DiversityNursing Blog

The Importance of DEI In Nursing

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Aug 08, 2022 @ 10:24 AM

GettyImages-1384648626Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the workplace is beneficial for employers, staff, and patients. More hospitals and health systems are recognizing the importance and are rolling out new DEI programs. 

Diversity is the range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, physical ability or attributes, religious or ethical values system, national origin, and political beliefs.

Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.

Inclusion is an organizational effort and practice in which different groups or individuals having different backgrounds are culturally and socially accepted and welcomed.

The United States will continue to grow more diverse, so it is imperative the Nursing workforce reflects its patient demographic. 

Historically underrepresented groups, combined, are projected to account for the majority of the U.S. population by 2044.

The Nurse.com 2022 Nurse Salary Research Report findings display a lack of Diversity in the nation's Nursing workforce. 

The report found that although Hispanics make up 17% of the total population, only 3.5% out of the more than three million Registered Nurses in the U.S. are Hispanic.

Also only 2% of the survey’s respondents were Black or African American men, whereas Black or African American women made up 8% of female Nurses. By contrast, Asian men made up 10% of male Nurses, and Asian women made up only 5% of female Nurses.

Having a diverse Nurse population improves patient care and satisfaction while also reducing healthcare disparities. 

Research shows, when patients see themselves within the healthcare workforce, they are more likely to trust their provider, thus making the patient feel more comfortable. 

This also breaks down communication barriers. When patients can't easily communicate their needs or fully express their concerns and issues, dire mistakes can be made.

When a Nurse has a lot in common with their patients, they can better advocate for them. 

“Diversity in Nursing ultimately enhances the Nursing workforce,” says Lorrie Davis-Dick, Nursing faculty member at Purdue University Global. “Nursing education and Nurse leaders recognize there's a link between a culturally diverse workforce and the ability to provide quality, competent patient care."

DEI is beneficial for patients, but also for healthcare professionals. 

According to Built In, Diversity creates a stronger feeling of Inclusion and community for healthcare workers, which makes the workplace feel safer and more enjoyable. Surveys show that more than 3 out of 4 workers prefer diverse companies.

While Diversity is important, Diversity without Equity and Inclusion won't work. Healthcare teams must represent all backgrounds, while also giving each member a voice and the opportunities to grow.  

Increasing Diversity in Healthcare is vital. It won't happen overnight, but it's crucial to create an environment where everyone is celebrated and appreciated. It requires dedicated leadership and staff who are looking to better the Nursing field.

Topics: diversity in nursing, diversity, inclusion, diversity in healthcare, diverse workplace culture, diversity and inclusion programs, DEI, diversity equity inclusion, equity

A Career In Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Jul 13, 2022 @ 10:47 AM

GettyImages-1317092006While physical health is undoubtedly important, so is Mental Health. Millions of Americans are affected by mental illness each year. Psychiatric Nurses have the specialized knowledge and skills needed to treat these illnesses. 

According to the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA), Psychiatric Nurses make up the second largest group of behavioral health professionals in the U.S.

In the United States, suicide is a leading cause of death and in 2020, about:

  • 1 in 5 American adults experienced a Mental Health issue
  • 1 in 6 young people experienced a major depressive episode
  • 1 in 20 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression

The pandemic has increased the need for Mental Health care. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the percentage of adults with recent symptoms of an anxiety or a depressive disorder increased from 36.4% to 41.5% from August 2020 to February 2021.  

There is a dire need for more Psychiatric Mental Health Nurses (PMHNs).

More than 75% of all U.S. counties have a shortage of Mental Health professionals and almost all counties have an unmet need for Psychiatrists.

Mental Health Nurses work in a wide variety of inpatient and outpatient work settings, either as a specialty position or in primary care. Some job opportunities include military care, forensics, private practices, clinics, community health centers, public health facilities, schools, substance abuse centers, senior centers, hospice, rehabilitation services, telehealth and case management.

