“Nurses serve in a variety of professional leadership positions, from administrators and unit managers to chief nursing officers and hospital board members. Today, the challenges of leading in an increasingly complex health care environment are great; therefore, nurses need to take every opportunity to develop and hone their leadership qualities and skills. The question for every nurse—no matter the stage of her or his education or career—is: Are you the best leader you can be?” writes Sue Hassmiller, senior adviser for nursing at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and director of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, and Julie Truelove, student at the University of Virginia School of Nursing, in an article in the January 2014 issue of the American Journal of Nursing.
The article, “Are You the Best Leader You Can Be?,” discusses the Institute of Medicine’s recommendations on nursing leadership in the 2010 report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. The recommendations call on the health care system to “prepare and enable nurses to lead change to advance health,” by developing leadership programs and providing increased opportunities to lead. The article features a table of nurse leadership programs for nursing students and professional nurses as well as a nursing leadership resource list.
Table: Leadership at Every Level - Click here to view the full table.
“Nurses with strong leadership and management skills are better prepared to serve individuals and their families and the community, and to collaborate with colleagues,” the authors write. Regardless of where you are in your career, “a leadership program is a step toward becoming the best leader you can be.” Read the full article here.
By Ron Dicker
Talk about high drama.
In an emergency situation called straight out of a movie, two nurses saved a United Airlines pilot having a possible heart attack mid-flight last month.
Thirty minutes into a flight from Des Moines, Iowa, to Denver on Dec. 30, an intercom announcement requested medical expertise. Linda Alweiss of Camarillo, Calif., and Amy Sorensen of Casper, Wyo., answered the call. Directed to the cockpit, Alweiss told KTLA in Los Angeles that she found the pilot slumped over and mumbling, with an irregular heartbeat.
"He was clearly suffering from a possibly fatal arrhythmia,” she told NBC4 News.
Passengers helped the two women pull the captain into the galley, where the nurses set up a defibrillator and an IV, according to KTLA. In the meantime, the jet was rerouted to Omaha, Neb.
"This is what happens in movies," Sorensen (spelled Sorenson by some outlets) told ABC News. "This isn't what happens in real life."
A co-pilot safely landed the plane in Omaha, where medics were waiting to further treat the pilot, outlets noted. As the women retreated to their seats, passengers cheered the nurses' efforts, the Star-Tribune wrote. The pilot survived.
In a statement released to media United said: “United flight 1637, a Boeing 737 operating between Des Moines and Denver Monday evening, landed safely in Omaha after the captain became ill. United accommodated the customers overnight, and they continued to Denver the next day.”
A United spokeswoman told The Huffington Post that it was not releasing anymore information on the pilot. She added that she wanted everyone to know "the passengers weren't in any danger."
Sorensen, for one, said her actions weren't really heroic.
"I really don't see myself as a hero," she told ABC News. "I did what I know for a patient that needed it."
Source: Huffington Post
By: Mike Creger
Six nurses began a journey to the Philippines earlier this month. They were strangers in a land torn by Typhoon Haiyan in November. They came out of their two-week medical mission as a team.
That’s how Duluth nurse Anna Rathbun described her time hopping from makeshift medical facilities across Panay Island, which took a direct hit from one of the fiercest and deadliest typhoons in history.
“We ended up working really well together,” Rathbun said of her tour with five other nurses — three from the East Coast, one from Arizona and one from California. She also worked with nurses from other countries.
Rathbun is a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at St. Luke’s hospital, a job that had her well prepared for whatever might come a world away.
“Nurses, especially intensive care nurses, learn to work as a team,” she said. “It’s so important to be flexible and adaptable to change.”
The team went from village to village across the island, setting up in whatever building still was standing, mainly churches and schools.
Rathbun said her only expectation was that she would be treating wounds from the typhoon. She was surprised to see so many people come in for chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and respiratory conditions.
“It was everywhere we went,” she said. “We got the biggest thanks for the smallest things, like handing out vitamins.”
She provided wound and respiratory care and helped deliver a baby.
Those coming to the islands had their own health issues to deal with, Rathbun said.
“The air quality is so poor that we all had sore throats and stuffy noses almost immediately,” Rathbun said. “I got a sinus infection and upper respiratory infection.”
Rathbun is one of 3,200 nurses from across the country who signed up for a relief effort organized by National Nurses United. It raised money to pay for expenses nurses would encounter traveling to the Philippines. Rathbun couldn’t have gone otherwise.
