EP. 168 Empowering Nurses with Alice Benjamin

EP. 168 Empowering Nurses with Alice Benjamin

Empowering Nurses with Alice Benjamin

Nurses are the backbone of healthcare, and we take pride in that. However, there are times when nurses don’t feel like they are as important in our community. A bad work environment can also add up to the stress that many nurses feel. In some cases, many nurses do not feel like their efforts are given enough recognition, so they don’t perform well, or worse, they don’t provide quality patient care any longer. 

While many nurses take their profession seriously, some are not sure anymore. What can we do to help our fellow nurses? Is there a way to inspire and encourage them to do better? What needs to improve in a nurse’s work environment to help them feel empowered?

In this episode, we would like to introduce you to Alice Benjamin, better known as Nurse Alice, America’s favorite nurse. She is a cardiac clinical nurse specialist and family nurse practitioner with over 23 years of healthcare experience. Alice is Nurse.org’s Chief Nursing Officer and Correspondent and hosts the popular ‘Ask Nurse Alice’ podcast. 

QUESTIONS FOR GUESTS:

The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We go off-topic all the time so we don’t expect to hit them all. If you have any ideas please let us know. Looking forward to our conversation!

  • Being in over 20 years in healthcare, what are some changes you would like to see in healthcare? 
  • How do you think the pandemic has affected nurses? 
  • How should new nurses empower themselves going into this profession in 2022? 
  • What do you think about the RaDonda Vaught case?
  • She was sentenced on Friday to three years of probation in a Nashville criminal court. After the probationary period, she could ultimately have her conviction dismissed.
  • Found guilty in March of two charges, criminally negligent homicide and abuse of an impaired adult, after a medication error contributed to the death of 75-year-old Charlene Murphey in December 2017.
  • What are some of the biggest challenges you have taken on recently? 
  • What is something nursing has thought you that you can apply in life? 

ENDING QUESTIONS

Before we end the show we have one last question we like to ask all our guests. If you had the opportunity to have a Cup of coffee with anybody one last time, who would it be & why? 

Socials:

Learn how to become an empowered nurse by watching our full episode. Click here for more 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
01:35 About Alice
02:30 What are some changes you would like to see in healthcare?
06:26 How can we improve the healthcare system?
09:46 Reasons for some patients’ noncompliance
15:24 One-size-fits-all patient treatment does not always work.
17:57 How should new nurses empower themselves?
20:26 How to be a better nurse
24:13 What are the challenges of being a nurse
29:52 Thoughts about the RaDonda Vaught case?
43:31 The last one cup of coffee with?

EP 164: Improving Patient Communication with Jennifer George

EP 164: Improving Patient Communication with Jennifer George

Improving Patient Communication with Jennifer George

Improving patient communication is an effective way to provide patient care. Without proper communication, it is easy to miss out on your patient’s needs. But how can you become effective in this situation? Will this help lessen the stress nurses feel? 

In this episode, we will talk about effective communication and how nurses can improve the way they speak to their patients to get the message out. We also welcome our guest, Jennifer George. She is a compassion-focused physiotherapist with vast experience in the private and public care sectors. 

Jennifer has spent the last 14 years learning and reflecting on the importance of communication in our health and education systems. 

She is also a mentor to future and current health providers on discovering their purpose, achieving fulfillment, and creating empowering patient experiences. Author of her book, Communication is Care: 9 Empowering Strategies to Guide Patient Healing. 

QUESTIONS FOR GUESTS

  1. As a physiotherapist, what do you do, and what are some significant takeaways or life lessons from your career? 
    • Work on inputs rehab currently
    • Patients need a team of professionals; physical therapy is only one piece of a much bigger picture in the healing process
    • Helped me to recognize the whole person
  1. How was your role as a caregiver for your father shape your personal experience of healthcare and later your professional career?
    • The power of communication and connection on healing – feeling disempowered, unheard, rushed, at times – good: learned to empathize and be an advocate for patients and families
  1. When did you realize how important communication was and its importance in healthcare?
    • After the first two years of my practice – I learned to better connect with patients before conditions and diagnoses and look at the bigger picture of their life and the impact of pain and suffering
    • Then after my dad died, it was like I became super conscious of the fact that my life as a caregiver/daughter shaped my professional interactions 
  1. Is there a difference between communicating in social engagements vs. communicating with patients? How should this differ? 
    • How can you keep a professional yet personal communication style with patients?
    • Is there such thing as communication burnout? I talk to my patients and many other people in/outside of work. Sometimes that gets tiring, and I need a day to myself and silence. 
  1. Where do you think misunderstandings arise from? When there is a break in communication, it causes misunderstandings. 
    • How/when does communication fail? What goes wrong?
  1. When speaking to patients, what do they mainly seek to learn? Or how can you pick up on what they are looking for? Does it vary between situations?

