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Posts from April, 2013

Nursing News: Social Media Evaluates Patient Satisfaction

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 30th, 2013

Two studies suggest users of two social media giants, Facebook and Yelp, may do a solid job of reflecting quality of patient care. More people are turning to the Internet to evaluate health care providers. 14% of Americans went online last year to consult rankings or reviews of hospitals or medical facilities, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.

In a study published last month in the American Journal of Medical Quality, researchers compared the activity on the Facebook pages of 40 hospitals in the greater New York City metropolitan region with more traditional methods of measuring hospital quality, including mortality rates and patient experience surveys.

After controlling for such things as the size of a hospital and the length of time it had a Facebook page, the researchers found that hospitals with lots of “Likes” tended to have lower mortality rates and substantially better patient reviews. “This study’s findings suggest that the number of ‘Likes’ on a hospital’s Facebook page can be used as a proxy for patient satisfaction and an indicator of hospital quality,” wrote the researchers from the Healthcare Innovation Technology Lab, a nonprofit research group in New York.

Another paper published last fall in BJM Quality & Safety examined Yelp reviews of hospitals using a very similar methodology. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco focused on 270 hospitals that had at least six reviews on Yelp, which is a popular site for people to post opinions about restaurants and other businesses. The authors compared the reviews with those of more traditional measurements of patient satisfaction surveys, mortality and readmissions.

The hospitals that did the best on Yelp, garnering four or five stars, tended to have better mortality and readmission outcomes. Dr. Naomi Bardach and her fellow UCSF researchers wrote that “the data suggest that the ratings posted on the commercial website may be capturing experiences similar to those driving the more systematically collected HCAHPS ratings.”

To learn how to increase patient care and satisfaction score, strategies on nurse recruitment, nurse retention, bringing self care to your facility and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nurse Retention News: Moral Distress Increases Nurse Turnover

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 25th, 2013

Moral distress is a serious problem among nurses and must be addressed for their sake…and their patients.

According to the AACN, moral distress occurs when “You know the ethically appropriate action to take, but are unable to act upon it or you act in a manner contrary to your personal and professional values, which undermines your integrity and authenticity.”

Several factors can contribute to moral distress including, but not limited to, intense patient situations (e.g. trauma, end of life care), lack of collaboration, and disrespectful communication.

When caregivers don’t feel safe at work to do what they know is right, every member of the healthcare team and the patients suffer.

Untreated moral distress can result in emotional exhaustion, increased absenteeism, low morale, chronic discontent, and job dissatisfaction, which leads to compassion fatigue and burn out. These symptoms can contribute to staff turnover.

Nursing leaders must recognize the physical, mental, and spiritual symptoms of moral distress, which may include fatigue, headaches, increased illnesses and weight gain/loss. Mental symptoms may include anger, fear, guilt, depression and resentment.  Spiritually nurses may feel disconnected from people and face a crisis of faith.  Moral distress can cause caregivers to feel out of control and begin to question why they are doing what they are doing.

Moral distress can cause significant harm to caregivers and patients alike when left untreated.

Nurse leaders must be alert to these changes in their staff. Some hospitals and care centers offer employees free counseling sessions. Some have colleagues on each unit, trained to watch for signs of stress and offer support to the caregiver and referrals to counseling with chaplains or counselors.

To learn more strategies for physical, mental and spiritual health, nurse retention, nurse recruitment and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nursing News: Nursing Shortage Looms

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 23rd, 2013

Some think that the economic downturn eliminated the nation’s nursing shortage, but we can’t be fooled. Older nurses have delayed retirement, part-time nurses became full-time, and nurses who had left the workforce returned. As a result, some new RNs are having trouble finding jobs. Most admit, however, that they are not getting the first-choice jobs.

The large number of aging nurses virtually guarantees that in the near future we will have an exodus of workforce. That will coincide with an increase in demand for caring of our aging population and we will see a dramatic shortage.

A continuing sluggish economy or severe cutbacks in health care funding may stave off the problem temporarily. Although interest in nursing seems high, the nursing education system has lacked the capacity to handle demand, and many applicants to schools are denied admission.

To learn strategies on nurse recruitment, nurse retention, bringing self care to your facility and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nursing News: Nurses Want Work Life Balance

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 18th, 2013

Nurses have always started training in hospitals. Even though the health care system is changing rapidly to out-of-hospital care, the skills and expertise developed there are still valuable in most settings.

60% of nurses work in hospitals, though 85% are employed there within 18 months of their first jobs. 26% have left their first jobs within three years or so, and over 50% within six years, but the majority have chosen another hospital job.

Typically they are looking for a better fit with their clinical interests, a healthier work environment, or work life balance.

To learn more about creating a healthy work environment that promotes work life balance, strategies on bringing self care to your facility, nurse recruitment and nurse retention, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Dedicated Training Increases Nurse Recruitment and Eases the Nursing Shortage

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 16th, 2013

For clinical training, most nursing students visit a medical facility with an instructor who assigns them patients to follow. This traditional approach can create disconnects between the students and the working nurses.

Some colleges and hospitals are using a new model called Dedicated Education Unit and it works like this:

As part of their requirements for a junior-level class, nursing students are assigned to a dedicated education unit for their clinical work. Their clinical instructors are nurses from that unit who are trained to work with the students. These nurses are assigned one or two students to work with for the 60 hours of clinical training the course requires. The students work a full shift with his or her nurse, 8 to 12 hours, including weekends and overnights.

This model gives students more individualized instruction, allows them to be more involved with patient care, and experience more of what a nurse’s shift work is really like.

Students get a better grasp of what nursing involves — not just giving medicine and changing dressings, but also interacting with patients’ families and doctors, and making real-time decisions.