The day to day duties of PMHNs include:

  • Conducting an assessment of a patient’s status
  • Conducting intake screenings, initial evaluation, and triage
  • Providing nursing care following a treatment plan
  • Administering medication and/or other treatment regimens
  • Teaching patients self-care activities
  • Engaging in crisis intervention and situation stabilization (when necessary)
  • Educating patients on how to manage their condition
  • Providing education to patients’ families and communities
  • Working efficiently alongside other members of an interdisciplinary team

“It’s a very rewarding field. As a Psychiatric health care provider, you may be the first person to talk to someone about why they are in crisis, and that can be a humbling experience," said Emma Mangano, DNP, PMHNP at Johns Hopkins Hospital

Some essential traits of a Mental Health Nurse include:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Good Communication
  • Empathy
  • Reliability 
  • Confidence
  • Compassion

The salary of a PMHN depends on their level of experience and the amount of specialized training they have undergone. According to Indeed, the average Mental Health Nurse's salary in the U.S. is $87,156.

A career in Mental Health Nursing can be demanding, but it is extremely rewarding.

Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Windi Woods, says that the best part of the job is “knowing that this team is the end of the road for most of these patients and we give them hope." 

Topics: mental health, nursing career, mental health nursing, psychiatric mental health nurse, behavioral health, Psychiatric Nurses, mental health nurse

Hospitals Healing With Art Therapy Programs

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, Jul 05, 2022 @ 02:28 PM

GettyImages-1215146649Art therapy is a growing trend throughout hospitals in the United States. Art therapy is an evidenced-based practice that supports the emotional, physical, social and spiritual well-being of patients of all ages through the therapeutic use of art-making. 

These programs use a wide range of outlets such as drawing, painting, sculpting, collage, and photography as tools to:

  • Process feelings about a new diagnosis 
  • Provide a sense of control through normalizing activities to help them adjust to hospitalization and/or illness
  • Cause relaxation and reduction of anxiety
  • Rebuild self-esteem
  • Help manage pain
  • Support groups of patients with similar diagnosis
  • Support siblings and family members in caring for their loved one in the hospital
  • And more!

Childrens National Hospital uses trained art therapists who offer resources like nature art therapy in the Healing Garden and gallery displays to give children the opportunity to express themselves through creative activities. They are also a Beads of Courage member hospital.

The University of Florida Shands Hospital arts in medicine program started small back in 1990. Jill Sonke, an artist at the hospital said, "No one is suggesting in arts and health that the arts can replace medicine or health care or other therapies or interventions. But the arts have a place in the sphere of whole person care. There's so many ways in which the arts can address things like loneliness and social isolation."

Not every hospital has an in-house art program, many bring in outside help from organizations such as, the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) or the Caring Arts Foundation Program.

MFA Artful Healing offers art-making activities for children, teens, young adults, and their families in Boston-area hospitals and healthcare centers. The MFA currently provides off-site workshops at Boston Children's Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

A Parent at Boston Children's Hospital said, "We’ve been here more than ten times in the last two weeks . . . but this is the first time I’ve seen my son smiling. Thank you for that!”

The Caring Arts Foundation Program uses professional photographers to take portraits of patients and their families at Lurie Children’s Hospital. They provide fun wardrobes and props. A common area in the hospital is transformed into a studio with lighting and backdrops. Parents are provided with a full set of photos of their child at no cost — a priceless keepsake. These photo sessions give patients and their families a break from cancer treatment while providing lasting memories. 

The use of the arts can help not only patients cope with traumatic events but also hospital staff. For example, immediately after the September 11th terrorist attack, artists were deployed to New York City schools by ArtCares to help children express and address their emotions of having witnessed the horrific event. The same idea can be used for frontline healthcare workers who have experienced trauma throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Cedars-Sinai created an art exhibit with artwork made by their employees. Art pieces were made by Nurses, Doctors, Scientists, Pharmacists, Data analysts and more! Many participants were fueled with creativity from their experiences during the pandemic.

John Lange, Manager of Art Curation at Cedars-Sinai said, "A few of them are literal translations of what their experience with COVID-19 was—or maybe it is a painting of a Nurse with their mask on and things like that—while for others, the pandemic was the catalyst for them to start making work for the first time, or to revisit and make more art."

