For the 15th year in a row, the Gallup’s annual honesty and ethical standards poll has named nurses as the most trustworthy profession.
Released last week, the Gallup poll shows that 84% of respondents said they rate nurses’ ethical standards and honesty as very high or high. Pamela Cipriano, PhD, RN, the president of the American Nurses Association, said that trust plays a vital role in the relationship between nurses and their patients, and because nurses are at the frontline of healthcare, they offer a unique point of view to their patients and the facilities they serve.
Healthcare professions took the second and third rank as well, with pharmacists receiving a positive rating and medical doctors receiving a 65% rating.
Read more here.
Nurses are finding new and innovative ways to help those in need around the world, but not every nurse can live up to that standard. Here are some of the best and worst stories in nursing this summer.
University of Victoria researcher Kelli Stajduhar, a palliative care nurse, is leading the charge on healthcare for the homeless in her community. Because of the many barriers for homeless people to get healthcare, Stajduhar wants to go to them and provide healthcare where they are: downtown, in shelters, or in a housing complex. She thinks that outreach can improve the lives of the homeless, and get them the care they need. (Source: CBC)
Another nurse is looking for new ways to help the most vulnerable: Dawn Bounds, a nursing professor at Rush University College of Nursing, has published her extensive research on sex trafficking in the U.S. This research has the potential to save lives of at-risk young girls, and Bounds is planning to use this research to implement a runaway intervention program in Chicago. (Source: Nurse.com)
A New Jersey nurse broke the cardinal rule of healthcare when she was caught on video stabbing a disabled child with a needle six times. The nurse used physical abuse to control the autistic boy’s behavior, threatening him with the needle and other physical violence according to reports. (Source: The AP)
Nursing is often considered the most trustworthy profession, but this story might undermine that reputation. A nurse manager at St. Richard’s Hospital in the UK pled guilty to the theft of a dying man’s watch. The man’s Submariner Rolex was a family heirloom, and the nurse manager plead guilty to the stealing the watch after them man was admitted to the ED after suffering a heart attack. (Source: The Argus)
In just about every field, there are discrepancies between leadership positions and the population they represent; health care is no different. The American Hospital Association’s Institute for Diversity conducted a national survey that found that minorities made up 31 percent of the patient population, but only 17 percent of first and mid-level management positions. There’s even less representation in upper management roles, with 14 percent of hospital board members and 12 percent of executive leadership roles filled by minorities.
As the hospitals’ population get more diverse, so should its leadership. This doesn’t just mean racial diversity, but gender, experience, and cultural diversity as well. Hospitals that have a multitude of perspectives will serve their population better and make the hospital more successful.
In terms of diversity of experience, nurses can bring a useful perspective to executive leadership. Many hospital executives come from a business background and don’t have the kind of on the ground experience nurses can bring to the table. Medical staff generally prefer leadership that is familiar with their experience, that can relate to how big-picture decisions can effect day-to-day practices in hospitals. Additionally, nurses have more racial diversity compared to executive leadership, so they would bring that experience to the table as well.
However, there are a lot of barriers to nurses trying to obtain leadership positions. As a nursing student, nurses are much more focused on learning patient care than management techniques. Nurses don’t get much formal training in finance or business, so staying competitive might mean seeking a time-consuming and expensive degree on the side. There is also a possible stigma against nurses from executives, so much so that the American Nursing Association reports that RNs seeking executive work often leave that off their resume. As one nurse told them: “Well, I don’t want to put RN after my name because some people might not think that I know as much about business, or that might be a detractor when I’m competing with others in the C-Suite, especially men in the C-Suite.”
While perspectives are slowly shifting, along with diversity numbers in hospital leadership, nurses taking on larger leadership roles can help hospitals and their patients.
As the winter winds down, I thought I’d round up some of the best and worst stories from the world of nursing to celebrate the arrival of spring.
Braving the cold
During a winter storm that called for a state of emergency, one brave nurse made the trek to get to her overnight shift at Hebrew Home. Chantelle Diabate, a licensed practical nurse, waked an hour and a half in blizzard conditions to make her shift; she was the only nurse that made it in that night. “As long as my daughter was safe [with a baby-sitter], I knew I had to come back and take care of my second family,” she said. “I knew they needed people and it was an emergency.” (via: The Source)
When winter weather hit the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Maryland, the nurses there were faced with a different problem. The children of the hospital were eager to get out and build an Olaf of their own, but unable to leave due to their health conditions. One nurse took it upon herself to fill up tubs with fresh snow so the kids could play. The kids were able to build and color their own snowmen, and enjoy the benefits of snow without leaving the comfort of the hospital. (via CBS News)
Feeling the heat
The director of nursing services at Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation Center in Columbus, Indiana was arrested last month. It turns out, she had allegedly been posing as a registered nurse after stealing the identity of another nurse. She oversaw nurses at the center for over a year before being caught, fired and arrested. (via Becker’s Hospital Review)
Meanwhile, a Pennsylvania nurse was arrested for reckless endangerment after showing up to work intoxicated. The nurse spent the afternoon drinking at the casino, forgetting he was on call later that night. He was called for an emergency surgery after 10 p.m. and went to work intoxicated. He was seen on security footage stumbling, and staff members reported that he was having trouble punching in and had slurred speech. He has also been charged with DUI and public drunkenness. (via Outpatient Surgery Magazine)
Do you have a great nursing story that you’re dying to tell? Feel free to send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we might report on it here!