Learn how you can communicate more effectively with your patients by watching the full episode here 👇

TIME STAMPS:

00:00 Intro
02:37 Episode Introduction
04:08 The feeling of seeing your patient progress
06:00 The importance of communication in improving patient care
09:54 Building rapport with your patient
12:12 What are the barriers that affect communication with patients
15:06 How to be true to your patient’s care
17:36 How to start a conversation with a patient
19:43 Gauging patient for a good conversation
24:42 How to solve miscommunication
28:39 Guiding and educating patients to empower themselves again
33:35 The importance of Interprofessional Communication
35:41 The inspiration of how the book came up.
39:20 Caretakers aren’t taken care of
46:26 Patient safety as the main goal
49:33 Healthcare’s reactive approach to solving the problem
57:08 Wrapping up the episode

EP 153 – What is Hospice Care & Its Power With Beth Cavenaugh

EP 153 – What is Hospice Care & Its Power With Beth Cavenaugh

Life is nothing but a fleeting moment which is why we must cherish the people we love until the end. Taking care of a sick or dying loved one can be harrowing. This situation is also the reason why some opt for hospice care. 

Hospice care is a special kind of patient care that focuses on the quality of life for people and their caregivers experiencing an advanced, life-limiting illness. It provides compassionate care for those in the last phases of an incurable disease so they can enjoy their last days comfortably and as much as possible. 

In this episode, we are joined by Beth Cavenaugh, a nurse with twenty-five years of experience in internal medicine. She also had experience in short-stay surgery and hospice care. Through this experience, she first understood that compassion in health care could sometimes be elusive. 

Besides nursing, she is also the author of The Power and Pain of Nursing, where she talks about arming both new and seasoned nurses to use the tools necessary to care for themselves. 

Hospice care is one of the most demanding professions in the world. Not only is it demanding, but nurses go through the end-of-life process and emotions involved in grieving. It is also the reason why compassion is a must among nurses. 

Join us as we cover these topics and learn how to be more compassionate as nurses to those who need it most. 

QUESTIONS FOR GUESTS

The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We go off-topic all the time so we don’t expect to hit them all. If you have any ideas please let us know. Looking forward to our conversation!

  1. Can you give us a background about yourself and your nursing experience?
  2. How do we empower our nurses in the workplace or in hospice?
  3. What are some of the internal struggles of a hospice nurse or just nurses that do a lot of end-of-life care? What was always on your mind when you were in the hospice setting?
    – In the ICU the main struggles are keeping numbers within a certain range. Sometimes a person’s vitals can drastically decline within minutes requiring us to troubleshoot the issue, and having that in the back of our mind is constant stress. You just don’t know what will happen even though you already have a composed list of solutions. 
  4. How can we boost compassion in the healthcare profession?
  5. We were taught medicine well but how do you bridge the gap in self-care for ourselves and heal the healer? 
  6. What are your top ways to bolster mental health and prevent burnout?
  7. Many nurses that we’ve talked to say that it is hard for them to switch gears from work to home, how can nurses learn to “leave the baggage” at the workplace?
  8. What is a beautiful death, what has to be met for the patients’ needs? 
  9. Some nurses struggle with communicating with people reaching the end of life, what are some good conversations to have or topics to discuss?