Creating art is just as important as treating patients in an environment filled with art. 

The Children’s Hospital Los Angeles teamed up with the nonprofit RxART to transform their 207-foot-long hallway into a magical forest. 

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“It’s been a privilege to think about how artwork can make a difference in the context of a children’s hospital. The colorful forest I painted for this long corridor will hopefully do a little to make this experience a bit more tolerable," said Swiss artist Nicolas Party.

With all of the positive effects art has on mental health and cognitive functions, we are excited to see more health systems implementing these types of art programs.  

Topics: mental health, hospital art, art therapy program, art therapy, hospital art therapy, art programs

Robot 'Moxi' Assists Nurses With Time Consuming Tasks

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Jun 24, 2022 @ 11:16 AM

Moxi-by-Diligent-Robotics-outside-patient-roomEven before the pandemic, Nurses have suffered the effects of workplace stress and burnout. The Nursing shortage is a key factor when it comes to burnout. The lack of staff demands Nurses to care for more patients, which results in Nurses being overtired, overwhelmed, and overall highly stressed. 

Hospitals are turning to robot technology to help ease the strain on healthcare workers. 

According to research from the Journal of Nursing Management, Nurses spend up to 33% of their shifts on simple yet time consuming tasks such as getting supplies or picking up medications.

Robots like Moxi can assist Nurses with these tasks so they are able to focus on patient care. Moxi, created by Diligent Robotics, is a point-to-point delivery robot, meaning it can make deliveries and perform other non-clinical tasks.

Some technical features include: 

  • Social intelligence: opens elevators and doors on its own, won’t bump into people or objects in hallways, happily poses for selfies 

  • Mobile manipulation: Moxi can grab, pull, open and guide objects, with no human assistance 

  • Human-guided learning: The more your staff uses Moxi, the more Moxi learns and adapts to your environment and way of doing things

Abigail Hamilton, a former ICU and Emergency Room Nurse that manages Nursing staff support programs at Mary Washington Hospital said, "The simple things Moxi does can make a difference. It can save Nurses the 30 minutes it might take to go from the fifth floor to the basement to pick up medication that can’t go through the tube system from the pharmacy. And picking up after-hour meals for patients is one of Moxi’s most popular tasks."

According to Wired, Two Moxi robots began operating in the halls of Mary Washington Hospital in February, they’ve given workers back approximately 600 hours of time.

With a landmark $1.5 million grant from the American Nurses Foundation, ChristianaCare will deploy a total of five Moxi robots at Christiana Hospital. The hospital will be home to the largest number of Moxi robots in health care.

“Moxi is not a replacement for a Nurse or Nursing position — or any position. It is an additional resource for Nurses and their teams. Moxi will be doing those hunting and gathering tasks such as getting equipment and supplies, which Nurses are doing today but don’t need to be doing at all," said Ric Cuming, Ed.D., MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, Chief Nurse Executive and President, ChristianaCare HomeHealth.

Melanie Barone, RN, Associate Nursing Director at Cedars-Sinai who has acquired two Moxi robots said, "I think it's important to have Moxi be present because they not only provide an opportunity to improve workflows and be more efficient, but they're a fun thing to see around the halls. They feel very future forward."

In just its first six weeks at Cedars Sinai, Moxi saved 300 miles of walking for Nurses.

Ultimately, the Diligent Robotics team wants to build human-friendly robots for other industries as well, but for now healthcare is their main focus. 

Topics: Moxi robot, nurse robot, hospital robot

Why You Should Look for a Good Nurse Residency Program as A New Graduate Nurse

Posted by Sarah West, MSN, FNP

Mon, Jun 20, 2022 @ 12:16 PM

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What is a Nurse Residency Program?

