Posts Tagged ‘nursing’

Sharing nursing knowledge

August 11, 2010

Nurse publishing can significantly impact the quality of life for a patient. As registered nurses, we coordinate the care of our patients every day; however, we also impact patient care through collegial information sharing. The article, “Carnitine Deficiency: Implications for OR Nurses,” is one such example of how registered nurses’ scholarly activities and contributions to the nursing profession impact individual patient lives.

Chris Wolf, R.N., a registered staff nurse in Mayo’s Pre-Operative/Outpatient/Perianesthesia Care Unit, and Elizabeth Pestka, R.N., a clinical nurse specialist in Mayo’s Medical Psychiatric Program and a leader in nursing genomics at Mayo Clinic, published their article on carnitine deficiency in the July issue of OR Nurse 2009. The information in their article impacted a person’s quality of life halfway across the country.

Chris Helner of Pennsylvania, was plagued with a variety of symptoms that made it difficult for him to lead a healthy life. As a direct result of his mother reading the Wolf and Pestka article, Helner has now visited Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus and has been able to reduce many of the symptoms caused by his carnitine deficiency diagnosis.

Elizabeth Thompson, R.N., editor-in chief of OR Nurse 2010 and nursing education specialist for orthopedic surgery at Saint Marys Hospital, believes this article is a testament to the power of publishing scholarly nursing knowledge.  Registered nurses often underestimate the breadth of their knowledge base and the impact their individual and collective expertise can have on their colleagues and patient outcomes.

Doreen Frusti, R.N., chair, Department of Nursing at Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus, champions and fully supports nursing research, scholarly activity, and the continued advancement of the professional nurse.

I recently had the opportunity to visit with Chris Wolf and Elizabeth Thompson and invite you to watch the video below.

You can learn more about nursing opportunities at Mayo Clinic here.

This article was submitted by Mark LaMaster, Nursing Placement Coordinator, Office of Nursing Placement and Career Development at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

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Transition from PCT to RN

May 21, 2010

Before I became a nurse, I was a patient care technician (PCT) for two years while I was working to pass my nursing boards. I have learned so much about myself and my work ethic.

I think working as a PCT humbled me. It taught me how much I care about patient rights and their safety. I knew I wanted to work in the medical field as a registered nurse since I was in junior high school, but I didn’t realize how much I really would love it until I started working at Mayo Clinic.

While I was a PCT I always tried to stand up for what was right for my patients and my fellow co-workers. I believe that PCTs are just as much a part of the patient’s care as nurses. Most of the time, PCTs know the patients so much more on a personal level.

When I was a PCT and walked into patients’ rooms, I could tell if they were sad, not feeling well, in pain or if something was wrong just by looking at them. However, I didn’t realize how much the nurses do and how much time they really do spend with the patients until I started working as a nurse myself.

I think both the PCT and the nurse are vital to the care of each patient, and it’s important that they work together with respect. I think it’s so hard for people who haven’t worked in both roles to know what the other does.

The PCT role is very physical, and the nurse’s role is mental as well as physical. Both work very hard and are extremely busy doing different tasks. The PCT assists the nurse with any daily activities he or she needs help with, such as giving patients baths, helping with toileting, inserting and removing catheters and many more tasks.

The nurse’s role is giving medications, managing problems, contacting physicians with updates and problems, wound care and management, monitoring labs, giving blood products, accuchecks and insulin, along with helping the PCT and much more. After working in both roles, I really see how hard each person works to make sure the patient gets the best care possible. I think about both roles differently now, and I am glad that I got the opportunity to do both. My journey as a PCT to a nurse was long and hard, but I think it’s made me a more compassionate nurse.

Written by Nicole Barlanti, a registered nurse working on an oncology unit at Mayo Clinic’s hospital in Florida

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Our organizational heart is our competitive advantage

February 1, 2010

In late 2009, Mayo Clinic was named an America’s Best Hospital by U.S. News & World Report. Patients who were surveyed said Mayo’s nursing staff in Phoenix, Arizona, “always listen carefully, give clear explanations and are courteous.”

Barbara, a registered nurse at Mayo’s hospital in Phoenix, shares her perspective on our competitive advantage below:

Following a recent Phoenix Coyotes game, my husband and I were waiting in line for a table at a restaurant close to the hockey arena. An elderly couple, Bill and Elaine, sat down next to us at the bar. During our conversation, we learned that they were from Winnipeg and have spent each winter in Phoenix for more than a decade. When I asked why they chose Arizona, Bill quickly responded, “Mayo Clinic.” Elaine smiled and added, “… and the hockey.” And ever since their team relocated to Phoenix, they’ve made it a point to never miss a “home game.”

