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South Central RNs Share 2011 Patient Care Resolutions

Darci Blackmon, RN

Nurses share what their personal and institutional patient care plans are for 2011, and how those goals will affect patient care. From obtaining new certifications to taking the time to listen to and interact with those under their care, nurses focus on the bedside to take their practice to a whole new level.

Darci R. Blackmon, RN, BSN,
Clinical Nurse
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston

“In 2011, MD Anderson will open a new inpatient tower expansion. I look forward to assisting with the integration and orientation of nurses who will be relocating onto one of the units. To ensure a smooth transition and consistent, innovative and quality care for the leukemia patients who will be moved to one of the new 48-bed floors, our orientation program is based on a needs assessment. I’m also looking forward to new research and educational opportunities this coming year. I joined MD Anderson’s Evidence-Based Resource Unit Nurse Program to contribute to standardizing best evidence-based practices. Also this year, I will begin studying for an MSN (clinical nurse leader concentration). Our patients are always teaching us, and this coming year I will focus on the importance of communication for continuity of care. It will be a year of great collaboration, growth and new ideas, and I’m excited to contribute to the future of MD Anderson.”

Colleen Leonard, RN

Colleen Leonard, RN, BS, CPHON
Clinical Resource Nurse,
The University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital, Houston

“Patients have taught me that care at the bedside is critical to them and their families. While nurses provide daily education and care, they also are a familiar face, share the joys of good news, provide a shoulder to cry on and are advocates for patients and their families. In 2011, I hope to find ways to increase the time nurses spend at the bedside, making a difference and feeling like they have made a true connection with their patients. I will focus on measuring nurse-sensitive outcomes and providing evidence-based practice to nurses, so they can further enhance their excellent care. Ultimately, I hope this will promote more time at the bedside. I also am facilitating a research project that will implement a new, pediatric-specific skin integrity assessment tool. I have been accepted to the Clinical Nurse Leader program at Texas Woman’s University, and with this opportunity, I plan to not only further my education, but share insights with the staff.”

Jamie Heffernan, RN

Jamie Heffernan, RN, BSN, CCRN
Nurse Manager
Blocker Burn Unit – University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

“My resolution is to expand and formalize our holistic approach to patient care. For burn survivors and their families, emotional and social recovery is equally as important as the physical recovery. Burn patients inspire me with their resilience and abilities to cope with traumatic, life-changing events. It is this inspiration that allows us to better understand the importance of the “human spirit” in the role of recovery. Incorporating a peer support program, such as the Phoenix Society’s Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery program, will allow us to provide those services in a more structured process. SOAR training in my unit will include such topics as working in a hospital setting, the role of peer supporters, communication skills and psychosocial recovery. For the patients and families, seeing a survivor living their lives after injury can give them hope, and for the survivor, giving support can increase his or her continued emotional growth.”

Elizabeth Wilson, RN

Elizabeth Wilson, RN
Clinical Nursing Director, General Medicine
University Hospital, San Antonio

“Healthcare has been impacted by ‘the dollars’ in recent history. We need to ensure that the proper boxes are checked off on the right forms, so we are reimbursed by payers. So much focus has been placed on decreasing lengths of stay, plus with each pill we give and every bandage we use, we have to pay attention to the cost. My New Year’s resolution is to respect that the dollars allow us to do what we do but to bring more sense into the equation and make my practice about both. I need to reinvigorate my practice with a sense of caring and nurturing, to bring back the sense of touch, understanding and empathy. My patients have taught me that not only do they need the pills and bandages, they also need someone to listen them and another’s heart to feel for them. They have also taught me that wellness is more than a physical reaction, but also a spiritual and mindful response. So, I plan on meeting my New Year’s resolution by respecting the dollars but honoring the sense.”

Candy Bruton, RN

Candy Bruton, RN, BSN
Harris Methodist HEB, Bedford, Texas

“How wonderful and soothing it is to listen to lullabies played on a piano. My New Year’s resolution for the tiniest patients at Texas Health Harris Methodist HEB is to turn my evidence-based project, Music Does Soothe the Soul, into a research project. Using music in the NICU in a clinically sensitive manner has distinct benefits. Evidence shows that music helps in reducing stress in the fussy infant, reduces pain, reduces crying, improves sleep, increases oxygenation and improves feeding rates, thus increasing weight gain and decreasing lengths of stay compared to traditional care in the NICU. The goal of my research project is to educate nurses about using music to soothe premature infants as a standard of care. There is a lot of research on music in the NICU, but the challenge will be teaching staff to use music as a measure of comfort, rather than giving a pacifier or swaddling the infant, in preparation for a procedure.”

Paula McMahan, RN

Paula McMahan, RN
Clinical Coordinator
Methodist Mansfield (Texas) Medical Center

“In 2011, I will advocate for nursing research and promote evidence-based practice. Nursing continues to struggle with the best way to integrate research findings into the clinical setting. Using evidence-based care as a nurse, I have a unique opportunity to demonstrate joint accountability to patients, the healthcare system and the public as a whole. Handoff communication is a critical link to patient safety. I will continue to advocate and champion bedside report, which bridges communication gaps and fosters patient engagement. Also, I will foster teamwork among colleagues, patients and families. My patients have taught me that beneath their surfaces lie wisdom, grace and integrity. We have to look beyond the illness to communicate and involve the patient in the plan of care. As a nurse, I serve as a translator of complicated information, so I will make every effort to understand my patients’ needs and truly partner in their care.”

By | 2020-04-15T13:58:48-04:00 January 10th, 2011|Categories: Regional, South|0 Comments

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