Nurse residency programs are individualized programs set up by hospitals to help new graduate Nurses transition into clinical practice. Nurse residency programs are generally available to new graduate Nurses or Nurses with less than 1 year of Nursing experience. They are designed to provide Nursing residents with the knowledge and skills to provide quality and comprehensive patient care. Most residency programs are 1 year and designed to provide new graduate Nurses with unique clinical opportunities. Nurse residents can expect to receive clinical instruction, simulation training, a clinical mentor, educational seminars and classes, and the chance to train in highly sought-after specialized areas such as the Emergency Room or the ICU.

How to Find a Good Nurse Residency Program

Finding a good Nurse residency program involves some time and research. They are found all over the country and offer many different benefits. Comparing residency programs that interest you can be done with an internet search. Many residency programs will explain what is provided within their program on their website so you can choose your best option. Things to consider when selecting a program include...

Research Facilities that Interest You

Take a look at programs in your area, or if you’re interested in relocating, look at programs in areas you’d like to live. Nurse residency programs are available all over the country, so the options for applying are endless.

Accreditation

Two organizations have begun to accredit Nurse residency programs. This means third-party organizations (AACN and ANCC) have assessed the program for its content, faculty, student satisfaction, and outcomes and certified that it meets its standards. Accredited programs are an excellent option for new graduate Nurses, but if the program you are interested in is not accredited, this does not mean that the program is a poor choice; it simply means it has not met the set requirements from these organizations and cannot claim accreditation.

Specialization

Take some time to consider a specialty that interests you. Reflect upon your Nursing school experiences, consider the areas of focus you enjoyed the most, and look for programs that allow new graduate Nurses to start within that specialty. Many Nurse residency programs offer training in areas such as the ER, specialized ICU’s, the OR, Labor and Delivery, and Pediatrics. Nurse residency programs can be a great way for inexperienced Nurses to start their Nursing careers in a specialty of choice that may otherwise not be available to them as new graduates.

Benefits of a Nurse Residency Program

There are many benefits to becoming a part of a Nurse residency program. As a new graduate Nurse, you have been given the essential foundation to function safely as a Registered Nurse, but there is much more to learn and many new skills to develop. Nurse residency programs provide new graduate Nurses with the tools they need to continue growing and developing into competent and compassionate healthcare professionals. Some of the many benefits offered by Nurse residency programs include...

Mentorship: Nurse residency programs help you develop your confidence as a new Nurse by supplying you with a Nurse mentor to help guide you through new experiences. Through mentorship with seasoned Nurses, you will gain confidence while you gain knowledge to make sound decisions confidently.

Seminars and Specialty Courses:  Nurse residency programs provide a learning curriculum centered around the specialty in which you are training. You will be provided with a schedule of classes, seminars, or online courses to complete throughout your residency to set you up for ultimate success as a new Nurse.

Certifications: Certifications are often required to work in specialty areas such as the ER, the ICU, and Pediatrics. Your Nurse residency program will help you achieve these certifications while completing your residency. Some certifications you may be required to achieve include ACLS, PALS, or TNCC.

Simulation Training: Simulation training or sim labs are a great way to help new graduate Nurses experience training opportunities that may otherwise be unavailable. Many Nurse residency programs have incorporated simulation training and testing into their curriculum to help provide new graduate Nurses with as many experiences as possible to be able to handle unexpected situations that may arise within the workplace.

Detailed Electronic Health Record Orientation: Learning how to document effectively and efficiently can be a learning curve for some new graduate Nurses. In many Nurse residency programs, a detailed electronic medical record orientation is incorporated into the curriculum to help new Nurses succeed when documenting patient care.

Curriculum and training opportunities can vary by program. Always look into what the Nurse residency program you are applying to offers to ensure you get the most out of the training opportunity.

Nurse Residency Programs Set New Grads Up for Ultimate Success

Nurse residency programs are an excellent option for many new graduate Nurses. New graduate Nurses are provided the education and support needed to transition smoothly from novice to expert through these programs. As the Nursing profession becomes increasingly sophisticated, a good Nurse residency program will set you up for a lifelong career of success in Nursing.