She had just a two-day notice that she had been chosen for a mission leaving Dec. 9. She was grateful her manager at St. Luke’s was understanding and could grant the leave from work. “I had the go-ahead from day one,” she said.
“It was a whirlwind,” she said of preparing for her journey.
“I’ve always wanted to do some disaster work,” Rathbun said. “I became a nurse to help people.”
But her mother was nervous about her going overseas, Rathbun said. Now that her daughter is home and she has seen and heard of the work she did, Mom is OK.
“She’s really proud,” Rathbun said.
Coming home last Saturday was “reverse culture shock,” Rathbun said.
“You spend two weeks with people who have absolutely nothing. They lost everything,” she said. “And here, we have everything.”
That was especially true in coming home during the last commercial rush before Christmas, a holiday that had a deeper meaning for her after Panay Island.
“I follow local stories and what’s going on (in the U.S.) and I want to say, ‘Hey, there are people on the other side of the world who need help.’”
Anyone who has thought of doing a similar mission should do so, Rathbun said without hesitation.
“If you’re thinking about doing it, take the plunge,” she said. “It will change your life.”
She didn’t want to leave Panay because there is so much medical work still to be done. She’s assuaged a bit by the knowledge that the National Nurses United effort is a long-term one.
“The goal is to continue to provide care,” Rathbun said.
Her group was the third wave to enter the typhoon area. The next group will come from California, New York and Texas. They are expected to depart in early January. Nurses from 50 states and 19 nations have volunteered to help.
“There is still so much work that needs to be done,” Rathbun said. “People can’t afford their medical care, they can’t afford their meds. A lot more has to go on.”
Source: Duluth News Tribune
One airplane pilot says he and his whole crew got a touching surprise from a grateful passenger while they were working on Christmas.
"Today, a passenger gave our crew Christmas cards with this note inside," theunidentified pilot said on Reddit. The note was apparently from a nurse who cares for cancer patients at NYU Langone Medical Center.
Airplane crew members on Reddit seemed to support the idea that such a small gesture makes a big difference.
"As a former FA [flight attendant], I can confirm that it is always appreciated when passengers were nice, or acknowledged us in this way," user MonorailBlack wrote on Thursday. "Flying over the holidays isn't fun - missing Christmas with your family for more than 10 years gets really old. The little things made it more tolerable."
Barbara Nichols, a national nurse leader who broke through color barriers to become the first Black president of the American Nurses Association, likes to point out that she entered the profession in its dinosaur days—before the advent of cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, intensive care units, and pre-mixed narcotics.
It was also prehistoric in another way; Nichols became a nurse in the 1950s, when a national system of institutionalized discrimination kept minorities from entering and advancing in nursing.
In those days, many hospitals were segregated, as were many nursing schools. Those schools that weren’t often capped the number of students from racial, ethnic, and religious minority backgrounds with rigid quota systems. Few minority nurses earned baccalaureate or advanced degrees, and fewer still rose to become leaders of the profession.
But Nichols overcame those hurdles and eventually made history as the first Black nurse to hold national and state-level nursing leadership positions. Throughout her career, she has been helping others from underrepresented backgrounds enter and advance in the profession—a mission she continues at the age of 75 as director of a diversity initiative in her home state of Wisconsin.
“My whole career has been spent raising the issue of the need for racial and ethnic inclusion and looking for specific ways to involve and include more minorities in nursing,” she says. “That has been my passion.”
Born during tail end of the Great Depression and raised in Maine, Nichols was active in children’s theater and considered becoming an actor; but she ultimately decided against it because of limited professional acting roles for Blacks. Instead, she pursued a different, more “practical” dream, and became a nurse. “I was born in the late 30s, and the job market and occupations for Blacks were very limited,” she recalls. “Pragmatically, nursing was one of the fields you could go into.”
Not that it was easy. Nichols landed a highly coveted spot at Massachusetts Memorial School of Nursing in Boston, where she was one of only four Black students in her class. She went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Case Western Reserve University, where she was one of two Black students in her class. She took a job at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she was the only Black registered nurse (RN) on staff. She then joined the U.S. Navy, where she was one of a handful of Black nurses on a staff of 150.