Learn about hospice care in our latest episode, click here for more 👇

TIMESTAMP:

0:00 – Intro
0:47 – Plugs
2:05 – Episode Introduction
2:39 – About the Beth Cavenaugh
5:32 – The day to day life of a Hospice Nurse
9:04 – Empowering Nurses in the workplace
12:13 – Compassionate Care leads to better patient outcome
3:29 – The Importance of Good Leaders in the workplace
14:36 – The Struggles of Being a Nurse
16:10 – Beth on separating life and work
19:42 – How can we boost compassion in the healthcare profession?
20:52 – How a nurse’s mood impacts a patients
23:04 – Beliefs about Death 25:46 – Dealing with a patient’s death
28:36 – Making the best days of a dying patient
33:36 – Things you can do to heal yourself
38:18 – What makes Beth busy

For the latest news and updates, you can follow Beth on her Twitter 👉👉👉 @beth_cavanaugh or visit her website https://www.bethcavenaugh.com/ for more! You can also check out her books The Power & Pain of Nursing and Some Light at the End on Amazon.com.

 

 

 

 

EP 152: Nurses Inspire Nurses with Cat Golden

EP 152: Nurses Inspire Nurses with Cat Golden

Nurses Inspire Nurses with Cat Golden

Nurses are known as carers of the world. When you have sworn the oath to care for the people and wore the badge as a nurse, you become one of the essential workers of our society. Of course, along with this profession comes a myriad of responsibilities. And sometimes, we nurses become so indulged with caring for others that we lack the support we truly need – to be our advocate. 

It’s funny because we take good care of everyone around us, but we often overlook ourselves. Sometimes the carer needs to be cared for too. 

In this episode, we are joined by our guest, Cat Golden. She is the creator and owner of Nurses Inspire Nurses. Her career in the nursing field began as a pediatric nurse, where she worked as one for seven years.

Cat understood what it’s like for a nurse to feel exhausted and isolated, which prompted her to build one of the largest nursing communities in the country. And if you are a tired nurse like many of us, sit back, relax and enjoy another awesome episode with your favorite Cup of Nurses!

Some of the questions that we asked Cat Golden:

  1. Can you give us a background about yourself and your nursing experience?
  2. What does it mean you support nurses as humans first and nurses second?
  3. You always seem to be doing your own thing; what is your current mindset journey? 
  4. How has your community felt with everything that is currently happening in healthcare? 
  5. Has your community grown in the past years? Was it affected by the pandemic? 
  6. Why do you think your community has bonded so well and grown together?
  7. How do you cultivate positivity and self-care in your life?
  8. How do you manage your day-to-day life?
  9. What are all the ways you stay healthy with all the travel you do?

Ready to learn how to inspire nurses? Check out our latest episode here 👇

You can also catch Cat on her personal Instagram account @catgolden.inspires and for business inquiries, you can click on her business page @nursesinspirenurses for more information.

SHOW NOTES:

0:00 Introduction
0:58 Cup of Nurses Introduction
2:19 Episode Introduction
2:55 Meet Cat Golden
3:32 What Cat’s Main Mission Means
4:55 What do you think nurses need most?
7:48 How Cat’s Life Has Changed
9:12 What’s the feedback of your community with healthcare?
10:52 Advice For Nursing Community
12:50 How To Build A Nursing Community
15:07 Why The Community Bonded So Well
17:51 What Shaped Cat Golden To Be The Best Version Of Herself
21:14 How To Cultivate Positivity
24:48 One Thing That Cat Cannot Live Without
29:19 How To Manage Time & Stay Organized
32:02 Hardships That Cat Went Through
38:14 What’s Next For Nurses Inspire Nurses
40:57 Where Can People Find Cat Golden

Benefits of Patient Ratios for Nurses

Benefits of Patient Ratios for Nurses

Benefits of Patient Ratios for Nurses

Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system, and they should enjoy the benefits of patient ratios. It is essential to ensure that nurses have enough time to perform their critical duties without being overworked by too many patients at a time. According to studies, nurses with a patient ratio of 1:4 or less can perform their duties well. They can also spend time with patients, which results in better care and outcome for them.

To make sure hospitals meet these standards, California has passed legislation requiring them to maintain staffing ratios with newly established benchmarks from the Joint Commission (TJC). It will help protect public health by ensuring sufficient nurse staffing levels for all settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, and other health care facilities. But does this affect the work of a nurse? 

