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Quality and Safety Education for Nurses

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Leadership in Healthcare

Posted by on Jan 25, 2016 in QStudent |

What makes a good leader? Merriam-Webster defines a leader as “a person who leads.” This is a very broad definition, however that allows our minds to take control. In reality, anyone can become a leader, but a leader must have the ability to influence others to achieve a goal. They do this by influencing their followers and focusing on effectiveness, vision and motivation. Some characteristics of a good leader include intelligence, organizational skills, ability to work independently, confident in their abilities, creative, ability to adapt to change, decisive and something everyone likes, they are personable. In healthcare there are a variety of leaders, some natural and others appointed. Some examples include chief nursing officers, chief executive officers, attending physicians, charge nurses and nurse managers. These leaders are employees who have been appointed to these management positions and their main role is to plan, organize, coordinate and direct work to meet goals. We expect that all leaders in management roles demonstrate a good number of the positive characteristics listed above, yet this is not always the case. At times we may come across a “leader” who exhibits the following leadership flaws. Some of these poor attributes are having little to no energy or enthusiasm, accepting mediocre performances, lacking a clear vision, showing poor judgement, not collaborating with others, dismissing others’ opinions, not leading by example and failing to develop others. There are four different types of leaders. An innovative leader is the risk taker, they challenge the “norm” and look for ways to make things better. A transformational leader wants the group to find a purpose in their work and build relationships with each other. A servant leader shares their power and focuses on the wellbeing of their followers. Finally, an authentic leader leads by example and focus on the ethical thing to do. They are very decisive and opinionated. The question is: What type of leader are you? And think about the types of leaders in your life? What positive characteristics do they display? Is there anything they could do a little better? Additional reading: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:MrCvTe5n29oJ:danieljames.webs.com/documents/The%2520Top%252010%2520Things%2520Effective%2520Leaders%2520Know%2520and%2520Do.doc+&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us   Works Cited Towne, K. (2016). Leadership and Management [PowerPoint...

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NINR Graduate Partnership Project

Posted by on Oct 9, 2015 in QStudent |

The National Institute of Nursing Research is accepting applications until December 1 for their 2016 Graduate Partnership Project. The DPP is a research training opportunity that combines academics with NIH-level research; it  is designed specifically for PhD students who have completed their required coursework.  Research is completed with in NIH labs or world-reknowned scientists.  GPP fellows can also experience a wide array of opportunities for education, career and networking. GPP fellows receive financial support along with a variety of other benefits for three years while completing research. For more information and to apply, visit their website...

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QStudent #7: Health Literacy

Posted by on Sep 15, 2015 in QStudent |

Did you know that twenty-two percent of American adults read below the proficiency level, as compared to the fourteen percent who are at or above (Begintoread.com)? Low literacy levels cost approximately $73 million per year in direct healthcare costs because of the amount of errors that are produced (Begintoread.com). Medical jargon is the language peculiar to the medical field, and is often hard for those outside of the medical profession to understand. This misunderstanding can cause clients to become confused, as well as overwhelmed, when discussing their health and/or treatment options. Many people ‘believe the doctor is always right’ and take a particular medication without knowing the reason for taking it, how much to take, how often it should be taken and common or harmful side effects. Although we place a lot of faith in doctors and nurses, this could be a potentially dangerous situation. Therefore, we must always remember to speak in lay terms with our patients and their families. Always be aware of signs of misunderstanding and encourage them to ask questions. When possible, ask them to repeat back what you had said or demonstrate on themselves or a model if necessary. This will let you know they understand the basic knowledge needed to control their disease or illness. The video posted below highlights many of the health literacy issues we see here in America. So the question is: What is your opinion on the health literacy problem in America? What method(s) have you tried to ensure your patient(s)/families understand what you are teaching them?...

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QStudent #6: Teamwork & Collaboration

