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Nurse educator takes to Instagram to help new nurses

Many new nurses have trouble acclimating to their new roles, but one nurse has found new and exciting ways to help them adjust.

Jannel D. Gooden, BSN, RN struggled with her first job in nursing; the first six months were traumatic, confusing, and isolating. After leaving her position, she decided to focus on guiding other novice nurses through the difficult process.

In addition to being a travel nurse in pediatric critical care, Gooden started an Instagram account to teach novice nurses and provide them with a sense of community. Gooden makes videos on the @NoviceisTheNewNurse account, sharing advice, recalling her own experiences as a novice nurse, and answering questions from new nurses.

Some of Gooden’s videos include perspectives from physicians as well. She argues that nurses of all specialties work with physicians every shift, and it is vital that nurses learn to communicate with physicians effectively and develop healthy working relationships. By sharing physician perspectives, Gooden hopes to soften their image for novice nurses, giving them a safe space to hear advice out of the workplace.

To read more about @NoviceisTheNewNurse, access the full story here.

Hospitals trying out Pokemon Go in a clinical setting

Check out this article from Health Leaders Media:

A trial at the University of Washington Medicine Burn Center aims to find out if the game is more stimulating and engaging than the pain patients are experiencing.

Hospitals and health systems have been grappling with how to deal with Pokémon Go since the mobile gaming phenomenon hit earlier this summer.

Massachusetts General Hospital banned staff from playing the game on its campus, warning of possible privacy violations, and Allegheny Health Network asked the game’s maker to remove all of its locations from the app.

But some hospitals are finding that there are upside to patients using Pokémon Go.

Getting Patients Out of Bed

C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, MI, has been urging its young patients to play the game in an effort to get them out of bed and socialize with other kids.

“It’s a fun way to encourage patients to be mobile,” J.J Bouchard, the hospital’s digital media manager and certified child life specialist, told USA Today. “This app is getting patients out of beds and moving around.”

A trial that University of Washington Medicine Burn Center researchers are conducting at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, WA, is looking at how playing Pokémon Go may help keep patients moving while also taking their minds off the pain.

“Our challenge is to find something that’s more stimulating and engaging than pain they’re experiencing, so something like virtual reality that’s new or Pokémon Go that’s new, it’s more exciting and takes attention away from the pain,” Shelley Wiechman, attending psychologist in the Burn and Pediatric Trauma Service and Pediatric Primary Care Clinic at Harborview, told the local media.

The Pokémon Go trial isn’t the first time the hospital has tested augmented and virtual reality games for pain management, but it’s the first that allows patients to use their legs and keep their infected areas mobile.

Weichman said if patients using the game continue to show progress, the staff may begin using Fitbits to track patients’ steps.

So what do you think? Can mobile games help patients in your hospitals? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

Injured Nurses, Part 2: OSHA has your back

Attention nurse leaders in organizations
without designated “lift teams” or assistive
devices for moving patients

Your business case for investing in a cutting-edge, osha2safe patient handling program has been made clearly and indisputably by OSHA, with the help of results from numerous case studies, research reports, and collected data. The benefits are exceptional, and the financial ROI is achievable in one to four years.

Take a quick trip to the OSHA website for wealth of tools, including a form you can use to evaluate your organization, a checklist for designing your safe patient handling program, illustrative case studies, and more.

One more note: NPR plans a fourth installment on the Injured Nurses series, so keep checking the NPR website. Here’s what they’re promising:

Part 4 will explore how the Department of Veterans Affairs implemented
a nationwide $200 million program to prevent nursing employees
from getting injured when they move and lift patients.

And, finally, I’ve uploaded the PDF of Table 18 (promised in my previous post), which you can download from our Tools Library.

More time working with patients, less time documenting them

What would you be able to accomplish if you had one extra hour in your day? What about if you had several extra hours? Documentation, though a necessary part of healthcare, is potentially eating into hours that otherwise could be spent on patient care. Last month, MIT Technology Review wrote about a system designed by Xerox to automate and streamline some of the time-consuming tasks associated with technology, such as logging into computers, documenting details of patient care, reviewing patient files, and coordinating duties with colleagues.

According to the article, Xerox’s research into nursing documentation was spurred by a 2008 study published in The Permanente Journal that found that more than a third of nurses’ practice time was spent on documentation, with an additional 20% of nurses’ time spent on care coordination. Of the nursing practice time, only 20% was spent on patient care and 7% was spent on patient assessment and reading of vital signs.

We polled readers at StrategiesForNurseManagers.com to find out what percentage of their time was spent on documentation. Nearly half of all respondents (49%) indicated that documentation takes up more than 50% of their time, while another 22% estimated that it took 40%-50% of their time. A quarter of readers responded that 20%-40% of their day was comprised of documentation, and only 6% replied that documentation took up less than 20% of a given shift.