It was during the winter of 1999 that Elaine began having chest discomfort during the games. It turns out that she, like myself, is a loyal fan who takes her hockey seriously.

A friend told them about a local Mayo Clinic primary care office and Elaine made an appointment since the “discomfort had become more bothersome.” After an EKG was done, the doctor called an ambulance and sent her immediately to the emergency department — she was having a heart attack.

They both expressed gratitude for Mayo Clinic and the care provided there. Bill remembered, “those were some of the smartest, kindest people I’ve ever met … they saved my bride. We’ll never go anywhere else.” At that moment my husband got a page – our table was ready. We said our good-byes and shared good wishes for our hockey team that brought us together that evening.

Fan loyalty. Not easy to earn and even harder to sustain. Yet once your heart is engaged, loyalty will propel you thousands of miles outside your comfort zone. Your priorities shift and you keep coming back for more. Bill and Elaine are only two of Mayo Clinic’s loyal fans among millions across the globe.

Recently, through a satisfaction survey, patients named Mayo Clinic, the top hospital for nursing care in U.S. News and World Report’s America’s Best Hospitals ranking. Mayo Clinic Hospital shines and carries on the tradition founded by the Mayo family over a century ago: the needs of the patient are the only needs to be considered. A cornerstone that guides our decision-making is “business as usual.” Among the many honors and accolades received by our organization by peers or colleagues, this distinction demonstrates that patients feel that they are our priority.

It is often a smile, a hand on the shoulder or the shared tears of our compassionate staff members that patients and their loved ones remember long after they have left us. In our inherently stressful, emotionally charged environment, often it’s not what patients hear us say, but how they feel when they’re in our presence. They can sense our dedication and caring as we support them on their healing journey. In my opinion, it’s our “organizational heart” that sets us apart from our counterparts.

As patients of Mayo Clinic, my husband and I have consistently received quality care delivered by professionals who serve as exceptional ambassadors of the Mayo Clinic name. We’re grateful to each staff member who has cared for us over the years. And we agree with Bill and Elaine – “we’ll never go anywhere else.” In the same way, I’ve worked in several hospitals during my 25-year R.N. career and realize that work relationships are crucial to job satisfaction and retention. I feel privileged to be part of a team of professionals — a family, who offers our patients innovative, evidence-based health care while always keeping in mind the art and heart, of healing.

To learn more about the rankings of our Arizona, Minnesota and Florida locations, visit the U.S. News & World Report web site.

This post was submitted by Phyllis Y. (Yvette) Martin, a recruitment strategist in human resources, Mayo Clinic, Arizona.

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A Day in the Life of a Mayo Flight Nurse

November 4, 2009

Whether it be flying to the scene of a car accident or transporting a critically ill patient to a specialty hospital by helicopter or fixed-wing aircraft, the flight nursing specialty requires an experienced and skilled professional to make split-second decisions during intense situations.

A day in the life of a flight nurse is never the same. Tim Alden, R.N.,  flight nurse for Mayo Clinic Medical Transport (MCMT) in Rochester, Minn., would agree that the flight nursing specialty provides a level of excitement that is difficult to match within the nursing profession.

As a flight nurse with MCMT, Tim’s “offices” are in the back of a Eurocopter 145 or in the cabin of a Beechjet 400. Each aircraft is stocked with equipment and medication comparable to what would be found in an emergency department or intensive care unit. Tim and his colleagues must be prepared for any type of emergency and must be able to perform in any environment. Tim maintains advanced skills by completing continuous training and education.

I had the opportunity to interview Tim to discuss what a typical day in the life of a flight nurse was like and to ask questions about what it takes to become a flight nurse.

Mayo Clinic Medical Transport celebrates its 25th year of service this year. MCMT has grown to include three bases in Rochester and Mankato, Minn. and Eau Claire, Wisc.  The MCMT medical crew is composed of medical directors, flight nurses, flight paramedics, as well as a Nursing Education Specialist and a Clinical Nurse Specialist.  Specially trained neonatal and pediatric nurses and respiratory therapists are also an essential part of the Mayo Clinic Medical Transport team.  Each year, MCMT collectively transports over 2,000 patients. MCMT flight nurses also work on Mayo MedAir Ambulance, Mayo’s fixed-wing aircraft, to transport patients across the country. MCMT comprises state-of-the-art aircraft designed to provide optimal care and enhance the safety for all on board. It goes without stating, however, MCMT would not be successful without the pilots, mechanics and Emergency Communications Center, as well as all of the team members that contribute to meeting the needs of our patients.

