Marie Riehl is a nurse in the surgical clinic at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pa.
Here are the reasons I love working at a Magnet facility.
I WORK AT Fox Chase Cancer Center, a Magnet hospital. Magnet facilities are recognized nationally and internationally for their high standards and excellence of nursing care. Recent studies within Magnet hospitals show a significant relationship between nursing care and patient outcomes, including decreased mortality rates and increased patient satisfaction rates.
Currently 209 health care organizations in 42 states, as well as one in Australia, have been designated as Magnet facilities. In this article, I'll tell you why you should consider working at a Magnet hospital. I can speak from my experience as part of a Magnetic family. I have a warm sense of belonging to an extended family. Many of our patients ask us, “How can you work here every day with patients who have cancer?” My response is always, “It's the best place to work. We're here because we know that we can make a difference.”
Education plays an important role in our Magnet institution. We're not only offered tuition reimbursement at our Magnet facility, but we're strongly encouraged and mentored to pursue higher education. Every day, we receive opportunities to attend disease-specific conferences or invitations to participate in discussions as part of a multidisciplinary team.
We have roving and weekly educational staff development sessions, and online education programs for continuing education credits and credentialing. More than 50% of our nursing staff hold certification in a specialty, mostly in oncology nursing. All staff are encouraged to obtain certification and are recognized for doing so.
Nurses working at our Magnet facility have been encouraged and mentored to be active participants at an annual nursing oncology meeting, either as a presenter at poster or podium sessions, or as an active participant, soaking up the abundant information.
A magnet is something that attracts; being a part of a Magnet hospital also attracts us to each other. We're all working in separate areas with the common goal of giving the gold star treatment to each patient we contact, every day. We are our own force of magnetism.
Top ten reasons
Here's my list of the top 10 reasons to be a part of a Magnet hospital:
1. Strong supportive environment and constant encouragement
2. Delivery of a high standard of care
3. Multidisciplinary approach to patient care
4. Shared governance
5. Superior nursing care to all patients
6. Opportunity to learn and teach
8. Dedication of the nursing staff
9. Cohesive work environment
10. Overall excellence of the nursing staff
To maintain this standard of excellence, we're always changing our environment, capabilities, and daily activities. We look forward to learning new ideas and treatments, and we're supported by administrators and managers, who encourage us to learn, investigate, and try new things. Our vice president of nursing and unit managers genuinely care about the well being of each nurse at our facility and know us all by name.
We prove our commitment to this standard by maintaining our Magnet status. Magnet designation is the highest level of recognition that a health care facility can achieve that specifically recognizes nursing excellence. As a nurse, I can't imagine working in any other kind of facility.
FORCES OF MAGNETISM
These 14 dimensions must be present for a facility to receive the prestigious Magnet rating:
* nursing leadership
* organizational culture
* management style
* personnel policies and programs
* professional models of care
* quality of nursing care
* continuous quality improvement
* consultation and resources
* nurse autonomy
* community presence
* nurses as teachers
* the image of nursing
* interdisciplinary collaboration
* professional development.
American Nurses Credentialing Center. Magnet Recognition Program: Application Manual. American Nurses Credentialing Center, Silver Spring, Md., 2004.
Magnet Recognition Program: Application Manual, American Nurses Credentialing Center, 2004.
© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.