RSSArchive for February, 2011

Changing the public’s image of nursing

How the media portrays the nursing profession and how the public views nurses has been a longstanding concern for RNs and healthcare professionals.

Television shows like Nurse Jackie and HawthoRNe often feature a positive image of nursing (although there are real-life nurses and healthcare professionals who would disagree with that assessment), while shows like HOUSE and ER show physicians doing nurses’ jobs or just don’t show nurses at all. The news is inundated with conflicting reputations; from outstanding nurses who pioneer for patient care, to nurses who steal their patients’ pain medication for surgery.

I’ve always been one to look on the bright side of things, and luckily there are a wealth of nurses out there who advocate for a positive image of nursing. Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN, an expert on improving communication, patient safety, and the image of nursing, and author of several books about nurses and their role in the healthcare setting, is speaking at a conference held by The Truth About Nursing, a non-profit organization that seeks to educate the public on the positive and negative images of nursing in the media through reviewing TV shows, commercials, music, and books that feature these images.

The organization is hosting its conference on April 15-17 in New Orleans, will feature nursing leaders, and discuss why the media’s portrayal of nursing puts people at risk, how to improve relationships with colleagues, and how to get the voice of nurses heard in politics.

To see the conference agenda and get more information, click here.

2011 HCPro Nursing Image Awards

The search is on! HcPro is once again looking for nurse leaders and staff who have helped to promote a nursing image of excellence.

HcPro hosts this nationwide search to find and recognize nurses who contribute to improving patient care, quality outcomes, nurse satisfaction, and the healthcare environment, and celebrate their individual or team work that occurs in healthcare organizations on a daily basis.

Awards are broken down into two categories:

The image of nursing in clinical practice— this award honors nurses whose clinical work portrays a positive image of nursing, and has played a significant role in improving patient outcomes, patient safety/quality initiatives, staff satisfaction, practice changes, research or evidence-based practice projects, interdisciplinary collaboration, or organizational goals.

The image of nursing in leadership—this award honors nurses who have created a positive image of nursing by serving as an inspiring leader, mentor, and role model to nurses, and who strive to demonstrate professionalism in all that they do whether by overcoming challenges, spearheading change, or inspiring teamwork that resulted in achievement of operational goals/objectives.

Do you know someone you’d like to nominate? Click here to find out more details on eligibility, official rules, and how to enter someone you think should receive this award. Entries are being accepted until midnight on July 31st, 2011.

Preceptor Perspectives: I’m a leader, too!

In a complex healthcare environment, nurses seek out other team members they can count on. They want to work with people they can rely on and who can tackle and conquer daily problems. They are looking for leaders.

Leaders demonstrate traits and qualities that help them address nursing issues head on. They motivate other nurses to do their best. Does this description sound familiar? Of course it does – because preceptors are leaders!

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Look-alike drugs add to pile of medication errors

U.S. researchers report that confusion caused by look-alike and sound-alike drugs account for a large portion of the medication prescription errors found in hospitals.

Researchers reviewed 714,290 orders for painkillers in a large database of pharmacist detected and prevented prescribing errors, and found the overall error rate to be 2.87 per 1,000 prescriptions and that the rate for potentially serious prescribing errors was 0.63 per 1,000. The study found that error rates were even higher when prescribing for children—243 errors in 40,996 orders. The highest rates were due to errors involving drugs that were infrequently prescribed.

Errors were evaluated on a number of contributing factors, such as inadequate drug therapy knowledge, inappropriate use of a dosage form, and failure to modify therapy based on patient-specific information.

Source: HealthDay