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Incredibly Easy blog
The Incredibly Easy blog will expand on selected topics presented in the print journal.
Monday, April 20, 2015

In our healthcare environment, we’re so busy and overstimulated that we’re often distracted and not focused on the individual in front of us. I read a recent nursing article about how to be more respectful to ICU patients and it occurred to me that this is solid advice for each one of us to follow when caring for all of our patients and their families.

The guidelines were simple and reasonable: Treat all patients equally without prejudice or favoritism. Be courteous, mindful, and respectful. Use good manners and proper language. Talk to your patient, not over or around him or her. Take the time to get acquainted with your patient and his or her family members. Include the patient’s caregiver in the conversation and beware of labels. This isn’t room 111 or the GI bleed, this is Mr. Jones and he matters. Keep social media and personal conversations out of earshot. Your patients and their families don’t need to know that your child is making you crazy or your husband lost his job. An altercation with Nurse Smith should stay between you and not be shared. Be mindful of cellphone usage, ringtones, and volume. And watch hallway chatter and volume.

Always take care of yourself and each other. This enables you to be the best you possible. Healthy work environments are beneficial to you and those for whom you care. 

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.
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Monday, April 13, 2015

Nurse Week will be here soon! This year’s theme—“Ethical Practice. Quality Care”—is designed to highlight the role nurses play in providing high-quality, ethical care. The American Nurses Association’s goal is to further explore and elaborate on the search for quality, ethical care and preserve the rights of nurses and patients.

Join the celebration: You work hard and deserve recognition for what you do. Look to your professional organizations to see what’s going on. Many are offering free educational events, webinars, and continuing education units. Nursing made Incredibly Easy! has a special edition for Nurses Week, as well.

Be proud of all you do to promote best practice, safety, and quality in our ever-growing and complicated healthcare environment.

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.
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Monday, April 06, 2015

As we get closer to Nurses Week, I‘ve been reading some blog posts by other nursing professionals on managing work-related stress. I came across an interesting read on mindfulness—the intentional focus on the present. This means not rushing too far ahead and not living in the past. The practice of mindfulness may be one method to increase your resilience to stress.

Other ways to improve your resilience include understanding things that you have no control over, keeping a focus on the long-range plan or goal, and staying positive—the ability to cultivate an open, fresh attitude toward every encounter.

In nursing, and healthcare in general, we have a tendency to place a high value on expertise and seniority. The danger with this mode of thought is that we sometimes lose our gusto, energy, and luster in the process of gaining experience.

Be mindful, stay in the present, and learn from every encounter…your patients, peers, and loved ones with thank you for it.

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.
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Monday, March 30, 2015

This time of year, I get distracted by Nurses Week. I’m always on the project team to help plan celebrations. I believe that we’re the luckiest of professionals.

Name another profession in which your education can take you to so many places? Your job can entail so many different things. In nursing, you can be a case manager or a staff manager. You can work in home health, critical care, hospice, geriatrics, or oncology. You can care for infants, children, or adults.

I spoke with someone yesterday who said, “Oh, I could never be a nurse, I can’t stand blood.” I said to them, nursing jobs don’t always involve blood! Nursing is a field of professional service that encompasses so many varied roles. Additionally, it can cross county, state, and national boundaries. We’re in the military, the air, our homes, hospitals, schools, nursing homes, churches, and on and on. I’m so proud of what we do professionally and you should be proud, as well.

Celebrate with us May 6 to 12, and join Nursing made Incredibly Easy! in that celebration in our upcoming issue.

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.
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Monday, March 23, 2015

We’ve discussed compassion fatigue many times. It’s especially prevalent in those who work in high-stress areas where there’s a constant onslaught of emotionally draining interactions. These same areas are also staffing challenged and, like many areas in healthcare, they survive on overtime. A large part of my job as a manager on the acute care side is trying to cover staffing. Hours are spent begging people to staff or come in early, work an extra shift, or switch shifts. We live in a world that not only encourages this work ethic, but also glorifies it. The problem is fatigue.

Excessive or chronic fatigue is a high-risk catalyst for adverse events in healthcare. When fatigue is present, we don’t operate at the optimal level. Depending on the level of fatigue, the individual may experience diminished problem-solving ability, memory reduction, decreased comprehension, and reduced attention to detail.

The Joint Commission issues a sentinel event alert (#48) to address this prevalent concern. It offers areas of focus for prevention of fatigue, such as handoff strategies, shift hours, and overtime limitations. What are the practices within your organization? What are the overtime practices and policies on limitations? Are they enforced?

Lisa Lockhart, MHA, MSN, RN, NE-BC
Nurse Manager, Specialty Clinics
Alvin C. York VA Medical Center
Murfreesboro, Tenn.
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About the Author

NursingMadeIncrediblyEasy
The mission of the peer-reviewed journal Nursing made Incredibly Easy! is to meet the ongoing educational needs of nurses in a refreshingly original, easily understood format.