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Lynette Helminen

Due: February 11, 2016

NURS136 Leadership in Nursing

Winter 2016
Nurse Leader Interview Assignment

For this assignment, I chose to interview my sister-in-law Shannon. She is an

excellent leader both professionally and in everyday life. Shannon has been a
registered nurse for six years, and is currently employed as a nurse in the intensive
care unit at Portage Hospital. I chose to interview her because I have never met a
more caring, patient, and helpful person; All important qualities in a nurse leader.
She has helped me tremendously in my endeavors in nursing school, and I know she
does the same for her patients in the hospital setting. I hope to someday follow in
her footsteps and help the fellow nurses, nursing students, and patients I have the
honor of crossing paths with in my future.

1. To what extent do the nursing staff of this unit support patientcentered care of individuals and families whose values differ than
their own? What are the barriers supporting this fully? How can it be
The nursing staff support patient-centered care by utilizing a team approach and keeping the
patient involved in their own care. Each morning the hospitalist, nursing supervisor, case
manager, and primary RN do a morning round in each patient room for a brief discussion about
the goals for the day and to address any immediate issues/concerns. The patients also
establish daily goals with each RN that are written on a board in the room. Each individual
patient is different and has expectations that we try to accommodate, but barriers that may
affect that include staffing issues, lack of communication, differing views between the patient

Lynette Helminen

Due: February 11, 2016

and their family, lack of knowledge or experience, and patient conditions. As nurses we are
exposed to constant change, and the best thing we can do for our patients is to care for them
with clear communication and engaging them in their own care. It is also crucial to maintain a
positive work environment with strong support from senior nursing leaders/management so
everyone on the team is capable of providing their best care of each patient.

2. Describe the nursing and inter-professional teams that operate on

this unit.
The nursing and inter-professional teams that operate on our Med-Surg/ICU department include
the nursing manager, nursing supervisors, staff RNs, and nurse aides. Also providing
coordination and care are the Hospitalist physicians, unit clerk, utilization review coordinator,
social workers, and physical and occupational therapists. The staff RNs and nurse aides are
the primary patient caregivers under the supervision of the nursing supervisors and unit
manager. The hospitalist physicians are in-house daily from 0700-1700 doing patient rounds,
and on-call from 1700-0700. The Social Workers and Rehab team ensure each patient is wellequipped to be discharged safely.

3. Provide an example of a nursing practice that has been changed in

the last year based on current best evidence.
A nursing practice that has been changed in the past year based on current evidence is the
process in which we screen patients for sepsis. The Surviving Sepsis Campaign has been an
emerging practice that our facility has been implementing for the last 3 or 4 years, but we
have made changes in the past year based on the most recent guidelines. Each patient is
screened a minimum of every shift for parameters indicating systemic inflammatory response
syndrome, which leads to either a positive or negative sepsis status, which then leads to
screening for multi organ failure. There are interventions and a sepsis protocol that is
implemented along with the screening process.

4. Provide and example of how an unwanted variation that occurred

within the last year on the unit changed practice and improved
patient outcomes.
An unwanted variation that occurred in the last year was a patient fall that resulted in an extra
surgical procedure to fix an injury that was sustained. At the time of the event, we already had
a High Fall Risk protocol in place, but there were extensive changes made to increase patient

Lynette Helminen

Due: February 11, 2016

safety. We identified the biggest issue was communication among staff. Any patient that is
identified as a high fall risk is given a yellow gown, yellow wrist band, a tag is placed outside of
their room, chair and bed alarms are activated, and patients and families are educated on that
process as well. Staff RNs also do bedside handoffs at shift change which allows for a visual
assessment of each patient and safety concerns. With this process in place it ensures
everyone is easily aware of any high fall risk patient so we can avoid patient harm.

5. How are national safety guidelines implemented on this unit?

National patient safety goals are implemented in various ways. For example, to prevent
infection we utilize a Hand Hygiene process that all hospital personnel are responsible for
following. It is a wash in, wash out standard with each patient interaction. We also implement
a process to limit catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI) by limiting
catheterizations and removing indwelling catheters as soon as possible. Our unit also identifies
patients correctly by using at least two patient identifiers, most often name and date of birth
prior to any procedure or medication administration.

6. What are the two main issues with the Electronic Medical Records on
this unit?
The two main issues with the Electronic Medical Records on our unit are the workflow
interruptions that arise during patient care, and the technical problems with different programs
not interfacing. We have recently changed our bedside medication administration devices to
one that is designed by Meditech and many of our nurses feel we have taken a step back with
that. RNs are monitored for their percentage of scans during med administration, so when it is
a busy day for them and barcodes will not scan, or the system does not recognize an order it
can be very frustrating.

Grading Criteria:
1. Complete answers to the above questions (8 points)
2. APA, grammar, and spelling (2 points)