But life as “a speck of pepper in a shaker of salt,” as one reporter put it, never held her back; rather, it propelled her forward as a nurse leader and advocate for diversity in nursing. As a young staff nurse, she recalls, her suggestions were ignored because of her race. “Nurses would say, ‘Well, who are you to tell us what to do,’” she recalls. “That’s when I decided to get into a leadership role. It was a direct result of being ignored, and of the impression I got that my ideas weren’t worthy of consideration because I was Black.”
And lead she did. In 1970, Nichols became the first Black woman to serve as president of the Wisconsin Nurses Association. To this day, she is still the only ethnic minority to serve as the organization’s president in its more than 100 years of existence. In 1979, Nichols went on to become the first Black president of the American Nursing Association—an organization that once banned Blacks—and served for two terms. In 1983, she became the first Black woman to hold a cabinet-level position in the state of Wisconsin when she was appointed to serve as secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing. She was named a Living Legend by the American Academy of Nurses in 2010.
“I’ve been a role model who says that Blacks can achieve and can participate in meaningful ways in issues that are central to the profession,” she says.
A Long Way to Go
A lot has changed since Nichols first entered the profession. Nursing schools are no longer segregated and no longer use quotas. Employers are working harder to recruit and retain nurses of color, she adds, and more nurses from underrepresented backgrounds are seeking higher degrees.
But there’s still a ways to go before the nursing workforce reflects the increasingly diverse population it serves. The RN workforce is 75 percent White, almost 10 percent Black. and less than 5 percent Latino, according to a 2013 report by the Health Resources and Services Administration. A more diverse nursing workforce is needed to provide culturally relevant care, improve interaction and communication between providers and patients, and narrow health disparities, according to the Institute of Medicine (IOM).
After six decades in nursing, Nichols is not giving up. A visiting associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing, Nichols recently took a position as project coordinator for the Wisconsin Action Coalition to help diversify the state’s nursing workforce. Action Coalitions are the driving force of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, which is backed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AARP and aims to transform the nursing profession to improve health and health care. It is grounded in anIOM report on the future of nursing released in 2010.
“Our goal is to embed, and ground, all our activities with a diversity component,” Nichols said. To do that, she and her colleagues are gathering data about the diversity of Wisconsin’s nursing workforce, partnering with interested parties, raising money to sustain efforts to diversify the profession, and analyzing ways to promote diversity through policy and practice.
She also supports the Campaign’s national efforts to implement diversity planning, recruit and retain students and faculty from underrepresented groups, and promote advanced education and leadership development among minority nurses.
“We have a big job ahead of us,” Nichols says, adding: “Prejudice is still out there.”
By Jackie Farwell, BDN Staff
After a routine mammogram in the fall of 2011, Laurie Thornberg learned she had breast cancer. Over the next nine months, as the Oakland woman endured surgery and rounds of chemotherapy, she watched as friends and loved ones attempted to explain her condition to their children.
Some struggled. One person described Thornberg’s cancer to her children “like I had the plague,” she said. Others were more comfortable, including a close friend and neighbor Thornberg ran into while out for a walk.
“[She] told her children in a kind and gentle way,” Thornberg, a registered nurse, wrote in an email.
Thornberg chronicled the encounter with her neighbor in her new children’s book, “Julie’s Dream,” which she hopes families will use as a tool to talk with their children about cancer and its treatment, as well provide hope to cancer victims and their loved ones.
“Children, even young ones, can be very aware of their surroundings and have questions when they notice family members being upset, someone who is sick a lot, or even as simple as a person suddenly has no hair,” Thornberg said.
In the book, Thornberg’s neighbor explains to her children, “See our friend? She wears that bonnet to cover her head because she got sick and had to take a special medicine that made her hair fall out.”
One of the children turns to Thornberg, asking, “Why don’t you take off that bonnet? I’m sure you’re beautiful under there.”
The book goes on to detail the main character’s dream about magically being healed. Thornberg’s friend and the book’s illustrator, Juliana Muzeroll, had that very dream about her, Thornberg said.
“I liked this approach a lot because it gives the reader freedom to interpret the outcome to fit their own personal situation,” she said. “Meaning, that whether the loved one survives or passes away, there is always healing at the end of a cancer journey.”
Thornberg remains in remission 18 months after her last round of chemotherapy. She now realizes that the disease freed her from stressing over the demands of a life as a full-time hospital nurse, mother, and daughter caring for her disabled mother, said Thornberg, who now works in home health care and said she’s able to focus on what’s really important in life.
“Getting cancer took me away from my excessive stress,” she said. “I often say ‘cancer healed my life.’”
