March 18, 2010 | | Comments 0
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Book clubs help nurses connect with patients

When the phrase “book club” comes up, one thinks of a group of people, meeting at a coffee shop or a member’s home, discussing the most recent best seller showcased on Oprah Winfrey’s daytime television show. However, the definition of a book club will now have to include nurses reading medical-themed literature to better connect with their patients.

The first hospital to institute the idea of a nurse/physician-based book club was in 1997, and over the past decade, similar ideas and book clubs have become more popular across 25 states, including California, Massachusetts, and New York.

By reading medical-themed literature—such as The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy or The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by French Elle Editor-in-Chief Jean-Dominique Bauby—nurses and physicians can develop a better understanding of what the patient is going through.

Lisette Cintron, RN, MSN, CHCQM, CNL, clinical nurse educator, previously worked at a facility where the nurses had formed a journal club.

“The Journal Club is made up of nurses who review evidence-based practice topics and have discussion. They have even sent out information on the shared-governance councils as recommendations or suggestions that the facility may want to look into for possible changes and improvements.”

As far as her own opinion on the idea, Cintron believes it has a positive effect for all participating parties.

“I believe that having ‘book/journal clubs’ adds to the current knowledge base of nurses as well as physicians and can add positive outcomes to facilities that have it implemented within their organizations,” she says.

As many nurses are already big advocates for finding alternative ways to grow in the practice through added knowledge and sharing of information, this is a great example of “lifelong learning,” which Cintron supports.

“This is one avenue that can be used as a forum when one is not ready to return to school to further their education, but wants to continue learning and growing within their profession,” she says.


Do you think book clubs or journal clubs will benefit both staff and the patients? Does your facility currently have a club in place? How do you encourage your staff to interact and get to know the patients and individual cases?


Source: abc News


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Sarah Kearns About the Author: Sarah is an Editorial Assistant in the patient safety group at HCPro, Inc. She contributes to two monthly newsletters; Briefings on the Joint Commission and Briefings on Patient Safety, and manages four e-zines; Accreditation Connection, AHAP Staff Challenge, Nurse Manager Weekly, and Healthcare Training Weekly. She also helps research new products for the patient safety and nursing market. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2008 where she earned her bachelor's degree in English.

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