What is the Nurse-to-Patient Ratio

Working as a nurse is one of the best jobs in the world. It can open a ton of possibilities for many nurses, and at the same time, help people. It’s also one of the reasons why many students sign up for nursing school. However, when you are working in an actual hospital setting, things can get tricky. One of the many issues nurses face these days is the increasing number of patients handled for each shift. 

We defined the nurse-to-patient ratio as the number described to the number of patients assigned to individual nurses on a particular floor, unit, or ward. Nurses working in general care units have a higher patient ratio. For example, a nurse can care for five to eight patients on her shift in regular wards while nurses in the ICU can care for one or two patients at a time. Depending on how critical a patient’s condition is, ICU nurses can also work 1:1. 

Why are Nurse-to-Patient Ratios Important?

Providing safe and quality care to patients is the goal of nurses. It is why assigning the correct number of patients for each nurse is crucial in achieving this goal. [1]

It’s Important to Nurses

The current problem of nursing shortages is seen in many hospitals these days. As a result of the pandemic, nurses work longer hours and with more patients. This situation can cause extreme exhaustion, injury, and even job dissatisfaction to many nurses. It can also lead to medical errors or mistakes on the nurse’s part as they start to feel overwhelmed with the workload as they deal with stress while supporting their families.

Nurses who have fewer patients under their belt are happier with their jobs. A study published by labor union AFL-CIO showed that nurses in California feel they have a reasonable workload and can provide better care to patients than their New Jersey or Pennsylvania counterparts. Nurses also reported receiving adequate support services, such as nursing assistants, having time for quick breaks on their shifts, leading them to be more productive in their areas. 

It’s Important for Patients

Patients are the main characters in a nurse’s job and center of care for nurses. But if the nurse has too many patients under her, they can’t execute proper care to their patients. A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that unsafe staffing levels were associated with increased mortality for patients. 

Besides the risks to the patients, patient satisfaction is also a concern. When the ratio between nurses and patients is not balanced, patients may view the nursing staff and the facilities as performing poorly.

It’s Important for Hospitals

When nurses have the correct ratio of patients under their care, they use the full benefits of patient ratios. Meaning, it shortens patients’ time at hospitals. More nurses mean shorter time for patients, which can also help the hospitals to save medical costs. 

The better the quality of nursing care in a hospital facility, the more likely patients will have positive perceptions about their overall experience. According to research by Kaplan-Meier, “the higher perception was associated with greater satisfaction on all assessed measures including functional status at discharge; control over activities of daily living; participation in decision making regarding treatment plans or life support decisions.” 

Pros and Cons and Benefits of Patient Ratios

Nurses working with patients always have their upsides and downsides. Some nurses have no problem working with many patients, while some can’t. That said, having the proper nurse-to-patient ratio comes in handy, and here’s why. [2]

PROS:

  • It decreases fatigue and burnout among nurses. Working as a nurse can be a tiresome profession. A proper nurse-to-patient ratio reduces the chances of developing irritability, depression, insomnia, weight gain, and other health risks from exhausted nurses and stressful workplaces. 
  • Recruitment and retention rates improve with minimum nurse-to-patient ratios. It means nurses will most likely stay in their company, and hiring new nurses is not a problem for hospitals. 
  • The number of preventable mistakes, including patient falls and pressure ulcers, are proven to decrease if the nurse-to-patient ratios are correct. Patient mortality also decreases as a result of nurses that can do their job accordingly. It means more patient recoveries, fewer sick patients, and fewer patients suffer from post-treatment infections. 

CONS:

  • Under the proposed plan, hospitals would have to expand their nursing staff and pay them more. It will be a challenge for some hospitals with limited funding or strict budgets that restrict hiring new employees who don’t already work there.
  • Nurses will not be able to give proper care for patients all at once. Patients will have to wait longer even if there are available beds for admission. 
  • Can cause nurses to burn out, develop anxieties, depression, sleep deprivation, and may even quit jobs. 

Should Nurses Have Patient Ratios?

The question now is, should nurses have more patients than they can handle? The debate about whether or not to turn nursing-to-patient ratios into law will never go away. Since healthcare practices are constantly changing, finding ways to provide better care for nurses and patients will always be relevant. This way, both can use the benefits of patient ratios. Giving nurses the minimum ratio of patients under their care can make a difference in their work performance and general well-being.