Under the Dedicated Education Unit model, a university instructor no longer has to accompany students during their clinical hours. This allows the school to potentially enroll more students, which will ultimately help ease nursing shortages in the future.

This model also helps the hospital recruit nurses as potential hires. These students will require a shorter orientation period if they do hire on.

To learn more about nurse recruitment and nurse retention strategies, and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nursing News: Nurses Help Reduce Deaths from Common Diseases

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 11th, 2013

Nurses and midwives play a critical role in lessening people’s risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes, according to a groundbreaking report by the World Health Organization and co-authored by a UCLA nursing professor.

These four non-communicable diseases account for a combined 60% of all deaths worldwide. The report shows nursing midwifery can have major impact on lifestyles changes and health outcomes.

Linda Sarna, a professor at the UCLA School of Nursing and co-author of the report points out that since nurses and midwives make up more than 50% of all health care providers in most countries they are the logical candidates to affect lifestyle changes among patients and increase health awareness. Worldwide, there are more than 19 million nurses and midwives.

The 38-page report issued by the WHO highlights evidence-based nursing interventions that have reduced risk factors such as tobacco use, alcohol dependence, physical inactivity and unhealthy diets. Many of the interventions have been proven to reduce costs and improve the quality of care.

Sarna notes that tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and worldwide and is the one risk factor that cuts across all four of the non-communicable disease categories. Nursing play a major role in helping smokers quit.

As the roles of the nursing profession continue to evolve in many countries, the findings of the WHO report validate the important role of nurses and midwives not only in caring for patients in times of need but also in prevention.

It makes you proud to be a part of this wonderful profession, doesn’t it?

To get more inspiration for continuing in our benevolent profession of caring, learn strategies on bringing self care to your facility, nurse recruitment, nurse retention and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nursing News: Fatigue Causes Nursing Errors

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 9th, 2013

27% of healthcare professionals reported making an error at work due to fatigue, according to a survey commissioned by Kronos Inc. and conducted by HealthLeaders Media.

The “Nurse Staffing Strategy” survey gave results from a September 2012 online survey from 120 healthcare professionals, proving fatigue poses a risk for patient safety:

–  69% percent of respondents admitted fatigue had caused them concern over their ability to perform during work hours.

–  Nearly 65% reported they almost made an error at work because of fatigue.

–  96% felt tired at the start of their shift and more than 92% while driving home after.

Giving nurses and all healthcare givers tools to care for themselves in mind, body and spirit, makes for healthier nurses…and patients.

To learn strategies on bringing self care to your facility, nurse recruitment, nurse retention and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nurse Recruitment and Retention News: Nurses Seek Advanced Degrees to Help End the Nursing Shortage

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 4th, 2013

There is a nationwide push for nurses with advanced degrees. In its 2010 report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” the Institute of Medicine called for doubling the number of doctorate-level nurses by 2020, and the Affordable Care Act’s sweeping changes demand more nurses in leadership roles.

Yet nurses considering advanced degrees often find themselves in a Catch-22. They may see the value of higher education, but issues such as family responsibilities and budget constraints make obtaining it a challenge.

As one of the authors of the report “Charting the Course for Nurses’ Achievement of Higher Education Levels,” which appeared in the November edition of the Journal of Professional Nursing, Christine Kovner, RN, PhD, FAAN, explored nurses’ barriers to education.

The two most common responses nurses gave when asked what keeps them from pursuing advanced degrees were cost and family/children. Also mentioned were lack of time, lack of interest in getting a degree and being too old.

Online nursing programs help to meet that challenge. Students who live within a certain radius of the university campus are often required to come to classes every week. Those outside the radius get permission to attend some courses from home using live video-conferencing and a real-time chat room.

The number of nurses getting master’s and doctorate degrees has ballooned in recent years,” said Jane Kirschling, RN, DNS, FAAN, president of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

The AACN tracks trends in degree programs and has seen significant enrollment growth from 2006 through 2011. In that time, enrollment climbed by 67% for master’s programs and 25% for research-focused doctorates. Enrollment for practice-focused doctorates surged upward by 955%.

Nursing schools should meet with healthcare facilities and regional, state and national foundations to talk about the positions and educational requirements needed and what funds are available to help nurses advance their degrees.

With the growth of the healthcare industry, the aging population, the demands from the Affordable Care Act — we’re going to need every provider we can get.

To learn more about nurse recruitment and nurse retention strategies, and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.

Nursing News: Male Nurses Help End the Nursing Shortage

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, April 2nd, 2013

According to a recently released U.S. Census Bureau study of men in nursing, male nurses associated with military and religious orders began to decline in the 1900s. The reason: laws prohibited some from entering the profession, and some nursing schools refused to admit men.

In 1981, the U.S. Supreme Court deemed this unconstitutional and since then the number of male nurses has seen a slow and steady rise from 2.7% to 9.6% in 2011. Among licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, the percentage of men grew from 3.9% to 8.1% in 2011. About a third of all nurses in the U.S. military are men.

There are a variety of reasons why men say they enter the field. Many were exposed to the profession as a child. Nursing has become more technical, and male nurses are often drawn to areas such as intensive care units. Nursing also offers relatively good pay, job security and a variety of career opportunities and specialties within the field.

More male nurses will help fill the increasing demand during the nursing shortage. As more young boys grow up watching their fathers or other role models take to the profession, the growth trend will likely continue.

To learn more about nurse recruitment and nurse retention strategies, and how to increase work life balance for nurses and healthcare professionals, go to SelfCare for HealthCare. CONTACT ME DIRECTLY to talk about customizing this powerful program for your employees.