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Topics: nursing career, Nurse Residency Program, graduate nurse

Effective Communication Tips For Nurses

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Jun 17, 2022 @ 09:02 AM

GettyImages-1043174932On an average day, Nurses interact with many patients, their families and friends, and exchange information with numerous healthcare staff. It is critical to be a good communicator because medical errors will occur if providers aren't all on the same page about patients' diagnoses, treatment plans, etc.

Some effective communication skills every Nurse should possess:

VERBAL

Verbal communication is one of the most important skills in Nursing. The goal is to always speak clearly, in a professional tone, and with honesty. Be aware of your patient's level of health literacy and avoid complex medical jargon. Vocally make sure everyone on the medical staff is on the same page about any vital patient information. 

NON-VERBAL

Patient's pick up on body language and nonverbal cues just as much as verbal language. According to Indeed, some examples of nonverbal communication skills include:

  • Maintaining eye contact when speaking or listening to someone
  • Having a relaxed facial expression
  • Smiling
  • Nodding
  • Keeping arms uncrossed
  • Crouching when interacting with a bedridden patient
  • Respecting the patient's personal space

CULTURAL AWARENESS 

Nurses care for patients from all different backgrounds and cultures. It is important to be sensitive to the needs of each individual. For example, when working with a deaf patient or someone who speaks a language you aren't fluent in, bring in a translator if necessary. Or if someone has a preferred name or pronoun, you should respect them and refer to them by what they prefer. 

WRITTEN

We understand how incredibly busy you are every minute of your shift. Transitioning patient information to the next caregiver is critical and you must be as clear and concise as possible. This includes creating and updating your patient’s medical record and whiteboard.

Try to jot down notes as soon after meeting with your patient as possible so you don't forget anything and write clearly so others don't get confused. Notebooks and charting books are great tools for every shift. You can write down any concerns or important information about patients and discuss them later on with other team members.

ACTIVE LISTENING

Active listening means you are listening to understand the other person’s experience and empathize with their situation. This requires your ultimate attention and engagement. Some active listening techniques include:

  • Nodding your head, but never interrupting. 
  • Leaning forward and maintaining eye contact to let the patient know you’re engaged.
  • Include minimal verbal encouragement, such as “I understand,” and “go on.”
  • Repeating back to them their main point or concern

COMPASSION

Compassionate communication is the ability to exchange your thoughts and ideas with someone, while being empathetic to their suffering and anxiety. Put yourself in their shoes and create a judgment free space for them.

You can demonstrate compassion by using the parroting response which is repeating back what the patient said, but be careful not to overuse this technique because it will inhibit the patient from saying more. It's also important to validate the patient's feelings with a response of understanding or sympathy. 

As you know, Nursing is challenging, but incredibly rewarding as well. Effective communication skills improves your patient’s well-being and puts you and your healthcare team on the same page

Topics: communication, communication in nursing, effective communication skills, nurse communication

Summer Reading List For Nurses

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Thu, Jun 02, 2022 @ 10:37 AM

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Working in healthcare can be emotionally and mentally taxing. Self-care is very important and sometimes curling up with a comfy blanket and a good book is the perfect antidote! 

If you’re looking for book ideas, you came to the right place! Check out this list of books recommended for Nurses, and maybe you'll discover a new favorite.

I Wasn't Strong Like This When I Started Out: True Stories of Becoming a Nurse

This collection of true narratives reflects the dynamism and diversity of Nurses, who provide the first vital line of patient care. Here, Nurses remember their first “sticks,” first births, and first deaths, and reflect on what gets them though long, demanding shifts, and keeps them in the profession.

Nurse: The Art of Caring

This book is a collection of the most memorable moments from the careers of over sixty Nurses. It covers nearly seventy years of practice from World War II to the present day. The extraordinary situations described here are the result of more than 1,000 years of hands-on bedside knowledge.

The Language of Kindness: A Nurse's Story

Through the smallest of actions, Nurses provide vital care and kindness. All of us will experience illness in our lifetime, and we will all depend on the support and dignity that Nurses offer us; yet the women and men who form the vanguard of our health care remain unsung. In this age of fear, hate, and division, Christie Watson has written a book that reminds us of all that we share, and of the urgency of compassion.

