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Budget Item: Skis and Snowshoes for Nurses?

RN SkierThe New England winter of 2015 has made headlines across the country. According to The Boston Globe, some hospitals had to rely on the Boston police to deliver essential staff members to work, and taxis to take patients home.

The Globe also reported that “some managers at Mass. General went door-to-door on their drive into the city, picking up as many colleagues as their cars could handle, and other staffers slept overnight on mattresses in the hospital’s conference rooms because they worried they wouldn’t make it back in Tuesday.” And Boston Medical Center’s spokeswoman Ellen Slingsby reported “numerous staff members who have walked considerable distances or even skied into work in order to be here for our patients.”

Which brings me to the title of this blog. Somewhere in next year’s operational budget, nurse managers in the snowier states should consider adding funding for skis and snowshoes for staff.

The ROI is clear: Better staffing during blizzards and a healthier, more athletic staff.

Webcast: Build Nurse Engagement Through Coaching and Mentoring

Studies show only 30% of your nurses are actively engaged, which can negatively impact patient satisfaction, safety, and nurse turnover. Join us on February 26 at 1 p.m. to discover how to engage the rest of your staff.

Join experienced nurse and leadership specialist Patty Kubus, RN, MBA, PhD, for a 90-minute webcast to learn how to build a culture of nurse engagement.

Don’t miss the chance to improve nurse satisfaction, increase your nursing staff’s commitment to the organization, and raise the level of patient care.

Research shows a culture of nurse engagement leads to:

  • Higher productivity
  • Higher patient satisfaction scores
  • Lower turnover
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Fewer safety incidences

For more information or to sign up, visit http://hcmarketplace.com/build-nurse-engagement-through-coaching-and-mentoring?code=EW322354&utm_source=HCPro&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=YN022615.

Meet the speaker:
Patty Kubus, RN, MBA, PhD, is the president of Leadership Potential International, Inc., which helps executives select and develop their leaders to improve engagement and productivity in their organizations. She has worked with Fortune 100 companies in the healthcare, financial, aerospace manufacturing, and pharmaceutical industries. Along with her nursing credentials, she has an MBA and a doctorate in human development and education. She was formerly a nurse manager at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

 

Interprofessional Accountability: Share your successes…

Nurse managers know the value of staff accountability—it’s an essential ingredient in the recipe for consistent, high-quality patient care.

Building those accountability muscles takes on new urgency as the “care continuum” becomes more than a buzz word. Accountability is now the nurse’s greatest challenge, what with the increased pressure on nurses to delegate in order to work at “top of license,” the ongoing need to coordinate care with different in-house professions (pharmacy, social work, etc.), and the necessity of transitioning patients to care by unaffiliated, outside caregivers.

We’re developing an in-service handbook to support staff nurse accountability skills, and are in need of several real-world examples of interprofessional accountability in action. Would you be willing to submit your techniques for effective hand-offs, successful communications, or example scripts to include in the handbook? Leave a comment or send me an email if you do!

For any piece we choose for the book, I’ll send you a copy of either Team-Building Handbook: Improving Nurse-to-Nurse Relationships or Team-Building Handbook: Improving Nurse-Physician Communications, our latest nursing handbooks.

Take Care of the Caretakers; Take Care of Ourselves

Nurses, the caretakers on the front line, often work shifts of 12 hours and more, and may work up to 50 or even 60 hours per week. Fatigue is a way of life, threatening the health of those nurses, as well as the quality of the care they can provide. As a nurse manager, you struggle with balancing staffing with your budget, so you know this story all too well.

Now the ANA is pushing for new limits on consecutive night shifts and shifts longer than 12 hours (see ANA press release) as a way of supporting the health of nurses, positive patient outcomes, and nursing professional standards. Until the ANA recommendations become practice, what can you, the nurse manager, do to take care of yourself and your staff today, to improve the work environment and the energy they bring to it?

(Hint, the answer comes from our latest nursing book, Essential Skills for Nurse Managers, and you will find suggestions for how to renew your energy here.)

Aetna’s Preceptor Program: The Proof Is in the Program

Do preceptors and preceptees benefit by moving from an
ad-hoc preceptoring program to a formal one?

Lorri Freifeld, editor-in-chief at Training: The Source for Professional Development, recently reported some exciting findings from a formal nurse preceptor program initiated by Aetna, Inc.

Following a 6-month pilot, Aetna launched a formal nurse preceptor program in January 2013. At its outset, the formal program provided 65% of new hires with preceptors, incorporated beefed-up workshop offerings, instituted weekly progress reports between preceptors and their supervisors, increased communication of best practices, created a community calendar of training events, and implemented on-demand training and follow-up with recently preceptored new hires.

The result after three months?

  • 53% of new hires were managing a full caseload
  • 100% of preceptors said soft skills training was sufficient (up from 0%!)
  • 97% of preceptors felt the tools and resources were effective
  • 67% of new hires reported having adequate time with their preceptors

And after six months?

  • Turnover was down 50%
  • 100% of new hires had a preceptor
  • 150 new preceptor volunteers had joined the program

Pretty impressive and immediate results from a new program. Kudos to Aetna for committing to a professional approach in this most important phase of a new hire’s experience.


To read the full article, click here.

To see related HCPro offerings, including The Preceptor Program Builder, click here.

Do you have a compelling idea for a nursing book?

As a leading publisher of nursing and other healthcare products—including books, newsletters, webinars, and online training—HCPro is a great place to publish. If you have an idea for a book or other product that will benefit the profession of nursing, we would like to hear from you.

