July 17th, 2014 · Leave a Comment
By Dana Smith
What could be better than working with a group of people that you can actually feel comfortable with? Relaxed enough that you would invest a couple of hours painting your very own oil-based picture with, look like a total klutz while bowling, playing volley ball on the beach, getting soaked by water and sun at a pool party and belting out some laughs at a comedy show? You can’t find that too often. You’re probably saying to yourself, seriously, with people from work?
I am the nurse manager for Transplant Surgical Services at the Florida campus. As many may know, nursing can be a stressful profession. I am pretty confident that we all recognize what causes stress or even burn out on the job. Our unit is demanding like many other units: assessments, admissions, discharges, endless charting, phone calls, call lights, passing meds, report, the list is long and feels endless at times. Stress is high on our department and we had to seek innovative ways in which we could decompress and gel as a team. Some people felt that they couldn’t even say they were stressed because they were uncomfortable expressing it. It’s important that staff feel safe to say that they are having a bad day. I thought it was time to get to know one another again. It had been a long time since we had done something together as a group. We had hired a lot of new staff since we last had a team function. So, low and behold, champions were born! I didn’t have to look too far.
An RN (Pamela Delano) and a PCT (Lindsey Duke) partnered together to plan “team events” on a regular basis. It has been amazing! This has had a positive effect on the unit by strengthening trust and teamwork among the staff, improved communication, unit-based initiatives are going great, staff are getting more comfortable with each other and receptive to one another, and the BEST part….drum roll please….this will all improve patient safety, which is a top priority for Mayo Clinic. I believe when relationships between staff are good, there is less stress on the unit. This ultimately benefits patients. I am really proud of our Transplant Team. They are a remarkable group of men and women. I have no doubt that more team events are imminent! Can’t wait!!
By: Palma Iacovitti, Nurse Manager, 3 South Transplant
July 10th, 2014 · Leave a Comment
By Jill Turck
Being a part of the Mayo Clinic team has been very rewarding and challenging. I have been a Registered Nurse for about a year at Mayo Clinic in Rochester on a Cardiac Surgery Progressive Care Unit. I would have never thought my transition from a student nurse could have been this successful. From the beginning, everyone I have been in contact with has been very helpful and inviting.
Mayo Clinic ensures new graduates have a smooth transition and feel comfortable and confident before sending them on their “own.” I put own in quotations because everything is a team effort at Mayo Clinic. There is someone to reach out to if I need help or have questions. Whether it is a new nurse that started around the same time as me or a long-time experienced nurse, everyone is totally committed to their profession and eager to help. In addition, Mayo has a ton of online resources available if one is ever in a bind. Teamwork is a value that shines through on my unit and is often discussed by nurses on other units as also being highly valued.
In addition to the extraordinary teamwork that helps ease the transition, one remarkable aspect is the training involved on and off the unit at the beginning of one’s nursing career at Mayo Clinic. Before being introduced to the unit I would be working on, I went through an orientation program that involved an introduction to the core values, expectations, benefits, and history of Mayo Clinic. This opened my eyes to what established us as a well-known and profound hospital to work for and be a patient of today. After that orientation, the orientation on my unit began. This was exciting and nerve racking at the same time. I was anxious to finally become a nurse working for an industry that leads by example and puts the needs of the patient first. Yet having an important role in the team caused me much anxiety.
The orientation on my unit lasted a couple of months because of it being a progressive care unit (PCU). I was part of a program called EPIC (The Essentials of Progressive and Intensive Care). This program was about 2 months long. It brought me back to the basics of each body system and what to expect and watch for with critically ill patients. In order to pass this part of the class, I had to score at least an 80% on a written exam. Also, because we continually monitor heart rhythms on our unit, I had to learn how to read EKG strips. This was quite challenging at first because I was not taught in detail about EKG strips in college. I thought I was never going to remember all the different rhythms! I was obviously wrong, due in large part to the nurses and staff members who taught the classes because they were very helpful and willing to put in extra time if needed. Looking back on the program, I feel as though it was beneficial and important to help me be successful beginning my new career.
Since starting on my unit, I have witnessed an industry that operates effectively and efficiently towards a specific goal for each individual patient. Mayo Clinic is known for putting the needs of the patient first, but it is even more rewarding to be a member that strives for and witnesses this attribute. Every day I come to work I am happy to be there. I am faced with a different challenge each and every day which requires me to critically think which will benefit me as I continue my career as a registered nurse and as I pursue a higher education. Being an employee of Mayo Clinic thus far has been a blessing.
