Better Communication for Improved Patient Care

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Lack of proper communication can be very dangerous in a healthcare setting. Fortunately, technological advancements in healthcare industry have ensured better communication between providers, patients and their relatives. Today, handheld technology, computers, bedside tracking and smart systems, ensure that communication is easy for improved patient care and satisfaction. Here are the details of some of the equipments that have made communication very easy:

Motorola has provided cutting edge technology in the healthcare setting to reduce errors and improve the efficiency of nurses. Motorola’s Mobile Nursing Portfolio provides a variety of mobile devices which will help the nurse to complete their tasks wherever they are. The handheld mobile computer is used to scan the patient’s wrist band and this helps to confirm the identification and obtain the medical records of the patient. Apart from making and receiving calls, this application helps to verify the medications, its administration and also take photos of the patient’s progress.

Motorola has also provided Total Enterprise Access and Mobility (TEAM) solution in health care settings. TEAM WiFi phones can be used to access voice and data services, react in real-time through push-to-talk features and utilize mobile access in emergency situations, such as a code blue. TEAM solution is now integrated with the Responder 5 Nurse Call system and enables nurses to receive the patient’s calls promptly without disrupting other providers and patients. Maureen Pajerski, vice president of sales and marketing for Rauland-Borg remarked that wireless technology is the standard in providing patient care in a timely and satisfying manner.

Another specific solution for the healthcare setting is provided by Vocera Communications, Inc., based in San Jose, California. Vocera’s communication system is now used in many hospitals to improve patient flow, patient safety, patient experience and also efficiency of the staff members. B2000 badge, a wearable communications device, is a lightweight device that can be attached to the scrub. It acts as a phone, allowing hands-free communication. According to Bob Zollars, chairman and chief executive officer of Vocera, the company is looking at providing communication solutions to restore the human connection to health care.

Technology has also provided methods of improved communication with the patient’s relatives. Providing status updates, especially of surgical patients, is done with the help of patient tracking systems like the SmarTrack tool from Wakefield, Massachusetts-based solutions company Picis. This system helps to communicate the status of the patient from the perioperative area to discharge from the surgical process, using big boards. This will also reduce the number of calls to the room manager and provide support and comfort to the patient’s relatives.

Originally posted on The International Nurses Association

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Tips for the Night Shift

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Flexibility with working hours is a desirable quality in nurses so that they can work either day or night shifts when needed. Those who are attending additional courses in the morning may choose the night shift. Working the night shift has some advantages like higher pay, slow pace of the work, close relationships with co-workers and an opportunity to be more self-reliant in the work. But it is not devoid of disadvantages – like the chances of missing out on promotions as the night shift workers are literally invisible to the daytime administrators. Those who are not used to the shift schedule will have to keep on avoiding falling asleep.

Here are a few tips to remain active during the night shifts:

  • Have a full meal before the shift and remember to carry snacks to ward off hunger in the night.
  • Get at least eight hours of sleep during the day. Although the pace of work during the night shift is slow, nurses cannot sleep in the shift as they need to give the same amount of attention to the patients as in the day shift.
  • Using a digital watch would be helpful to have a bright display of time in the night so that you do not miss out on the medication schedule of the patients. Keep looking at the bright display in the watch to remember the time.
  • After the shift, relax for some time before going off to sleep. It would be better to wait for the body to get into the track slowly rather than forcing sleep immediately.
  • Try to match the work schedule with the family as much as possible. Have time with kids, spouse and other family members so that you can have proper work-life balance. This will also give a sense of normalcy.
  • If you work in multiple shifts, have the shift change gradually. Start with the morning shift and then move to evening shift before taking up the night shift. This will help the body to adjust to the changes.
  • Since there is differential pay for night shifts, one tends to take up more of them. Use the extra money for unexpected things like illness or for paying back loans.
  • Use earplugs, eye masks and blind curtains to ensure that you sleep peacefully in the day time after the shift. This will help to create a night time effect so that the body can fall asleep and sustain the sleep for some time. Regular exercise would also help to have quality and quantity sleep.
  • Avoid having alcoholic drinks and sleeping pills to fall asleep after the shift. This will prevent the body from establishing a normal circadian rhythm which will affect the sleep pattern. Read a good book or listen to some soothing music that would allow your body to fall asleep naturally. Avoid doing activities that would stimulate you and keep you active.
  • Avoid having more than two cups of coffee in 24 hours. Caffeine helps to keep you active for sometime but it is addictive and may keep sleep at bay.
  • Increase your visibility to the day time administrators by coordinating night schedules and orientation programs. This will ensure that your work is noticed and that you do not lose on promotions.

Originally posted on The International Nurses Association

Ruth Beckmann Murray, RN, MSN, EDD, N-NAP, FAAN, Top Nurse

Ruth Beckmann Murray, RN, MSN, EDD, N-NAP, FAAN, is a retired psychiatric nuse from the St. Louis University School of Nursing. In addition to her psychiatric nursing training, she is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, a Doctor of Education, and a Professor Emirita of Nursing, maintaining a strong relationship with her students. She has conducted public speaking all around the globe and is also the author of Health Promotion Strategies Through the LifeSpan, often used as a textbook.

Tame Ray Ritchie, PO2, AA, BSN, CHPN

Tame Ray Ritchie, PO2, AA, BSN, CHPN, works at Covenant Hospice in Pensacola, Florida. Covenant is an award-winning, Joint Commission approved hospice service facility; offering a number of services. As a hospice nurse, Tame helps patients live the last days of their lives with dignity and as comfortable as possible. A 2nd Class Petty Officer in the United States Navy, Tame has seen illness affect her family and wanted to make a difference helping people. Tame precepts student nurses, helping them to become leaders in the field. She is currently in the process of earning her Master’s in Grief and Bereavement at the University of Maryland.

International Nurses Association

The International Nurses Association was founded on the idea that professional achievement is deserving of recognition, exposure and reward. As a meeting place for the top minds in nursing, INA offers unlimited opportunities to further your success and embrace your role as a vital member of the medical community.

Virtual Interview Tips

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Unlike the yesteryears, there is no need to leave the convenience of
home for attending the job interview. Advancements in technology
including videoconferencing have ensured that the first interview with the company may take place through
virtual means – a ‘virtual interview’.

You need to keep a few things in your mind before attending
a virtual interview:

  • You should have a user name and password for using the specific applications like instant messaging client or videoconferencing. Ensure that your user name or email account is something professional.
  • Even if it is a telephonic conversation, dressing like for a face-to-face interview would help you to feel more confident. Be very professional in your dressing also.
  • Consider the background before starting the conference. Place the camera in such a position so that it looks like as if you are in office. Keep a copy of your resume and portfolio in hand.
  • Ensure that the area is quiet by keeping TV sounds, kids and pets out of the location.
  • Set the laptop or the camera in the right angle so that the interviewer gets a face-on view.
  • Pay attention to lighting so that your face is not shadowed or appear as a dark blob.

Originally posted on The International Nurses Association

Barbara Sosiak, MSN, RN, Worldwide Leader in Healthcare

Barbara P. Sosiak, MSN, RN, had a 43 year long nursing career in Pennsylvania before retiring in 2005. Barbara served as a public health nurse for communities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and was rewarded for her efforts by the Governor of New Jersey. She has completed extensive continuing education over the years, in addition to her MSN. In the past, she taught medical/surgical nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, and still mentors students from Rutgers and Drexel Universities. Barbara also spends time volunteering in South Jersey for the MAP program (Mobilizing for Action through Partnership) and planning with the Community Health Outreach Consortium of New Jersey.

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