Posted by on Feb 4, 2015 in News, QStudent |

“Unity is strength. When there is teamwork and collaboration wonderful things can be achieved.” –Mattie Stepanek. Teamwork and collaboration in healthcare is of the utmost importance. We’ve all heard the saying, there’s no ‘I’ in team, and for the most part this is true, however there is an exception. The ‘I’ would stand for independent. In the healthcare world, each person within the team has a specific job and must be able to work independently. The key concept that brings each of the team members together is communication. For example, nursing assistants must communicate with nurses, especially if a problem arises, and doctors, therapists, and nurses must communicate to provide the best care possible. Most hospitals these days have dry erase boards in each patient’s room. These boards help to connect patients, their families, and the healthcare team. Some boards are even as detailed to include the names of each member of the healthcare team (Nurse, nursing assistant, physician, unit nurse manager, etc.), a pain scale for patients to rate their pain, the level of assistance needed to ambulate, and the plan of care. Another important aspect of teamwork and collaboration includes knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and being cognizant of your peers and coworkers strengths and weaknesses as well. For example, if a coworker is more confident starting an IV, and you a have a patient needing an IV who is a “hard stick”, ask for assistance until you gain more experience. This will ensure the best care for the patient. No matter what role a person may play within the healthcare team, they are connected by the overall goal to provide patients the best care possible. The question is: What are some examples of teamwork and collaboration you have seen in the healthcare world? This can be at a clinical site, in the workplace, or even during a hospital stay. Or what are some ideas you have to help implement teamwork and collaboration within...

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Student Resources

Posted by on Jan 8, 2015 in QStudent |

Learning Nurse http://www.learningnurse.org/index.php/e-learning/modules This page offers narrated modules for healthcare professionals on ongoing Professional Development, and Patient Assessment, as well as helpful simulations to assist with making nursing diagnoses. American Association for Colleges of Nursing – Competencies to Improve Care for Older Adults http://www.aacn.nche.edu/geriatric-nursing/competencies US Dept. of Health & Human Services – Health IT Webinars http://www.hrsa.gov/healthit/index.html  CDC- Public Health Quality Improvement Webinars http://www.cdc.gov/stltpublichealth/performance/resources.html Scroll down for a list of links to webinars concerning quality improvement in public health.  Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology – Patient Safety Resources http://www.apic.org/For-Consumers/Additional-patient-safety-resources  Dana-Farber Cancer Institute – Patient Safety Reources www.dana-farber.org/Adult-Care/Treatment-and-Support/Care-Quality-and-Safety/Patient-Safety-Resources.aspx  UNC School of Medicine – Interdisciplinary Teamwork in Healthcare http://www.med.unc.edu/epic/module4/m4to.htm This is an older webpage, but it still has some valid insights on teamwork and collaboration.  American Association of Nurse Anesthetists – Evidence-Based Practice http://www.aana.com/resources2/professionalpractice/Pages/Evidence-Based-Practice.aspx  Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society – Nursing Informatics http://www.himss.org/resourcelibrary/TopicList.aspx?MetaDataID=767  Agency for Helathcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) – Informatics http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/factsheets/informatic/informatics/index.html National Association for Healthcare Quality- Quality Certificiation and Education http://www.nahq.org/ Our lady of the Lake University http://onlineprograms.ollusa.edu/resource/nursing Careers in Nursing   http://monitortech.org/2015/02/13/nursing-career-help.html  RN to BSN Online  http://www.rntobsnonline.com/ http://www.rntobsnonline.com/scholarships/...

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QStudent #5: Informatics

QStudent #5: Informatics

Posted by on Nov 13, 2014 in QStudent | 5 comments

Hello QStudent readers! It’s quite obvious these days that a majority of what we do involves technology. We have smart phones, tablets, laptops, flat screen TVs, etc. In the healthcare world, patients can access their medical records online, charting is done through computer systems, and medication bar code scanning is found almost everywhere. The definition of informatics is, “The use information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision making” (QSEN, 2003). Over many generations we have made great progress in our healthcare technology. This can be seen as both a positive and negative. We are now able to use highly advanced and accurate equipment to diagnose and treat diseases. Surgeries have become easier to perform, safer for the patient, and less invasive. Survival rates have increased and life expectancy is longer, due to the advanced technology we have among us today. As well as our equipment, almost every hospital and healthcare system uses computer based charting systems. This allows multiple members of the healthcare team, from nurses and doctors to therapists and pharmacists, to view a patient’s chart at the same time. Medications and orders are able to be approved faster, which is often helpful in emergency situations. Most systems will have built-in features to catch errors such as duplicate entries. A great advancement of computer charting systems is bar code scanning during medication administration. This forces the healthcare personal to scan the patient and the medication, and it verifies both for the clinician before they administer a medication to a patient. This is a huge improvement in the system and has helped to reduce the number of medication errors. On the negative end of the spectrum of effects, we see healthcare prices rising. The greater the integration of technology, the more expensive our healthcare becomes, causing burden to many who do not have health insurance and cannot afford their healthcare needs. The question is: What are your thoughts on the technology we have in healthcare today? What do you see as positive or negative? Is there something you would like to see different or see in the future? Does it help us to “communicate, manage...

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