“Julie’s Dream” is available in softcover or as an e-book on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and authorhouse.com, by searching the title and author together.
Source: Bangor Daily News
By of the Journal Sentinel
Rita Higgins was caring for Natalie Engeriser, her 11-year-old patient, when Natalie's mother, Katie, walked into a hospital room on the seventh floor of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
There's some kind of disturbance in the hallway, Natalie's mother told Higgins Thursday.
"When she said 'disturbance,' I was thinking one of the kiddos was having a hard time," Higgins said Saturday.
"I stepped into the hallway and I immediately realized something was wrong," Higgins said. "There were two nurses at the nursing station and by the looks on their faces, I knew something was wrong. I heard one of the nurses say, 'Oh my God, they are shooting. Call an active-shooter code.'"
A man police later identified as Ashanti Hendricks was armed and police were trying to arrest him. But Higgins, 37, a registered nurse who started working at Children's last February, didn't really know what was unfolding.
But Higgins, a mother of two just starting her third career, knew what to do, as did the rest of the medical staff.
"I immediately turned back around and I said to Natalie, 'Honey, I'm going to need you to get out of bed and me and your mom are going to help you get into the bathroom.' I was going to need them to go into the bathroom and lock the door behind them," she said.
Higgins wanted to be sure she didn't scare Natalie. The girl is one of Higgins' favorite patients. In fact, when Higgins arrived for work on Thursday, she had been assigned a different floor. Higgins was disappointed because she liked working with Natalie and had made strides in her care.
"A co-worker saw how disappointed I was," Higgins said. "A fellow nurse traded with me, basically. She said, 'Hey, Rita, I know you want to take care of Natalie.'"
Later, as the hospital went into lockdown, she was unsure what was unfolding on the unit. That's when she helped get Natalie out of harm's way.
"We got her and the medical equipment in the bathroom with mom," Higgins said. "I told her to lock the door. I looked them straight in the face and said, 'Don't open the door until I tell you to open the door.' I looked at Natalie and said, 'It's going to be OK.' And I closed the door."
At Children's, doors to the hospital rooms don't lock. But next to the closed door was a small window. As Higgins stood guard, protecting a mother and her little girl, she managed to peer out, trying to make sense of the noise, the chaos.
"Looking back on it, in the period of time when we truly did not know what was going on, we didn't know if someone was just literally shooting, and we didn't know police were involved," Higgins said. "There was that unknown period of time when you think, 'Is this door going to open with a guy with a gun?'"
"For all three of us, that was pretty horrible. All I know is that someone was on the unit with a gun. Shots had been fired," Higgins said.
At some point Higgins saw another nurse in the hallway who was watching a TV monitor where she could see police handcuffing the man elsewhere on the floor.
"That's when I stepped out of the room, looking at the monitor," Higgins said. "Seconds later, I heard more scuffling and the man was suddenly running onto my side down the hall and past me. I went back in the room and closed the door."
Police finally subdued him.
"I knew it was loud and so much stuff was going on," she said. "God knows what (Natalie and her mom) were thinking.
"I told them I was going to stay in here. I told them a bad guy was captured. I told them they were going to hear a lot of stuff."
Natalie and her mother came out of the bathroom. Higgins told Natalie and her mother to turn on the television and turn the volume up loud. Drown out the noise outside.
Two days after the ordeal, Higgins was full of praise for Natalie, her mother and the other nurses on the floor who performed calmly, admirably and courageously.
"I was thinking I was glad I stayed on the floor that day and that I was able to be there for Natalie," Higgins said. "You build up trust and she trusted me."
Later that night, when Higgins was about done for the day, a music therapist came with a guitar to visit Natalie.
The therapist played the Katy Perry hit, "Firework."
"That's the way I ended my shift, rocking out with Natalie with 'Firework,'" Higgins said.
Source: Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel
By Kristen Moulton
Enough is enough.
That was the sentiment of a 76-year-old patient who showed up in the emergency room at University Hospital this week, her fourth trip to the east Salt Lake City hospital this year.
"She couldn’t be more clear," said Holli Martinez, director of the hospital’s palliative-care team, who met with the patient. "She said, ‘I want to get out of here. I want to be home.’ "
So Martinez, who is receiving a $50,000 palliative-care award in Portland, Ore., on Thursday, helped the patient and her family figure out how she could go home and still receive care via hospice.
