In November 2009, for the first time, med/surg nurses at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, joined in the national celebration of the Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses annual week honoring the specialty.
From Nov. 1-7, UMMC nurses celebrated this years theme, Med/Surg Nurses: Making a World of Difference, while raising awareness of their work among others in the nursing profession.
UMMCs Surgical Acute Care Unit leadership team of Vijaya Ramakrishnan, Taibat (Nikki) Alao and Priya Viswanatha, members of the Greater Chesapeake Chapter of AMSN, championed a weeklong celebration. A med/surg nurses table was set up in the busiest corridor of the medical center for the entire week.
On Nov. 1, a poster congratulating nurses on the event was displayed at all entrances of the hospital. An information table was set up to provide details about certification exams for med/surg nursing. Nurses from several different units showed great interest in becoming certified.
The newly formed Greater Chesapeake chapter of AMSN was introduced, and more than 10 nurses signed up for memberships. Of the new members, two RNs won free membership for a year through a raffle.
An I Love Med/Surg Nursing celebration board was set up, and members of the UMMC community wrote words of thanks and praise. The board was quickly filled with signatures and congratulatory notes from employees, visitors and patients. One of the visitors used the board to express gratitude for her mothers care by writing, You are all doing a terrific job for my Mom.
UMMC leaders such as John Spearman, senior vice president for external affairs and community relations, and Christina Cafeo, director of medical-surgical nursing, posted notes of praise on the board as well.
SACU nurses continued the celebration for the remainder of the week by taking a roving cart, with the poster and signing board, to other med/surg units in the hospital and offering congratulations to nurses on day and night shifts.
Vijaya Ramakrishnan, Priya Viswanatha, Taibat (Nikki) Alao, Maureen Archibald and Beverly Dukes are UMMC med/surg nurses.