The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives

The Shift gives an unprecedented view into the individual struggles as well as the larger truths about medicine in this country. By shift’s end, we have witnessed something profound about hope and humanity.

Inspired Nurse

In this thought-provoking workbook, Rich Bluni, RN reminds Nurses and all healthcare employees why we chose this profession. He provides a wealth of action-oriented "spiritual stretches" that help us more fully integrate the gifts of Nursing- joy, wonder, gratitude, insight and grief - into our daily lives.

Cooked: An Inner City Nursing Memoir

In May 1971, Look magazine featured an article entitled "Chicago's Cook County Hospital: A Terrible Place." The article provided an in-depth look at the largest public hospital in the country, one located on Chicago's dangerous gang-controlled and drug-infested West Side. Months later, the author, then a naïve suburban teen, and one hundred other Nursing students, began their training there, despite newspaper articles that warned that the hospital might close any day.

Bedlam Among the Bedpans: Humor in Nursing

A must-read for Nursing professionals, Bedlam Among the Bedpans: Humor in Nursing, includes over 100 of the funniest and most creative stories about Nursing collected from Nursing journals, books, and the internet that highlight the humor in the situations Nurses face every day. Inspired by the experiences of real Nurses, the stories relate situations with insights that only Nurses who have "been there" in the field could have.

Becoming Nursey: From Code Blues to Code Browns, How to Care for Your Patients and Yourself

Nursing isn't a career; it's a calling. Learning how to be a great Nurse at the bedside while maintaining your sanity at home is no easy task. This book discusses about how to realistically live as a Nurse, both at home and at the bedside - with a little humor and some shenanigans along the way.

Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul: Stories to Celebrate, Honor and Inspire the Nursing Profession

You'll laugh and cry along with these stories from all types of Nurses - about the patients who affected them most deeply, their personal ups and downs as Nurses, their funniest moments, their most heartwarming experiences, and lots of great tips that will help you make a difference in the lives of patients and their families.  

The Nurses: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital

Alexandra Robbins peers behind the staff-only door to write a lively, fast-paced story and a riveting work of investigative journalism. Robbins followed real-life Nurses in four hospitals and interviewed hundreds of others in a captivating book filled with joy and violence, miracles and heartbreak, dark humor and narrow victories, gripping drama and unsung heroism.

We hope you find time to take care of you whether it’s reading a book, taking a walk, visiting with friends and family, or whatever is best for your self-care. We value and appreciate you!

Topics: nurse books, nurse reading list, books for nurses

Is Healthcare Committed to Diversity in their Workforce?

Posted by Sarah West, MSN, FNP

Fri, May 27, 2022 @ 12:19 PM

GettyImages-1357830750Why Should Healthcare Be Committed to Diversity in their Workforce? 

Diversity within healthcare is essential in delivering competent and inclusive patient care. Individuals from all walks of life enter hospitals and clinics daily to seek medical care. To provide these individuals with the best medical care possible, we must be able to relate to them properly. The best way to ensure we can connect and communicate effectively with patients is to ensure that the healthcare staff is well diversified. 

What is Diversity in Healthcare? 

Diversity is reflected in healthcare by employing individuals from different backgrounds and walks of life. There are many ways healthcare staff can be diversified. A diversified workforce includes hiring persons of multiple races, ages, genders, ethnicities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, education levels, languages, and sexual orientations. Military service is also a unique quality that can often be overlooked to add to the diverse population of healthcare workers. 

Is Healthcare Committed to Diversity in their Workforce?

Although there is much evidence to support that diversity within the healthcare workforce is beneficial for employees and the community, there is still a gap in healthcare diversity. The majority of Physicians are white males. Nurses tend to be predominately female. 

