New England nurses share personal and institutional patient care plans for 2011, and how those goals will affect patient care
From obtaining new certifications to taking the time to listen and interact with those under their care, nurses focus on the bedside to take their practice to a whole new level.Susan Bellofatto, RN
Susan Bellofatto, RN, BSN geriatric resource nurse coordinator Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington, Mass.
My goals are to always treat my patients with respect and dignity; offer the best geriatric sensitive care I can provide based on the latest research; reduce potential complications that could prolong their stay and prevent them from returning home to their loved ones; and infuse my institution with my passion for geriatric-sensitive care. To achieve these goals, I will: Use NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) tools and resources; implement Dr. Fulmers SPICES Assessment Tool to identify geriatric syndromes that pose potential problems for the older population; educate nursing personnel about geriatric sensitive care; become an active member of my institutions delirium task force; become involved with geriatric research; and become certified in gerontology. So many patient encounters have enriched my life, and I consider it an honor that I now have this opportunity to better my practice and improve the quality of their lives.Sarah Hickey, RN
Sarah Hickey, RN, BSN Bliss 8 (general surgery) staff nurse Hartford (Conn.) Hospital
New Years is a time for renewal. Its a time where we make changes in hopes of making a positive impact. As I reflect and look ahead, I am reminded of how sacred the nursing profession is, and I resolve to spend more time with my patients. My 42-bed unit just piloted a new way to do shift-to-shift reporting. Using an evidence-based process, weve taken reporting from the nurses station to the bedside. Care has become even safer. Falls and hospital-acquired pressure ulcers have dropped because were at the bedside during shift changes a time where nationwide, many preventable errors take place. While its my personal resolution to spend more time with my patients, its my goal to expand bedside reporting throughout the hospital. I will mentor my peers as we adopt the process, incorporating it into our units orientation. In 2011, I hope well be reminded each day of how special our jobs are. Nurse by nurse, unit by unit, we can spend more time than ever with our patients, so we give them the best care we can.Nicole Loiz, RN
Nicole Loiz, RN, BSN Patient Experience Committee chair St. Vincents Medical Center, Bridgeport, Conn.
Six months ago, our new state-of-the art ED was under construction. We were orienting new staff and adjusting to a new electronic documentation system. Through all this change, there was one thing we were determined not to lose sight of our mission to provide compassionate care to our patients and their families. I was challenged to improve the patient experience in the emergency department. The Patient Experience Committee was created to recognize and address issues that impact the care we deliver to patients and their families in our emergency department. The committee is comprised of a diverse group of ED staff, including volunteers and a representative from our Patient Family Advisory Board. We meet monthly to review patient satisfaction responses and to discuss any potential areas for improvement. Staff is now able to seek out opportunities to meet or exceed patient expectations. Since that time, we have seen a steady increase in patient satisfaction, remaining in the 90th percentile. As the new year approaches, we will continue to seek out new opportunities to provide outstanding service to our patients and their families.Chris Sage, RN
Chris Sage, RN, MSN, CEN ICU Staff Nurse St Vincents Medical Center, Bridgeport, Conn.
During 2010, I had the privilege of being involved in a project to bring therapeutic hypothermia to St. Vincents. I read an article about how cooling a patient for 24 hours had the potential to significantly improve neurologic outcomes in cardiac arrest patients who remain comatose after resuscitation. Through 25 years in healthcare, I have seen too many people suffer cardiac arrest, some right in front of me, and never survive to discharge. This therapy promised to improve that outcome by 17%, in a condition that hasnt seen significant improvement in outcomes since the inception of CPR. By reviewing research studies, writing a proposal, forming a committee, and negotiating the hospital approval process, my quest is now a reality. I was amazed that one staff nurse, some passion, and just one good idea led to a change in practice in my workplace! My New Years resolution is to encourage others to do the same. Look for that one good idea, research it, and follow it through. I learned firsthand what implementing evidence-based practice really means, what it takes to turn those concepts into reality, and how nursing can truly drive change!Jason Malia, RN, and Rhonda Pattberg, RN
Jason Malia, RN, BSN, EMT-P pediatric ED Rhonda Pattberg, RN, BS, RNC-OB, RNC-EFM labor and birth Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Conn.
As co-chairs of the Yale-New Haven Hospitals Staff Nurse Council, we are in a unique position to respond about our resolutions for improving patient care in 2011. Our committee, now in its fourth year, is increasingly effective at eliciting best practices, testing and disseminating them, and positively impacting patient care. We instituted a collaborative governance structure. Very recently, the SNC voted on new areas where we are going to introduce changes in 2011. They include a focus on proven new devices; improved maternal-infant bonding for at-risk newborns; and hydrotherapy for patients in labor. To make sharing information easier, the SNC also will streamline the online communication process for bedside nurses. We plan to introduce a computer-based process that will allow every nurse to improve bedside care, easily share information with the 2,200 members of the YNNH nursing community, and easily access to state-of-the-art nursing practices. Good ideas, after all, become great ideas if they are shared, and some of the best ideas can come from those receiving our care.