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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

Advice For Nurses Managing Difficult Patient Visitors

Posted by Diversity Nursing

Thu, Mar 10, 2022 @ 02:31 PM

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Nurses are the front-line of patient care and often spend time around their patient's family and loved ones. It's important for family and friends to be there, but in a highly emotional environment, sometimes those visitors can become a challenge. When a patient’s relative is intimidating, aggressive, or overbearing, it can be extremely difficult for Nurses to perform their jobs and feel safe. 

Here's some advice for keeping your cool with difficult visitors.

First Impressions

To start off on the right foot, get to know the visitors in the room by introducing yourself and building rapport. Be proactive and explain what everyone should expect, who else may be assisting in the process, and how often someone will be by to check in. Naturally, family members will worry and feel helpless. It's important to address any questions or concerns they have.

Listen and Acknowledge

When you start to recognize a visitor's behavior shifting in a negative direction, try to get to the root of the problem so you can diffuse the situation. Let them express their feelings and acknowledge their concerns. Try to understand the situation from their perspective.

Remain Calm

If tensions start to rise and the visitor becomes angry or aggressive, it is best to remain calm and keep a physical distance. Try to maintain a composed voice, speak slowly, and use a low volume tone.

It is easy to get defensive, but it is best not to escalate the problem with more negative energy.

Don’t interrupt them. Wait for them to take a break from venting, acknowledge that you’ve heard them and jump in. This gives you the opportunity to take back control of the conversation and guide them to a solution. Master De-escalation Instructor, Myra Golden, calls this ‘the jump rope technique’.

Draw The Line

If inappropriate behavior occurs, it is important to stand up for yourself and set boundaries. If you feel the environment is becoming unsafe, remove yourself and call security.

Not sure what to say? Resilient Nursing has some good examples:

  • “I am here to help. I will answer your questions and address your concerns, but I can’t do that if you are yelling at me.”
  • “We are in a hospital. I need you to stop. You are disrupting patients and visitors right now.”
  • “What you just did/said was not acceptable. If you continue, I will have to ask you to leave.”

Document

If any issues occur on the floor, you should let the Charge Nurse know about it. Also document the event, summarizing what took place and how you handled it. Not only is this good to have for legal reasons, it also makes other healthcare providers aware for the future.

Self-Care

Being involved in a conflict or altercation can take a toll on your stress levels. Be mindful of how you feel and take time to process your feelings. Do what you need to do to feel better. Try talking to a friend or coworker or try journaling.

But most importantly, don't take it personally. You are doing the best you can and are not responsible for someone else's bad reaction to stress. 

Topics: hospital visitors, hospital visits, difficult patient family members, difficult patient visitors

If You're Deaf, Can You Have A Career In Nursing?

Posted by Diversity Nursing

Thu, Oct 17, 2019 @ 03:16 PM

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To answer this question, we did some research and discovered the answer is Yes, a deaf person can have a career in Nursing. In this article, we focus on 3 Nurses who are making it happen.

For Dionne Jaques, becoming a Nurse was a goal of hers for many years. She knew it would be difficult to achieve this goal because she is deaf. Dionne never gave up. She fulfilled her goal and is a Registered Nurse in a health care facility in Southern Utah. During her valedictorian speech at Nightingale College graduation, she said "Don't let your limitations slow you down".

There are many people like Dionne whose passion is Nursing, like Annie Resetar. Annie has moderate to severe hearing loss. She graduated from Walsh University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She then interned at Akron Children’s Hospital and is currently working as an aide in a Nursing home.

Annie said, "I think my hearing disability sets me apart and makes me a better Nurse. It helps build trust with my patients. It is a testament that there are things wrong with all of us, but that should not get in the way of our lives and dreams. Rather, we simply must adapt and embrace these differences because they make us stronger."

Lauren Searls was born deaf and both of her parents are deaf. Her goal is to be a Family Nurse Practitioner. She received her RN degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing and has applied for an MS in Nursing there.

According to the Rochester Institute of Technology, Lauren has relied on interpreters in the classroom and while visiting patients.

She said, "I go into the patients’ rooms with confidence, introduce myself, tell the patients that I am deaf and will rely on interpreters as needed. I have been able to make it work effectively. Although I do well in one-on-one situations and small group settings, I am not hearing and only 30 percent of the English language is lip readable and there is no guarantee that everyone speaks clearly or is easy to understand. Working with an interpreter is the only way I’ll be able to ensure I have access to what is going on around me.”

Nurses who are hard of hearing are legally entitled to use accommodations like ASL (American Sign Language) interpreters and tools such as amplified stethoscopes to assist them. To learn more about resources and accommodations, the Association of Medical Professionals with Hearing Loss (AMPHL) and the Society of Health Care Professionals With Disabilities advocates for deaf and hard-of-hearing professionals in the medical field.