Benefits of Diversity in Healthcare 

There are many benefits to having a diverse workforce for the healthcare staff and patients. Some of those benefits include:

  • Individualized Patient Care for Diverse Populations: When you have a patient seeking care and there is diversity within your healthcare staff, there is always someone on the healthcare team who can communicate and identify with them to ensure their needs are met. 
  • Increased Patient Trust: Patients seek medical care for a variety of reasons. Often, the reason for seeking care comes with a sense of anxiety. Studies have shown when patients can easily relate to their healthcare provider, there is better overall communication and better patient outcomes. It’s also been shown that when patients relate better to healthcare staff, they are more likely to continue with follow-up care and take part in preventative care measures.
  • Improved Problem Solving: A wide range of perspectives from individuals of different backgrounds allows for better problem solving and creative solutions to problems. When creative minds come together from various perspectives, new ideas and innovations can be produced. 
  • Better Employee Retention and Morale: Employing a diverse community of healthcare workers can improve employee morale and make the workplace more enjoyable. Working for a company that takes pride in people of diverse populations positively impacts the workplace and the community. 

Disadvantages of a Lack of Diversity

The disadvantages of a lack of diversity within healthcare can pose significant risks to healthcare delivery and result in poor patient outcomes. Some disadvantages include:

  • Impaired Communication: Impaired communication occurs when there is a language barrier. Healthcare staff may not fully understand what a patient is trying to convey, and patients may be confused about the plan of care, leading to patient dissatisfaction and potential medical errors. 
  • Limited Perspectives: When healthcare staff lacks diversity, implicit bias can affect how healthcare is delivered to those of different backgrounds. Implicit bias is when healthcare workers unintentionally judge patients based on their different beliefs, customs, or cultures. Although implicit bias is not intentional, it can cause significant harm. Having a diverse healthcare staff decreases implicit biases by allowing for different perspectives while implementing care.

How can we Promote Diversity in Healthcare? 

The only way to truly diversify healthcare professionals is to make medical education more attainable for people of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. People seeking healthcare education should have access to feasible and affordable education. 

Many students seeking medical education are not of the traditional college age. College students can range from working parents, people changing careers, or single parents seeking education on weekends or nights. Many people cannot dedicate days to a classroom setting. A great way to achieve a more diverse workforce is to improve upon and offer more online learning programs that are more accessible and affordable to various and diverse people. 

Conclusion 

The importance of diversity within the healthcare workforce is evident. When healthcare is more diversified, medicine itself becomes more culturally competent. All healthcare workplaces should strive to provide a diverse population of workers to improve overall patient outcomes and acquire better patient satisfaction.

Topics: diversity in healthcare, diverse workforce, workplace diversity, healthcare diversity

Top Characteristics of A Great Nurse

Posted by Diversity Nursing

Mon, May 23, 2022 @ 11:42 AM

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As many of you know, a career in Nursing is extremely challenging, but very rewarding as well. For the last 20 years, the Nursing profession has consistently been ranked as the most trusted, honest, and ethical by Gallup

Because Nursing is ranked so highly, it takes a special kind of person with a certain set of qualities and skills to be a Great Nurse.   

Some of those characteristics are: 

GOOD COMMUNICATION TO… EXCELLENT COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Communication skills are necessary in almost every career, but in Nursing it's one of the most important aspects of the job. It can literally be the difference between life and death. 

A great Nurse must be able to effectively communicate with fellow Nurses, Doctors, patients, and their families. If not, patients can feel neglected, medical errors can occur and the entire unit will be impacted. 

Emotional Stability

Nursing can be mentally taxing and experiencing traumatic events often takes a toll on you. Emotional stability is a trait that can be practiced and strengthened. It is a necessary characteristic for a Nurse to be successful in this career. 

To provide ultimate care, Nurses must have the ability to control their emotions so they can accomplish the present task or emergency.

Ideally, you should have the tools to cope with your feelings and seek assistance if you need it. 

Culturally Competent 

Everyday Nurses care for patients from cultural backgrounds of all kinds. A culturally competent healthcare provider improves patient satisfaction and overall care by understanding and acknowledging a patient's language, customs, and beliefs. 

Team Player

A great Nurse not only focuses on their own workload, but understands that they're a part of team that does whatever is necessary to ensure that all patients are taken care of. A strong team has each other's backs. 