"If we had not had that conversation, she’d be back in the hospital — tests, meds, labs," said Martinez, one of five recipients of the Cambia Health Foundation’s Sojourns Award this year.
The foundation is a nonprofit connected to Cambia Health Solutions, which has BlueCross and BlueShield insurance plans as well as other business interests in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah. All five recipients are from those states.
Martinez, the fourth straight winner from Utah, will use the money to improve palliative care at the hospital.
Palliative care, she said, is all about helping patients who face life-threatening or serious illnesses understand the benefits and burdens of aggressive treatment — and the option to opt out.
"Oftentimes, if we don’t stop and have the conversation," Martinez said, "we’re giving them an extraordinary amount of life-prolonging care that they might not want."
Palliative care, which sprouted from the hospice movement, is a growing medical specialty in Utah and across the nation.
Utah earned a C from the Center to Advance Palliative Care in its 2011 report card, while most states got B’s .
The data in that report were from 2009 and indicated that nine of Utah’s 15 hospitals with at least 50 beds had palliative-care teams.
By 2011, the number rose to 11, or 73 percent of the 15 hospitals with 50 or more beds, CAPC research director Rachel Augustin said Wednesday.
Nationally, less than a quarter of hospitals with 50 or more beds had palliative-care teams in 2000. By 2011, the proportion grew to 66 percent. By next year, it’s expected to be 84 percent.
Patricia Berry, associate director of the University of Utah Hartford Center for Geriatric Nursing, won the $50,000 award last year and nominated Martinez this year.
"Holli is the best there is," Berry said. "I would want her at my bedside."
The directory Martinez developed helps patients pick hospices based on their needs, Berry explained, "rather than handing them a phone book, which often happens."
Martinez is also finishing a project to guide intensive-care doctors and nurses about when to call in the palliative-care team.
"Holli has done a great deal to really advance palliative care in the state," said Berry, whose own $50,000 award is being used for the College of Nursing’s Caring Connections grief-support program and to help teach an end-of-life class to undergrads.
Angela Hult, executive director of the Cambia Health Foundation, said the foundation’s founders chose to focus on palliative care because it touches everyone.
"At the same time, this work really has the capacity to be transformative," she said. "It’s about asking the question: ‘What matters to you rather than what’s the matter with you?’ "
Martinez was a hospice nurse before she went to graduate school and became a nurse practitioner.
She is one of four Utah nurse practitioners who are board-certified in palliative care and hospice.
She joined University Hospital’s palliative-care team in 2007 and has been director since 2010.
One of the first projects she undertook when she arrived, Berry said, was to survey the region’s hospices to ascertain those with the best evidence-based practices.
While palliative care is more upstream than hospice — caring for patients who are not necessarily dying — patients who decide against aggressive treatment often are referred to hospice for end-of-life care.
Source: The Salt Time Tribune
By Debra Wood, RN
To achieve the national goal of improved health outcomes, many researchers and health advocates agree that patients must assume a greater role in managing their health
care. But how can facilities and health systems accomplish this kind of patient engagement? The answer may rest with nurses and nurse leaders, who have long overseen patient education about how to care for chronic conditions and make lifestyle changes to improve health.
“Promoting patient education has always been a part of our nursing role and obligation to the
patient,” said Debi Sampsel, DNP, MSN, BA, RN, chief officer of innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Nursing in Ohio. “It has been a long-standing practice that nurses involve the patient across the life span in their own care.”
Sampsel finds nurses strive to and take great pride in promoting healthy lifestyles. And research has demonstrated that active, engaged individuals have far better health outcomes. The University of Cincinnati includes health promotion in the nursing curriculum and gives students an opportunity gain patient-engagement experience while working with the homeless and elementary and secondary school age youth.
“What’s new is old,” added Patrick R. Coonan, EdD, RN, NEA-BC, FACHE, dean and professor at the College of Nursing and Public Health at Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y. “I went to nursing school 35, 40 years ago and what did they teach but to be the patient advocate, to teach the patient. But we got away from that in the last few decades.”
Coonan pointed out that today’s consumers and patients, particularly baby boomers, are better informed. They often turn to the Internet for facts, but he called it a nursing professional’s obligation to verify whether the online information is accurate. Boomers are not going to settle for a paternalistic “Just take this pill” without knowing why and how it will benefit them. And that often falls to the nurse.”