July 3rd, 2014 · Leave a Comment
Written by Shirin Zanganeh, ICU RN
I never thought that attending a public event to let the community know that Mayo Clinic exists in Arizona would bring tears to my eyes. As I sat there at the baseball game, I had an overwhelming number of patrons approaching my table to tell me their story of how Mayo Clinic changed their life. Every day, as a Mayo Clinic nurse, I put my patients first and make sure all of their needs are met. It is in my blood and in my nature to advocate for my patients and make a place that takes all of your autonomy (a hospital) into a place that makes you feel like you are at home.
In many of the stories I heard how Mayo Nurses really affected a patients’ hospitalization. The patron that made me cry was the patron that came up to me and stated, “Mayo Clinic saved my life”. He continued to share with me that the nursing staff and physicians worked together to give him the best possible care, and his end result is a cancer remission. He stated that he felt like he was at home. Patients at Mayo become part of our Mayo family. Being at a public event really made me see this, as many former patients came to tell us their story. I am ever so proud to be an employee at Mayo, and will continue to place my patients at the top of my list every morning. After all, this is their home for a day or maybe even more.
June 6th, 2014 · Leave a Comment
By Jill Turck
Growing up in a small town in Maine, I never would have envisioned myself moving to the Midwest for a job. My journey to Mayo Clinic actually started in California while I was attending a psychiatric nursing conference and met a group of nurses from Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Every nurse that I interacted with loved their job and felt that they were making a difference in the lives of patients. Some of the nurses had been Summer III Externs and encouraged me to apply for the externship the next summer. When I returned to the University of Maine, I submitted my application, doubting that I would be accepted to such a prestigious program. I had no idea that this decision would mark the start of a life-changing journey at Mayo Clinic.
The 10 weeks I spent in Rochester during the Summer III program changed my perspective on nursing. My placement on an inpatient mood disorders unit, the same unit that the group of nurses I met at the conference worked on, was perfect for my educational background -- I had just completed a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I remember move-in weekend like it was yesterday. The chaos of nursing students from around the country moving into the apartments was electric. The energy did not die down during the course of the summer. After a few weeks on my clinical unit, I began to realize that the nurses had not been exaggerating; Mayo was an amazing place that touched the lives of both patients and employees. Returning home for my final semester of nursing school, I faced a difficult decision. Should I apply for an RN position at Mayo Clinic and move 2000 miles away from my family or should I accept an offer for a spot in a Family Nurse Practitioner program on the east coast as I had originally planned?
My desire for a varied med-surg nursing experience and love of change led me to apply for a position on the general care float staff at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. The decision to postpone my plans for FNP school and accept the RN position came easily after I thought about the extremely diverse experience I would have in my first new grad position. Mixed in with my excitement about the new job were strands of fear. Would a position floating to 35 general and progressive care units prove to be too much for a new grad? Even my professors voiced concern about it. Would it be difficult to meet new people when I did not have a unit to call home? What would orientation look like?
Orientation would be a four-month process of first becoming familiar with one unit and then floating to all of the inpatient general care specialties at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Rochester. The experience provided me with the foundation I needed to feel comfortable practicing independently but also showed me that I was never alone. As a float staff nurse, there is no way that I can remember every unit specific procedure. Working with unit-based preceptors, I found the most important lesson learned was never to be afraid to ask any question.
Fast forward one year. Being an RN on the Float Staff has been everything I could have hoped for; it has given me a diverse med-surg experience and fostered my love for change. I have never felt that floating was too overwhelming, because of the extensive orientation and support that I feel from my peers and managers. Contrary to my original fear, floating has allowed me to meet and befriend people from around the hospital. I have found ways to become involved outside of my role as a staff nurse. I am my unit’s wellness champion, and I volunteer for the No One Dies Alone Program. Floating has nurtured personal skills such as flexibility, patience, and confidence. Nursing at Mayo Clinic really has provided me with a life-changing experience and will continue to do so as I start orientation again for an ICU Float Staff position next month.
May 29th, 2014 · Leave a Comment
It's official ... my maternity leave has come to an end! I recently returned to work after 12 wonderful wintery weeks of baby bonding time. Yes, part of me was saddened that my wee one now had to learn to share me, for I would no longer be available anytime on demand. On the other hand, I have returned to work with a rejuvenated sense of satisfaction and pride. I have come to realize, from the perspective of a new mommy, how grateful I am to work for Mayo Clinic as an institution.