Wants To Learn

The healthcare field is always evolving and requires continuing education throughout. There are plenty of opportunities to learn from experienced Nurses, preceptorships, mentoring programs and continuing education units (CEUs).  

Flexibility 

In healthcare, emergencies happen all the time which may require Nurses to work weekends, holidays and overtime, often without much notice. 

Many Nurses like the fact that each day is different. You never know what challenges will arise. With that in mind, Nurses often wear many hats and must adapt easily.

Sense of Humor

In a career filled with challenges, you have to find the humor in the craziest situations and laugh whenever you can, with discretion of course. A good sense of humor can alleviate stress and help spread positivity to others. You are human and you need some feel good vibes to get through difficult times. 

Organized

Often, times can be hectic on a unit. It helps to know where everything is and be able to easily access information and tools you need. An organized Nurse prioritizes their tasks as things change throughout their shift. 

Time management is also a key organizational trait. You must stay on top of when medications are administered, the correct dosage of each med, and when patients need to be fed, bathed, etc. 

The list of traits that great Nurses share is truly never ending as You are almost super human! 

Topics: qualities of a nurse, nurse traits, nurse characteristics

Nursing Organizations Collaborate On A Staffing Think Tank

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Tue, May 10, 2022 @ 10:12 AM

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For many years, the healthcare field has struggled with staffing issues, including the Nursing shortage. The COVID-19 pandemic brought these issues front and center. Everyone including Patients, Nurses, and Health Systems benefit from higher staffing rates.

Improved staffing levels reduce:

  • Mortality rates
  • Length of stay
  • Readmission rates
  • Preventable health care associated injuries and illnesses such as falls, infections, and pressure injuries

According to research:

  • Higher numbers of patients per Nurse was strongly associated with the administration of the wrong medication or dose, pressure ulcers, and patient falls with injury.
  • Short-staffing increases patients’ risk of death by between 4% and 6%. This risk is higher within the first five days of admission.

Five organizations came together in 2018 to form the Partners for Nurse Staffing in a collaborative effort to explore new solutions for Nurse staffing issues. In early 2022, they launched the National Nurse Staffing Think Tank. 

The Partners for Nurse Staffing includes:

  • American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN)
  • American Nurses Association (ANA)
  • American Organization for Nursing Leadership (AONL)
  • Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA)
  • Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)

The think tank made recommendations to address the Nurse staffing crisis within a 12-18 month implementation timeframe.

The recommendations include: 

Healthy Work Environment

  • Elevate clinician psychological and physical safety to equal importance with patient safety through federal regulation.
  • Specialty Nursing organizations should investigate evidence related to scope of practice and minimum safe staffing levels for patients in their specialty.

 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

  • Implement Inclusive Excellence, a change-focused iterative planning process whereby there is deliberate integration of DEI ideals into leadership practices, daily operations, strategic planning, decision-making, resource allocation and priorities.

 

Work Schedule Flexibility

  • Build a flexible workforce with flexible scheduling, flexible shifts and flexible roles.

 

Stress Injury Continuum

  • Address burnout, moral distress, and compassion fatigue as barriers to Nurse retention.
  • Incorporate well-being of Nurses as an organizational value.

 

Innovative Care Delivery Models

  • Implement tribrid care delivery models that offer a holistic approach with three components, including onsite care delivery, IT integration of patient monitoring equipment, and ambulatory access and virtual/remote care delivery. This approach will improve access, patient and staff experience, and resource management, with continuous measurement for improvement and adjustment for sustainability and support.

 

Total Compensation

  • Develop an organization-wide formalized and customizable total compensation program for nurses that is stratified based on market intelligence, generational needs and an innovative and transparent pay philosophy that is inclusive of benefits such as paid time off for self-care and wellness and wealth planning for all generations.

The time for action is Now. Nurses, and their patients, must have proper staffing levels in order to provide the best care possible! 




Topics: nurse staffing, staffing levels, nurse shortage, healthcare staffing, think tank, staffing crisis

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