Given that nurses may also be working longer than their scheduled shifts to complete all documentation, and that longer shifts have been linked to nurse burnout and adverse effects on patient outcomes, is not unreasonable to connect the dots and state that less time spent on documentation could potentially improve patient outcomes and patient satisfaction. It seems that nurses would welcome any technology or system that would streamline documentation processes and allow them to get back to providing quality patient care.

Has your organization devised any methods for making documentation more efficient? Please share in the comments section!

Poll results: Using technology to connect with patients

Last month, I posted about the ways that technology could improve patients’ communication with nurses but could also place a greater burden on nurses for round-the-clock care and feedback. To get a feel for how often nurses used technology and social media to interact with patients, we posted a poll on StrategiesForNurseManagers.com asking nurses and other healthcare professionals to weigh in.

Approximately three-quarters (74%) of those who participated in the poll responded that they did not use social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn to interact with patients, while the remaining 26% replied that they do use those technologies for patient interaction.

While these results indicate that social networking sites have not become a place for healthcare communications, I still wonder whether nurses and other practitioners use other forms of technology, such as emails, listervs, or websites, to share information with patients and respond to questions about treatment plans. As mentioned previously, these resources have the potential to improve patient care, but they must be leveraged appropriately.

How do you communicate and follow up with patients outside of their scheduled appointment times? Leave a comment below!

Tip of the month: Guidelines for using social media as background checks

By Shelley Cohen

Custom writing sevice

The Internet has proved to be a great resource to managers with the greatest challenge seeming to be finding the time to research all that is available to us. Along with medical and nursing resources, the Internet has become a social highway for individuals as well as organizations.

As the generation gap continues to grow, managers are continuously amazed to hear of personal concerns being posted to social networks such as Facebook. On one hand, some of these sites may provide an opportunity for “pre-screening” job applicants. On the other hand, we see the benefit of looking up a prospective applicant and finding out they are a source for purchasing drugs or the real reasons they were fired from their last job.  A question raised on the other side of this is one of discriminatory action. What if you declined to hire a person based on a social networking site story about them and you later find out, the posting was unreliable?

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In-room computing: 5 tips to enhance patient-caregiver communication

When hospitals and medical groups transition to an electronic health record (EHR), many caregivers view the computer as interfering with, not helping communication with patients. I spent a big chunk of time reviewing the myriad studies about the relationship between bedside and in-office computer use and patient satisfaction. Based on all I’ve read, I’m convinced that EHR systems at the bedside and in medical offices can greatly enhance the patient experience of care and satisfaction.

Years ago (in the 90s), in-room computer use by caregivers was indeed a barrier to communication. Caregivers weren’t used to it and many resisted it. The systems were much less user-friendly, so caregivers struggled to access and enter information as the impatient consumer looked on.  Also, far fewer consumers used computers themselves, so few patients realized the benefits of the computer for their care.

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Virtual nurse aids with patient discharge

As medical records turn from paper to electronic only, and simulation training aids in nursing education, it is not hard to believe a virtual nurse is helping patients at the bedside with discharge information. Timothy Bickmore, a computer scientist at Northeastern University in Boston, MA designed the virtual nurse “Elizabeth” to help nurses and patients during the discharge process.

Elizabeth is a computer-animated character created from combining the facial expressions and gestures of doctors and nurses Bickmore taped. With the help of an animator, Bickmore was able to create all the animation segments the nurse delivers which Elizabeth will mimic when interacting with a patient. [more]

Sim Man 3G becoming more common in nursing education

Many facilities across the nation are investing in state-of-the art technology that allows students and staff members to gain real life experience without the fear of killing a patient.

The high-tech mannequin, Sim Man 3G, costs roughly $27,000, but can cost up to $60,000 with additional accessories and programs available for download onto the mannequin. Even though many facilities have been forced to cut back on their programs and spending, the price of Sim Man 3G has not deterred facilities from purchasing the state-of-the are technology. [more]

Apple’s iTouch and iPhones connect nurses in Florida hospital

On any given day at Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System in Florida, the overhead page was going off every three minutes. And when a patient is in pain and trying to recover, that can be an issue.

So Sarasota Memorial brought peace and quiet—along with improved healthcare—to its hospital by supplying Apple’s iTouch to its nurses.

With help from Voalte, a startup developing point-of-care communications company that uses mobile technology, Sarasota began a 60-day pilot program in June where 25 iPod Touches were given to nurses on one specific floor with the goal of reducing the amount of noise and inefficiency involved in paging.

The iTouches reduced the number of pages in eight hours from 172 to 38, while the devices received an average of 4,000 messages a day—along with positive comments from the patients on the floor. [more]