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Join our nursing book review group

HCPro is seeking enthusiastic nurse managers, nurse leaders, and nurse educators to join an ad-hoc group interested in reading and reviewing prepublication drafts of books and training materials in your areas of interest and expertise.

Our editors will send you periodic emails listing upcoming projects available for outside review. If you’re interested, just let us know. We’ll send reviewing guidelines and give you an idea of our timeframe. If it works for you, we’ll send the draft chapters as they’re available, and a printed copy of the book when it’s complete. In addition, you will be recognized as a reviewer inside the printed book.

Please have a minimum of five years of nursing experience and be in an educational, supervisory, or leadership role within your organization.

For more information or to sign up as a reviewer, please send an email including your areas of interest and expertise to Rebecca Hendren at rhendren@hcpro.com.

Rock Your Health: When letting go beats hanging on

How many times in your life have you been unable to let go of something that held you back and made you miserable? Three occasions come to mind for me when it stopped my creative energy from flowing, held me back from new opportunities, unleashed negative energy inside, and caused me to lose focus on being a naturally positive person.

1. I served as a Navy nurse for three years and after discharge couldn’t let go and wanted to get back in. The hold over me was so intense—even though that type of structured military environment did not suit my free spirit—that I still wanted to re-enlist and spent a lot of time and energy trying to figure out how to do that. Had I not let go of those efforts, I might not have found my true path, which shifted me from bedside nursing into wellness, my true passion and a lifetime of rewarding experiences. [more]

The value of nursing staff satisfaction

There is a connection between nurses’ feelings about
their work environments and nursing quality and safety

Rebecca Hendren recently posted about a June 2015 Healthleaders magazine article focusing on steps organizations are taking to measure and improve nursing staff satisfaction. For anyone who hasn’t yet read it, I just want to share my favorite quote from the article. In it, Linda Aiken, PhD, a nursing workforce researcher and director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (U. Penn) is quoted as saying that

Nursing “is the single biggest factor
in how patients rate their hospitals”

Do you agree with this statement? Have you seen the impact of improvements in nursing staff satisfaction on care quality, outcomes, and patient ratings? What tools or strategies have you used to improve staff retention and satisfaction? Please leave a comment sharing your experiences with your fellow nurse leaders.

 


 

For more details on the kinds of nursing staff surveys conducted by organizations that have received designation as ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® hospitals as well as those that have not, plus the source of the headline quote (which no one would dispute!), click here to go to the HealthLeaders article.

Another way to avoid the legal hot seat

Keep certifications and trainings current

How often do you review staff certifications and trainings to make sure they’re current?

checklist2

Now choose the best answer: continually, very frequently, or every week.

If certifications and trainings have lapsed and a patient is injured, those records become evidence against the hospital. And you will find yourself in the hot seat.

Let’s look at how expired certifications and unaddressed competencies can come home to roost. Imagine that your unit is sued in a wrongful death action after unsuccessful emergency resuscitation efforts. The attorney for the patient’s family discovers that one of the nurses working the code wasn’t current in CPR. That out-of-date certification raises doubts about [more]

Rock Your Health: 8 easy ways to stop a headache

Are you experiencing headaches due to stress? Many nurse leaders find their daily stress load often results in headaches but using drugs to alleviate the pain is not a long-term solution to deal with the root cause. Here are some great tips I use. Try making these regular practice and you may actually prevent headaches from even occurring. It’s all about doing things that feel good and not expecting a quick fix.

H - Hot water, juice of half a lemon, pinch of cayenne pepper: Drink first thing in the morning to stimulate elimination of toxins, aid digestion, and calm the nerves. And stop drinking caffeine-it just keeps you in high gear and the object here is to slow your engine down. I haven’t missed coffee at all!

E - Eat every 2-3 hours to keep blood sugar level and prevent energy spikes and drops. Chew food at least 25 times per bite so when it hits your stomach it can be easily digested, important nutrients can be fully absorbed, and abdominal stress will be eliminated. [more]

Assessing nursing quality and patient safety

Interest in using a variety of nursing engagement surveys as a reportable quality indicator is growing.

This article, written by Cheryl Clark, appears in the June 2015 issues of HealthLeaders magazine.