I quickly got back into the groove of my professional life, and during my initial days back at work got reacquainted with changes that occurred while I was away. One might not think a lot could be different in three months but let me tell you, one might be wrong! Just the mere fact that there were different alcohol wipes stocked on my unit threw me for a loop, not to mention my computer login screen looked just a little bit different. That being said, my transition from sleepless nights with my baby to, well, sleepless nights working night shifts could not have gone smoother. My work "family" was so supportive in reorienting me to new policies, and it was nice to share pictures and stories of my little ones as well as catch up with my colleagues. I love the people I work with, so my re-entry into the working world was that much more enjoyable. I am very fortunate to have an employer that supports me and the well-being of my child by providing lactation rooms and supplies. How nice is that? Also, the opportunities for work hours and shifts that best facilitate the ideal work-life balance for my family is priceless! We all know there is more to life than work, but loving what I do is a big piece of my overall happiness. I am counting the many blessings in my work, because refreshed gratitude allows me to be the best nurse I can be -- which, of course, is one of the many roles in my life!
May 19th, 2014 · Leave a Comment
May 2nd, 2014 · Leave a Comment
By Dana SmithMany nurses ask themselves: “What are my professional goals as a nurse? Do I want an advanced degree to become an Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Educator or Nurse Administrator?”
There’s a wide variety of advanced degree options within nursing. One example is the role of a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS), who works collaboratively to improve the quality of patient care, and helps achieve desired patient outcomes in a designated population or specialty practice. The CNS functions as a leader within the three spheres of influence (Patient/Client, Nurses and Nursing Practice, Organization/System), and is an active participant in the collaborative practice framework. The education requirements to become a Clinical Nurse Specialist, include a Master’s degree focused in this area and be nationally certified.
Lesia Mooney, a Neuroscience Clinical Nurse Specialist at Mayo Clinic in Florida, works with cerebrovascular patients. Lesia became a nurse after caring for two family members with terminal illnesses. At that point she realized she wanted to help others and make a difference in patients’ and families’ lives. As she grew professionally with Mayo Clinic’s support, she decided to obtain her Bachelor's degree in Nursing (BSN) and a Master’s with a focus in Advance Practice Nursing. She did not want to lose the focus of nursing/patients/families and really enjoyed the educational component in nursing, so this track fit her professional goals.
Most recently, Lesia has been called “Ms. Certified” by a patient, who noticed her certified credentials on her badge when she was doing rounds. She was able to provide in-depth education to this stroke patient, who was involved in research and was discharged into rehab. Lesia adds, “As a specialty nurse, I felt I made a difference in this family’s life with the support of my team members! This was a very rewarding experience that made my day!” Her experience and education, allows her to provide care to stroke patients, including those suffering from ischemic, hemorrhagic and transient ischemic attacks. She rounds with the Neurologist providing transitional care - following patients through their hospitalization, ensuring education has been provided and promoting research opportunities, while helping with patient discharge and follow-ups.
May 1st, 2014 · Leave a Comment
By Jill Turck
It was a quiet morning on Fr4C. My clinical coach and I had been very productive all morning. We were all caught up on orders, assessments, charting, and medications. We had just sat down to look up some notes on our patients, and my coach had brought along an EKG book for me to browse because I had some questions about bundle branch blocks.
As we were sitting at the nurse’s station, we noticed that the O2 levels on one of our patients had dropped a bit. My coach went into the room to make sure the monitor was on correctly. After a minute, I went in to make sure everything was okay. The patient’s oxygen levels were still dropping, and he wasn’t responding to us. We put oxygen on, got a blood pressure, tried to wake him up, and kept watching the monitor. As we were watching, his heart rate and O2 levels kept dropping rapidly. We called the doctors and then the Rapid Response Team. Nurses from our floor had noticed and had come in to help us out. Within one minute of calling the RRT, we had to call a Code because there was no pulse.
What happened next will stick in my mind forever. Almost instantly, there were 20 people in the room. They each took a job and performed it expertly. Within seconds, they had started CPR, attached the AED, were administering breaths, had begun to intubate the patient, and were giving medications. Everyone was calm and collected. They were working as a single unit, as a team, to try and save this patient.
During this time, I was able to sit with the wife of the patient. She was holding a pamphlet in her hands with some Bible verses on it. I asked her if she would like me to pray with her. She said yes, and as 20 people were attempting to save her husband’s life, I was able to pray with her. I then escorted her out to the waiting room where a chaplain met with her.
Going back to the room, I was able to watch the amazing teamwork and precision that the health care team had. In the end, they were able to re-establish the patient’s pulse. I was the one who was able to go tell the wife that her husband was still alive and was moving to the ICU. I don’t know a lot of what happened to him after that day, but the memory of that experience will be burned into my memory.
It was the single most terrifying moment of my life, and yet it was one of the most powerful. The nurses from my floor who ran into the room saved a patient’s life that day. I was able to be with a family member during a very terrifying and vulnerable moment. The respect and admiration that I had for the nursing profession grew exponentially after that day. I had a glimpse of what nursing really is -- a collaboration of people with expert training who truly care about patients working together to improve lives.