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Topics: hard of hearing nurse, deaf nursing student, diverse nurse, nurses with disabilities, deaf nurse

Racial Disparities in Maternal Health

Posted by Diversity Nursing

Tue, Sep 24, 2019 @ 10:28 AM

pregnancyWomen of color in the United States suffer unacceptably poor maternal health outcomes, including high rates of death related to pregnancy or childbirth.

The Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System started in 1987 and since then, the number of reported pregnancy-related deaths in the United States increased from 7.2 deaths per 100,000 live births to 17.2 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2015.

Considerable racial/ethnic disparities in pregnancy-related mortality exist. During 2011–2015, the pregnancy-related mortality ratios were—

  • 42.8 deaths per 100,000 live births for black non-Hispanic women.
  • 32.5 deaths per 100,000 live births for American Indian/Alaskan Native non-Hispanic women.
  • 14.2 deaths per 100,000 live births for Asian/Pacific Islander non-Hispanic women.
  • 13.0 deaths per 100,000 live births for white non-Hispanic women.
  • 11.4 deaths per 100,000 live births for Hispanic women.

Variability in the risk of death by race/ethnicity indicates that more can be done to understand and reduce pregnancy-related deaths.

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, African American mothers die at a rate that's 3.3 times greater than whites, and Native American or Alaskan Native women die at a rate 2.5 times greater than whites.

Pregnancy-related mortality rates are also high among certain subgroups of Hispanic women. A Science Direct article says, pregnancy-induced hypertension was the leading cause of pregnancy-related death for Hispanic women.

The CDC report also shows roughly 3 in 5 pregnancy-related deaths are preventable. But, the health care system fails to listen to diverse population's health concerns and so the maternal mortality rate keeps rising.

According to the Healthy People Final Review, Approximately 25% of all U.S. women do not receive the recommended number of prenatal visits.  This number rises to 32% among African Americans and to 41% among American Indian or Alaska Native women.

An article from the Center for American Progress believes there is little research on what social factors contribute to poor delivery and birth outcomes for American Indian and Alaska Native women because of the small population size and racial misclassifications. But they do know these women face many barriers when it comes to getting healthcare.

The National Partnership for Women & Families explains African American women experience more maternal health complications. 

  • African American women are three times more likely to have fibroids than white women. Fibroids are benign tumors that grow in the uterus and can cause postpartum hemorrhaging. Also the fibroids occur at younger ages and grow more quickly for African American women.
  • African American women display signs of preeclampsia earlier in pregnancy than white women. Preeclampsia involves high blood pressure during pregnancy and can lead to severe complications including death if not properly treated.
  • African American women experience physical “weathering,” meaning their bodies age faster than white women’s due to exposure to chronic stress linked to socioeconomic disadvantage and discrimination over the life course, this makes pregnancy riskier at an earlier age.

The CDC report also shows that more than a third of pregnancy-related deaths were due to cardiovascular conditions. Cardiovascular disease is more common among black women and can occur at earlier ages than in white women.

It is very clear that health disparities have a lot to do with racism. Until it is addressed and programs are put in place to combat racism in healthcare, mortality rates will continue to rise.

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Topics: health disparities, Maternal Mortality Rate, maternal health, racism in healthcare, racial health disparities, pregnancy related deaths

Will No Nurse Documentation Become a Reality?

Posted by Diversity Nursing

Mon, Sep 16, 2019 @ 10:12 AM

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We found this inspiring Pilot Program we think will be of interest to you. Healthcare provider, AdventHealth, rolled out an unusual program last year that hopes to “revolutionize” the way patient care is delivered around the country.

 

The goal of the pilot program, started in 2018, was to free up Nurses to provide more patient-centered care without the constant interruption of writing down the care as it was given. Nurses were paired with a Care Team Assistant (CTA) to document patients’ medical care at the time it was provided. This was done under the Nurse’s supervision and they worked as a team.

 

“This pilot is helping me be the type of Nurse that I dreamed of,” said Christine Reyes, a Registered Nurse at AdventHealth Altamonte Springs. “I became a Nurse because I wanted to show compassion to people who need it most, and this pilot is allowing me to do that even more.”

 

Results of the pilot program

·         Staff responsiveness (a measurement of the patient experience) improved by 12%.

·         Lab turnaround time improved by 13%.

·         73% of nurses said they feel they are able to spend more time with patients when assisted by a CTA.

 

Eric Stevens, CEO of acute care services for AdventHealth in metro Orlando said "AdventHealth is committed to finding innovative solutions to health care problems. We created this model to improve the way we work to make it easy for both our patients and staff. Our Nursing staff is key to providing compassionate, whole-person care. A hospital stay can be an unnerving experience. This program helps our Nurses spend quality time with our patients and their families to focus on supporting them while they heal."

 

AdventHealth is building on the success of the pilot and expanding it to other units.

 

What do you think of this program? Is it a good idea to implement at other hospitals? Share your ideas here.

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Topics: pilot study, nurse documenting, hospital study

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