Flight nursing is only one of many specialties the nursing profession has to offer. For those interested in the nursing profession, click on the following link to learn more about over 60 nursing specialties at Mayo Medical Center. Tim would welcome any comments you may have on the flight nursing specialty or any other comments you may have.

This post was submitted by Mark LaMaster, nursing placement coordinator, Mayo Clinic in Rochester.

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Clinical Nurse Specialist – A Day in the Life at Mayo Clinic

August 25, 2009

A Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) is an advanced practice nurse who works with nursing staff to advance nursing practices, improve patient outcomes, and provide clinical expertise to affect system-wide changes. CNS hold at least a masters degree in Nursing and have completed the certification process issued by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Mayo Clinic’s Arizona campus has several CNS on staff to support our inpatient and outpatient care needs. Nadine Lendzion shares her experience as a CNS, Mayo Clinic Employee, and Arizona resident below. (more…)

“Forever Caring” sculpture honors Mayo Nursing

July 21, 2009

Mayo Clinic has a rich history within the nursing profession and continues to strive to “provide the best nursing care in the world.” And there are several exhibits located on Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus that honor and recognize contributions to the nursing profession.

For those of you traveling to Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus, I encourage you to visit the “Forever Caring” sculpture in the Mayo Nurses’ Atrium located in the subway level of the Gonda Building. The sculpture was dedicated in 2003 to honor the nursing profession’s past, present and future colleagues. The sculpture was designed and sculpted by Gloria Tew and made possible through the philanthropic generosity of Warren F. and Marilyn J. Batemen.

The figures portray both the women and men of the nursing profession. Nurses in advanced practice, education and research, the threefold mission of Mayo Clinic, are exemplified in the nurse anesthetist, the graduate nurse and the nurse with a patient’s chart.

Forever Caring sculpture honoring Mayo Nursing: Past, Present, and Future

Forever Caring sculpture honoring Mayo Nursing: Past, Present, and Future

The “Forever Caring” sculpture is just one of the exhibits honoring nursing professionals at Mayo Clinic. The most recent nursing exhibit was unveiled in Heritage Hall located on the street level of the Mayo Building. The exhibit features a flag and a plaque to honor and to recognize all nurses for their service to our country in caring for patients in the military. This gift was presented to Mayo Nursing by Dr. Walter Franz.

A little known nursing display also exists in St. Marys Hospital on the main floor of the Francis Building, in room M-4. This historical display is located directly across from the visitor’s cafeteria and includes both nursing archives and operating room instruments from the past. The items range from a nursing diploma signed by Drs. Will and Charlie Mayo to an ether bottle used by Mayo Clinic’s first nurse anesthetist, Edith Graham (Mayo). I encourage you to take a few minutes to walk through this small but intriguing historical nursing display if you visit Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus.

Mayo nurses continue to strive to “provide the best nursing care in the world.” Please feel free to share any comments you may have about these nursing displays or the nursing care you have received at Mayo Clinic.

Mark LaMaster is a nursing placement coordinator in the Department of Nursing.

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New residency program helps nurses launch successful careers

July 3, 2009

Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida kicked off a new nursing residency program in February. Diane Lassiter, Sara Warren, Rachael Ruffet and Carol DelaCruz are the first nurses to participate in the year-long pilot program.

Nursing at Mayo Clinic in Florida

Nursing at Mayo Clinic in Florida

“We are concerned about the pending nursing shortage, so we want to embrace recruitment and retention of this important profession,” explains Debra Hernke, chief nursing officer. Studies show up to a 40 percent turnover in some institutions in the first year of nursing. “If someone leaves a position in the first year of nursing, they most likely will leave the profession altogether,” she says.

The program is an outgrowth of Mayo Clinic’s involvement in First Coast Nurse Leaders (FCNL), a consortium of chief nursing officers and nursing school deans in Northeast Florida. Flagler Hospital and River Garden Long Term Care also are participating in the program. FCNL received a grant from the Florida Center for Nursing to develop the curriculum.

Participating nurses are assigned an open position in a nursing unit, provided a thorough orientation with a preceptor, and also complete a three-credit course through the University of North Florida or Jacksonville University during the residency program. The curriculum is designed to provide the necessary tools and support to help each resident begin a long-term nursing career. Residents are assigned a nurse mentor to help them assimilate and succeed in the workplace.

“Nurses are essential to the future success of health care because of their proven impact on patient outcomes, mortality and quality of care,” says Hernke. “After we evaluate the pilot, we hope to expand to other facilities in the region. Our hope is that we can provide an affordable program that provides the foundation for a life-long career in nursing.”

For more information about the Department of Nursing at Mayo Clinic’s campus in Florida, please visit our Web site.

Jennifer Lineburg is a recruitment coordinator at Mayo Clinic Florida.

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