“We have to get away from the patient-doctor or patient–nurse relationship that is almost like a parent–child relationship, in existence for many years, to a more informed and empowered [consumer] who will take responsibility for their health,” said Rosemary Glavan, RN, MPA, CCM, senior vice president of clinical operations at AMC Health, a telehealth provider based in New York. “Baby boomers have been go-getters and always wanted to be in charge. They want to be empowered.”
Advocating with a personal connection
“As patient advocates, nurses and nurse leaders play a key role in promoting patient engagement,” said Cynthia M. Friis, MEd, BSN, RN-BC, associate association executive for SmithBucklin’s healthcare and scientific industry practice in Chicago. “Nurses are privileged with having the opportunity to spend more time with the patients to assess, plan, implement and then help clarify the plan of care with the patient and his/her family or caregivers. Nurse leaders are key in helping to ensure this role is realized. Nurses can do their jobs better with the full support of our nurse leaders.”
Nurses ask questions, she added, and draw patients into thoughtful discussions about their care, helping them move forward when they feel overwhelmed and understand how to best care for themselves.
Establishing principles of engagement
Patewood Memorial Hospital in Greenville, S.C., participated in a national study by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and in the development of theGuide to Patient and Family Engagement in Hospital Quality and Safety.
Recommendations in the AHRQ guide include:
• Working with patients as advisors;
• Communicating effectively;
• Giving bedside shift reports, where nurses do not talk with each other but involve the patient and family members he or she wants to participate; and
• Engaging patients in transitions to home.
The hospital has experienced improvements to its HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey since implementing the program.
“The patients and families are much happier,” said Kerrie Roberson, MBA, MSN, RN-BC, CMS, nurse educator at Patewood. “Patient engagement is a partnership with the patient and families, and they trust you more when they see you are open about their care.”
Nurses at Patewood are leading discussions about patient engagement across the Greenville Health System and have begun sharing their experiences with others.
Other nurses gathered to develop Guiding Principles for Patient Engagement, released last year by the Nursing Alliance for Quality Care (NAQC), which was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Principles in the NAQC guide include:
• Having a dynamic partnership with patients and their families;
• Respecting boundaries;
• Maintaining confidentiality;
• Adhering to responsibilities and accountabilities;
• Recognizing patients able to engage;
• Appreciating patient rights;
• Sharing information and decision making; and
• Advocating for the patient.
“Patient-centered care and engaging patients is very important to improving quality outcomes, which includes reducing cost and better health of populations in the community, but also reductions in disparities of care,” said Maureen Dailey, PhD, RN, CWOCN, senior policy fellow for nursing practice and policy at the American Nurses Association (ANA), a member organization of the NAQC. “The patient is at the center of the team and must assume accountability for self-care and part of the outcome. But that evolution has yet to take place.”
Nurses must instill confidence and competence in patients’ self-care, Dailey explained. And patients need nurses to provide knowledge, support and symptom management.
“Nurses hold a central role in patient engagement,” Dailey concluded.
Combing nursing skills with technology
Along with the personal touch, many nurses are finding technology can assist with their patient-engagement efforts.
“As the responsibility of nursing advances to one of building and sustaining patient activation and the role of nursing moves to be more consultative across care settings, technology will play a vital role for both the nurse and the patient,” said Karen Drenkard, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.
Drenkard, who has served as executive director of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and past director of the ANCC Magnet Recognition Program, will join GetWellNetwork in January as chief clinical/nursing officer, where she will lead the development of a nursing model of patient engagement. Her responsibilities will include studying and designing new ways to assess and improve patient activation through clinical practice and technology solutions across all care settings.
“Nursing can use interactive patient care technology to proactively engage the patient and shift the responsibility for completing certain care interventions,” said Drenkard, explaining patients can document daily signs and symptoms. Care providers use the network to send reminders about taking medications or the need for follow-up visits to their physician when data and input from the patient indicates the need to do so.
Analytics spot trends, and nurses can intervene at the first sign of trouble with a personal follow-up. The data also helps them identify where the patient is on the readiness scale of change.
“To be most effective in engaging patients and more so activating patients, the nursing role
must evolve and develop,” Drenkard concluded. “The need for change and adaptation is certainly not new to our profession. However, there is a pivotal opportunity today to shift the role of the nurse away from a more task-oriented, episodic care management function to one that more centered on building, sustaining a care management relationship with a population of patients with the effective use of interactive patient care technology.”
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Source: AMN Healthcare