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New Year, New Goals for Patient Safety

Heartland/Midwest 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.

Rebekah Flynn, RN

Rebekah Flynn, RN, BSN • 4400 gyn-oncology • Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis

“Since beginning my nursing career in June 2009, I feel as if I have established my personal routine for daily patient care. One of my most challenging goals for 2011 is to begin to ‘dig deeper.’ I’ve learned how to function independently on my unit, but I’d like to learn more about how all the pieces fit together. One way I plan to meet this goal is to continue to participate in evidence-based practice committees within my department. I want to know why we do some of the things we do and, if needed, make changes to improve patient care. Many of today’s patient population have their own idea of what their care should entail, and I need to be able to use applicable evidence to back up my practice. When I’m standing at the patient’s bedside, I want to be certain I am delivering the best, safest and most up-to-date care possible. Even though my nursing career hasn’t been all that long, I have already learned that each patient and situation is unique. It is important for me to understand how to meet the individual needs of my patients and their families. Every day is an opportunity!”

Charyl Mitchell, RN

Charyl Mitchell, RN, BSN • patient care team leader • Christian Hospital, St. Louis

“My New Year’s resolutions for patient care in 2011 include providing excellent patient care, educating patients on appropriate and necessary administration of medication, treatments and physician follow-up, and overall health maintenance and preventive care. I work through the Nursing Practice Council to provide evidence-based care to our patients. As chair of this council, I have a key role in policy development and review, which allows me the unique opportunity to ensure frontline staff have the resources to guide excellent practice. The obvious beneficiary of this is the patient. I strive to foster communication with patients and their families regarding all aspects of care to facilitate trusting, professional relationships. By spending more time at the bedside, anticipating the needs of the patients and being available to the patient while physicians are rounding, I will be abreast of the workday’s information and able to function as the best possible patient advocate. My patients have taught me that to improve care at the bedside, I must recognize the No. 1 partner in patient care — the patient. My clinical skill and knowledge base continues to grow through continuing education and facility training, and when I pair that with the wealth of knowledge the patient has regarding their health status, the level of care rises from expected to excellent!”

Laura Ruffner, RN

Laura Ruffner, RN • cardiac staff nurse • St. Luke’s Hospital, St. Louis

“My resolutions for patient care in 2011 include increasing patient-centered education and spending more time at the patient’s bedside. Most patients desire to be compliant, and a caring, well-educated nurse can help teach patients about their healthcare and treatment plans. I have found that patients are extremely receptive to learning about medications they are taking or procedures they are having if a nurse spends adequate time educating them in an unhurried manner. Many patients also have taught me that they appreciate when a nurse spends extra time with them at the bedside and is always available — even when they’re busy. Goals for increasing patient education include enhancing education for nurses, as well. This can be achieved by focusing on increasing awareness of the newest evidence-based practices for nurses. Evidence-based education for nurses can improve the knowledge base for nurses and lead to improved patient coaching. In terms of spending more time at a patient’s bedside, it not only gives a nurse more time to educate patients, but it builds a positive experience around the healthcare setting for the nursing staff. And, of course, the time the nurse spends at a patient’s bedside educating them not only increases compliance but significantly improves patient satisfaction.”

Tyler Adamski, RN

Tyler Adamski, RN, BSN • surgical ICU • St. Anthony’s Medical Center, St. Louis

“My New Year’s resolution is to remember that communication is everything in nursing. Nursing is much more than just great evidence-based practice, actual patient care, and the hard work and sweat that go into a day on the floor. Nursing also is how we interact with our patients, co-workers and administrators. It’s how we communicate the latest research study findings, how we influence a preceptee, how we unwind after stressful situations, and even how we hold the hand of a passing patient. Communication isn’t always verbal, and that’s what we have to remember, as well. You can’t be an effective nurse if you don’t have adequate communication. You have to listen to what your patient is telling you, even if they’re unconscious or sedated. In the ICU setting where I work, I also need to listen to what the family is telling me in order to fully grasp their needs and the situation at hand. In the new year, it will be my utmost goal to improve my interactions with those around me and work on my communication skills. It’s back to the basics for me.”

By | 2020-04-15T12:58:59-04:00 January 10th, 2011|Categories: National|0 Comments

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