colleagues and friendsMost likely, they’ve been in a similar state of mind or had an experience like yours at some point in their career. From those experiences, they can give you advice on how they coped with the loss of a patient. Speaking to someone who has gone through it should help you feel better. If you feel you need more help, a mental health professional can help you through the grieving process.

Praying or meditating is a practical way of clearing the worries and sorrow from your mind. Perhaps this is a better method to give you the peace of mind you can’t get from other people.

Spending time outdoors or exercising can improve your mood as well. Activities like gardening, yoga, swimming, running or walking can potentially give you peace and relax your mind. 

Don't blame yourself or try to find a reason why. Death is a part of life. You are human and did your best to save their life. Your patient's death does not define your skill, abilities or your character.

Every situation is unique. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with death. Take time to reflect and process the experience in your own way. Most of all, take care of you so you can take care of others. You are awesome!

If you have any advice on this topic, please share it here. Thank you.

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Topics: death of a patient, patient death

NYC Launches New Nurse Residency Program

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Jan 17, 2019 @ 12:59 PM

Nurse_ResidencyThe New York City Department of Small Business Services is launching a Nurse residency program that provides increased on-the-job training and mentorship in an effort to reduce the turnover rate in some of the city’s busiest hospitals. 

According to a Becker's Hospital Review article, 24 hospitals are participating in the country's first city-led Nurse residency program, they are:

• BronxCare Health System
• Brookdale University Hospital
• Interfaith Medical Center
• Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center
• Mount Sinai Brooklyn
• Mount Sinai Hospital
• Mount Sinai Queens
• Mount Sinai St. Luke’s
• Mount Sinai West
• Maimonides Medical Center
• NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist
• NewYork-Presbyterian Queens
• NYC Health + Hospitals-Bellevue
• NYC Health + Hospitals-Coney Island
• NYC Health + Hospitals-Elmhurst
• NYC Health + Hospitals-Harlem
• NYC Health + Hospitals-Jacobi
• NYC Health + Hospitals-Kings County
• NYC Health + Hospitals-Lincoln
• NYC Health + Hospitals-Metropolitan
• NYC Health + Hospitals-North Central Bronx
• NYC Health + Hospitals-Queens
• NYC Health + Hospitals-Woodhull
• St. Barnabas Hospital Systems

Hospitals have not had the capacity or resources to launch residency programs on their own so they struggled to retain newly-graduated Nurses. Losing one Nurse can cost up to $100,000.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Department of Small Business Services is providing more than $300,000 to support the program. The program will provide newly-hired, first-time Nurses with training on topics including ethics, decision making, clinical leadership, and the incorporation of research-based evidence into practice as well as support and mentorship proven to enhance Nurse satisfaction, performance, and retention.

 

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Topics: NYC, Nurse Residency Program, NYC hospitals

TeleHealth Pros and Cons

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Jan 11, 2019 @ 10:10 AM

telemedicineAccording to NEJMTelehealth is defined as the delivery and facilitation of health and health-related services including medical care, provider and patient education, health information services, and self-care via telecommunications and digital communication technologies.

Some types of telemedicine are store-and-forward telemedicine (asynchronous telemedicine), remote patient monitoring, and real-time telemedicine. 

A Rutgers article mentioned around half of the country’s hospitals use some sort of telehealth solution and recent surveys of health care executives discovered 90 percent of respondents had started the process of implementing telehealth programs at their organizations. Since Telehealth is growing rapidly here are some pros and cons to keep in mind. 

Pros

Better Access

Telemedicine improves patient's access to healthcare services. They don't have to miss work, find transportation or travel far to their nearest providers. It allows Nurses and Doctors to expand their reach to patients in distant locations or rural areas. 

Quality Care

The convenience of quick real-time consultations for non-emergency symptoms, frees up office appointments so healthcare professionals can spend more time with extreme case patients. 

Cost Efficiencies 

According to americantelemed.org, reducing or containing the cost of healthcare is one of the most important reasons for funding and adopting telehealth technologies. Telemedicine has been shown to reduce the cost of healthcare and increase efficiency through better management of chronic diseases, shared health professional staffing, reduced travel times, and fewer or shorter hospital stays.

Cons

Technology Barriers

Patients must have access to appropriate technology like a laptop or computer with video conferencing capability and internet or wifi. Some patients may not be tech-savvy and will need assistance with setting up. 

Also there are sometimes glitches. Technical difficulties, such as sound or video not working properly, can disrupt a telehealth visit. 

Privacy

There are some security concerns since the visit is done over the computer.

Regulatory attorney, Emily Wein said, "Your computer, your ipad, your iphone, or whatever interface or kiosk you have at your employer - these are all potential devices that could store or transmit your personal health information."

A telehealth patient's health information is being transmitted for "various modalities," increasing the potential that data might be misused, mistransmitted or accessed inappropriately, she says.

Payment

According to an article by Health Informatics, a big challenge for telehealth is reimbursement and coverage for services compared to those of in-person services. There is no guarantee of payment parity between telemedicine and in-person health care. Even in the 28 states in which payment parity laws have been passed, no apparatus exists to enforce it. This could potentially defeat the point of telemedicine to reduce health care costs and expand access to services , and could also discourage providers from offering telehealth because there is no guarantee of comparable payment.

Are you using telehealth services at your job? What are some advantages or disadvantages you've experienced? Comment below! 

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Topics: telemedicine, telehealth

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