At HCPro, we value our expert authors as the foundation of our business and strive to build long-term relationships with them. We collaborate with our authors—a diverse and knowledgeable group of people focused on creating a personally satisfying and improved healthcare workplace for themselves and their colleagues. The nurses, nurse educators, and nurse managers who read our books appreciate our focus on quality, from project inception through collaborative development, publication, and distribution.

Whether you want to write a book, blog post, or article, or create a webinar, we’ll provide you with the feedback and tools you need to be successful. Contact us for more information.

Some topics we’re interested in: Managing intergenerational teams, delegation and supervision across the care continuum, charge nurse insights, creating a culture of safety, effective communications.

Anti-bullying bill in Massachusetts legislature

Boston is widely recognized as the vanguard of New England healthcare, employing tens of thousands of nursing professionals who care for hundreds of thousands of patients each year. Now Massachusetts is taking on one of the scourges of the nursing profession: Horizontal hostility.

Currently in a third attempt to pass the Massachusetts legislature, the Healthy Workplace Bill is aimed directly at creating procedures and penalties for bullying by co-workers and managers.  If the bill is passed during the current legislative session, Massachusetts will earn bragging rights as the first state in the nation to enact a comprehensive workplace-bullying bill.

For an in-depth look at Bella English’s Boston Globe feature on bullying and this landmark bill, read it here.

You can also download an exclusive excerpt from the second edition of Ending Nurse-to-Nurse Hostility. In the excerpt we prepared for Nurses’ Week, Kathleen Bartholomew, RN, MN, discusses the faces of horizontal hostility and bullying in nursing school and offers positive ways that students can be supported and mentored as they begin their nursing careers. Download the excerpt here.

HCPro seeks part-time Lead Nurse Planner

HCPro, a division of BLR, is seeking a Lead Nurse Planner to assist with planning Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) activities and to ensure all HCPro CNE activities comply with current American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) Commission on Accreditation (COA) criteria. The lead nurse planner may be located anywhere in the country as participation in the planning of these activities will be conducted through phone calls, conference calls, and emails.

The right candidate will be a currently registered RN with a master’s degree or higher, and with either the baccalaureate or graduate degree in nursing. Additionally, the Lead Nurse Planner must have education or experience in the field of education or adult learning.

To find out more about the position, visit http://www.blr.com/About/Careers. Interested candidates can submit resumes to careers@blr.com.

CDC backs down on MERS threat: What does it mean?

Editor’s note: This column was first published on HCPro’s OSHA Healthcare Advisor blog on May 30, 2014.

By: John Palmer

By now, you’ve likely heard that the CDC backed down yesterday on its official number of U.S. cases of confirmed MERS patients. This may confuse a lot of people in the healthcare world—especially those in the smaller medical clinics who are concerned that they may be on the front lines in dealing with any future victims of this mysterious new respiratory illness from the Middle East.

The CDC now officially says there are only two confirmed cases, down from three last week. The third was a man who was a business associate of the first patient, a healthcare worker who fell ill in Indiana after traveling from the Middle East. This third patient apparently had a two-hour business meeting with the first guy, but he never got sick. He was tested preliminarily, and after more tests he never got sick, and that’s why they backed down on the case count.

Here’s a link to the official CDC press release regarding the MERS situation: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0528-mers.html

I had a lengthy phone call yesterday with Dr. J. Todd Weber, a chief of prevention and response at the CDC, and he gave me their official stance on what’s going on and what healthcare providers should be doing to prepare.

MERS is a coronavirus that originated in camels and over the last two years has somehow made the jump to humans. For the time being, the worst of it seems to be isolated to the Arabian Peninsula and it seems to be affecting mainly healthcare workers who are dealing with patients.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that it reportedly kills about 30% of its victims. Hardly a common cold. A high death count like that brings back memories of the 1918 flu epidemic, the Swine flu and Bird flu, and the big SARS outbreak that devastated Toronto.

The even more good news, Weber told me, is that this is not the flu. I am no virologist here, but Dr. Weber says a Coronavirus lacks the genetic ability to mutate the way the Influenza virus does – which explains why the flu can make a jump so quickly from animals to humans.

What does all this mean for you, the healthcare provider? Do what you always do. Be on the lookout for patients who present with both fever and upper respiratory infections. And make sure you play detective and ask questions. Did the patient travel to the Middle East within the last 14 days, or have contact with someone who did?

And as always—practice good infection control measures. Isolate those who are sick, disinfect your surfaces, and wear your PPE such as masks and gloves.

Dr. Weber stopped short of saying we are out of the woods—a good doctor never does that. There’s always a chance this will find a way to mutate quicker, and as we have seen, the virus can travel on airplanes to other places in the world. But panic never helps, and the CDC did the right thing by backing down their previous warnings.

Live webcast: Build Nurse Engagement Through Coaching and Mentoring

Studies show only 30% of your nurses are actively engaged, which can negatively impact patient satisfaction, safety, and nurse turnover. Join us on May 28 at 1 p.m. to discover how to engage the rest of your staff.

Join experienced nurse and leadership specialist Patty Kubus, RN, MBA, PhD, for a 90-minute webcast to learn how to build a culture of nurse engagement.

Don’t miss the chance to improve nurse satisfaction, increase your nursing staff’s commitment to the organization, and raise the level of patient care.

This webcast will discuss how to build a culture of nurse engagement, which leads to the following benefits:

  • Higher productivity
  • Higher patient satisfaction scores
  • Lower turnover
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Fewer safety incidences

For more information, or to register, visit http://hcmarketplace.com/build-nurse-engagement-through-coaching-and-mentoring.