Editor’s note: The below post is authored by Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN, who is hoping to represent the profession of nursing as the nurse expert on the Dr. Oz show. Dr. Oz is conducting a nationwide search to find the perfect nurse to join his team and is accepting nominations. Visit the webpage at the bottom of this post to nominate Kathleen.
I am on a journey to make healthcare better.
For 15 years I have dedicated my life to empowering nurses and understanding the hidden forces that threaten our identity and potential. What would happen if your patients understood not only their pivotal role in healing, but also the real work of nursing? The trajectory of illness and disease in this country would be radically altered.
As a mother of five children, I have the life experiences that resonate with the general public at a gut level. As an author of five books on the healthcare culture, I have the understanding and expertise to be a voice for this noble profession. And as a seasoned public speaker, I have collected stories from across this nation that poignantly reflect not only nurses’ reality, but the experiences of many of our patients as well.
Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN, is a nationally recognized expert on healthcare communication and patient safety. She is the author of the groundbreaking books Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility: Why Nurses Eat Their Young and Each Other and Speak Your Truth: Proven Strategies for Effective Nurse-Physician Communication. She’s extremely well respected by other nurses, is considered a thought leader, and has spoken to tens of thousands of nurses and healthcare leaders in speeches, conferences, and seminars across the world.
If you’re interested in nominating Kathleen, copy and paste the link below into a web browser. Kathleen’s email address is email@example.com.
As promised last week, we’ve added a free download from Kathleen Bartholomew’s Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility, Second Edition, in honor of being the only book chosen by the American Nurses Association as a recommended bullying and horizontal hostility prevention tool.
To access the download site for a tool you can use to evaluate the health of your workplace as regards bullying, lateral violence, and other undesirable behaviors, click here.
To read last week’s story the ANA position statement on workplace violence and the nursing profession, click here.
On August 31, the American Nurses Association issued a press release announcing its updated position statement on workplace bullying and violence, stating that the “nursing profession will no longer tolerate violence of any kind from any source.”
Among the interventions recommended as “primary prevention” is the HCPro classic work by Kathleen Bartholomew,
Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility, Second Edition. In fact, Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility has the distinction of being the only book recommended to RNs and their employers in the statement as a front line tool for preventing incivility and bullying.
We are so honored to have published Kathleen’s work, and congratulate her for this wonderful recognition of a lifetime commitment to making the nursing workplace a healthier, more collegial place. If you would like to add your best wishes, feel free to comment below!
Hierarchy of Voice
Excerpted from Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility, Second Edition, by Kathleen Bartholomew
Try the following exercise that I often use to encourage nurses’ self-esteem. I call it a “hierarchy of voice” because each step results in greater empowerment. Addressing specific behaviors that are a challenge to a nurse stimulates meaningful conversations about that individual’s stumbling blocks to empowerment and self-esteem.
In performance evaluations, share the following list and ask team members to pick 10 meaningful actions that they would like to [more]
We’ve all been in meetings where everyone nodded and appeared to agree to something, but a few months later, nothing had changed. Why does that happen?
Because all they’ve agreed to is that they’ve come up with a good idea.
No one committed to a specific plan to make that good idea happen. The meeting organizer most likely didn’t set proper expectations and didn’t ask for specific, measurable commitments. The people attended the meeting, but didn’t have enough context to actively participate. They didn’t have the tools to make a commitment to action, and to hold themselves accountable for real results in a few weeks or a few months.
Great meetings that result in action, improvement, or resolutions are a joy to attend.
The next time you’re invited to a meeting, follow these suggestions so you’re prepared to be engaged and contribute rather than sitting for an hour as a passive participant. If the invitation didn’t explain the purpose of the meeting, if it included only a sketchy agenda, or if it didn’t include one at all, ask the organizer the questions in the following table prior to or early in the meeting.
Try using these questions to create a structure for great meetings that result in a better understanding, clarity of purpose, and positive outcomes.
Note: I’ll have the table as a download for you in a few days. Look for a link in a future blog post to share the tips with your colleagues!
Excerpted from Team-Building Handbook: Accountability Strategies for Nurses and Accountability in Nursing, both by Eileen Lavin Dohmann, RN, MBA, NEA-BC, and published by HCPro.