Do your hospital’s nurses feel empowered? Are nurses’ relationships with physicians strong enough that nurses can call out errors or ask questions without fear? Do they think their hospital hires enough nurses with appropriate skills and provides enough resources to provide safe and timely care? Are nurses involved in making policy?

When nurses are surveyed on these and related questions, which they increasingly are, poor scores may indicate troublesome systemic issues that could, directly or indirectly, affect quality of care, even adverse events. A drop in scores can often be tracked down to a specific hospital unit, research has shown. And poor scores may correlate to “nursing sensitive” patient outcomes, such as patient falls, lengths of stay, pressure ulcers, and infections.

Simply put, this measure is asking nurses what they think about the organization for which they work and how well they trust the care they deliver in their work environments.

Read the full article here.

Rock Your Health: How to stop feeling your stress in your gut

Many busy nurse leaders are dealing with digestive health problems and trying to carry on through the discomfort. Here are some simple action steps you can take right away that will help improve your digestion.

When your stomach speaks to you, LISTEN UP! Your gut is trying to tell you something. Did you know that about 80% of your immune system and half of your nerve cells and neurotransmitters involve your digestive system? Isn’t it time we gave our gut some love and respect?

Drink lemon water first thing
Start your day with the juice of half a lemon in a cup of warm water with a dash of cayenne pepper. Lemon can stimulate elimination of yesterday’s food, help destroy bad bacteria in the mouth and intestines, and does many other great things. My grandfather used to start his day this way, so it is both an old-time remedy as well as one used in Chinese medicine. [more]

Failing to protect nurses’ backs will cost hospitals $$$

A good news follow-up on my February post that focused on nurses’ on-the-job injuries.

osha2In a news release on healthcare inspections last week, OSHA put hospitals and nursing homes on notice. Inspectors will add new enforcement on some key hazards for healthcare workers, including musculoskeletal disorders, bloodborne pathogens, workplace violence, tuberculosis and slips, trips, and falls. Hospitals will be penalized for gaps in training, use of assistive devices, and low quality treatment for staff who move patients.

Evidently, OSHA was inspired by the NPR [more]

Webcast: Deadly infections caused by GI scopes

You know that the Joint Commission and other regulatory agencies have standards that require your hospital to have a plan to reduce the risk of deadly infections and make sure your medical equipment is in good working order.

So why risk incurring costly lawsuits and fines—not to mention the possibility of destroying your hospital’s accreditation and reputation—if an improperly disinfected GI scope hcpro webcastcauses a patient to contract a life-threatening infection?

It’s happening right now to Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle (read more here), where 11 people died after contracting deadly infections from improperly disinfected diagnostic scopes, and it could happen to your facility, too.

Let infection control experts Peggy Prinz Luebbert, MS, (MT)ASCP, CIC, CHSP, CBSPD, and Terry Micheels, MSN, RN, CIC, show you everything your organization needs to know to ensure proper GI scope disinfection and protect the lives of your patients.

Register for “Proper GI Scope Disinfection: How to Avoid Becoming a Statistic,” a 90-minute webcast that will cover the critical steps of high-level disinfection that must be met each and every day. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to ensure your organization complies with requirements set by The Joint Commission and CMS.

For more information or to register, check out the HCPro Marketplace, here.

Free Download: Job Description Update Confirmation

As promised, you can now download the very practical and simple tool  I mentioned in last week’s post (Not My Job: The legal perspective on updating job descriptions). I’ve created a Word file of the standard job description update letter, which you’ll find here. Don’t let its simplicity fool you; this is useful tool for legal risk reduction.

downloadicon2About the Word file: You can customize it to include your organization’s logo, address, and such. Use it as a simple way to document that your staff members understand changes in responsibilities and duties included in their job descriptions.

When you incorporate new practices or adapt to new standards that are reflected in updated job descriptions, you’ll simply ask each staff member to sign the letter acknowledging and committing to adhere to the revised job description, and place a copy in each employee’s file.

Many thanks to Dinah Brothers for this tool…


Dinah Brothers, RN, JD, is the author of The Essential Legal Handbook for Nurses (just released), sold as a set of 10 handbooks for staff nurses,  and The Nurse Manager’s Legal Companion (release: July 2015), a book offering nurse managers guidance on everything from employment law to dealing with whistleblowers and everything in between.