Hunger Is Not a ChoiceGiving Is
Did you have breakfast this morning? If you did not, was it because you chose not to eat? Sadly, many people do not have a choice in whether they have breakfast or not. Many know upon going to bed that they will not have that choice upon arising. The choices they have may be limited to which meal or meals they will have to go without. For many children, the only meals they can count on are the free and reduced-priced meals provided through school breakfast and lunch programs. But during the summer months, while school is not in session, the only thing those children can count on is being hungry. Excuse me; what I mean to say is hungrier. But it does not have to be that way. Here is your chance to give those children and families a choice.
Hunger continues to be an ongoing crisis and Children's Mercy's involvement in addressing hunger will be an ongoing effort. The Nurse Retention Committee coordinated our hospitals last drive that occurred mid-February thru the first week in March. That food drive was successful; however, hunger is not overcome with a single food drive.
The Nurse Professional Excellence Council of Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics is coordinating another food drive, specifically for breakfast cereal. Why Cereal? First off, kids love cereal. It is a non-perishable food that is nutrient dense, often fortified with vitamins and minerals. It also promotes milk consumption. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 41% of milk consumed by 6-12 year-olds is consumed with cereal.
The cereal drive is organized in cooperation with Harvesters. Harvesters is the area's only food bank. Their network includes more than 620 non-profit agencies throughout a 26-county direct service area, including emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, children's homes, homes for the mentally disabled and shelters for battered persons. Harvesters' network provides food assistance to as many as 66,000 people each week. Harvesters is a certified member of Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks, serving all 50 states. Harvesters was named Feeding America's "Food Bank of the Year" for 2011.
Multiple Harvesters barrels will be conveniently placed at the CMH main campus, CMH-South, CH-East, CM-North and CM-Broadway Clinics from May 21st - 27th.
Exact locations include:
CMH-Main Campus: employee shuttle drop off entrance & the lobby next to the garage
CMH-South: one at the main and ED entrances next to security
CM-East: main entrance
CM-North: main entrance
CM-Broadway Clinics: main lobby
If you would like to learn more about hunger and ways to help or to make a donation in cash, please go to www.harvesters.org for more information.
Your help and generosity is not only needed, it is greatly appreciated!
Nurses WeekTwenty Plus Reasons To Be Proud!
Happy Nurses Week! This year the Nurses Week theme is Nurses: Advocating, Leading, Caring. If you were lucky enough to attend the Nursing and Allied Health Clinical Awards you would have seen living examples of this year's theme. Twenty employees were honored in the best way possible. They were not honored for any one event or accomplishment. Rather, they were honored for displaying leadership through their example of commitment and everyday actions of advocating, leading and caring.
You are encouraged to go to the Nursing page on the Scope and follow the link for "Honors, Awards and Recognition" under the Leadership and Governance heading to view the names of the recipients.
If you look at the Nursing and Allied Health Awards program and the link above you will see only nineteen names listed. The last award that is given is the Nurse Legacy Award. The Nurse Legacy Award recipient is not revealed until the ceremony. It is a surprise to the winner as well as the audience.
The Nurse Legacy Award is reserved for nurses who have made significant contributions to the nursing profession and the lives of patients, families and coworkers AND committed 25 years or more of service to Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics.
Twenty-five years of touching and changing lives is no small achievement. I am happy to say that at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics it is not altogether rare either.
This year the following 18 nurses were nominated:
Reading the nominations was a gratifying experience. All the nominations voiced a deep respect, admiration and awe for the nominees. This year's winner, Carol Hafeman, certainly inspires the same reaction. Carol had 179 signatures that accompanied a very compelling and heartfelt nomination. Carol has been providing extraordinary nursing care with compassion at Children's Mercy for the last 40 years.
Please congratulate Carol, the nominees for the Nurse Legacy Award and all the other winners for making Children's Mercy and the nursing profession proud!
What Makes a Positive, Healthy Work Environment?
You do, of course!
Okay, so perhaps I exaggerate a bit. I am not, nor do I wish to sound like a Pollyanna. You and you alone do not make a work environment positive and healthy. But it is within your power to make whatever environment that you occupy healthier, more positive and more fullfilling to you and others that occupy your shared space.
The lin between healthy work environments and patient safety, nurse retention, recruitment, and thus the bottom line, is irrefutable. The standards of establishing and sustaining healthy work environments as outlined by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) are skilled communication, true collaboration, effective decision making, appropriate staffing, meaningful recognition and authentic leadership. Each of these standards has been broken into critical elements that must be met for the standard to be achieved.
Let's take time over the next few weeks to address those six standards. This week we will look at Skilled Communication.
The AACN introduces Standard 1 - skilled communication - with the statement: "Nurses must be as proficient in communication skills as they are in clinical skilles. It is a reasonable statement. Without a competent degree of communication, every relationship and every task that is undertaken is called into jeopardy. In this posting we are going to concentrate on skilled communication and, more specifically, what we as individual nurses can do to embrace skilled communication.
The AACN lists six attributes of skilled communicators:
Skilled communicators focus on finding solutions and achieving desirable outcomes.
Skilled communicators seek to protect and advance collaborative relationships among colleagues.
Skilled communicators invite and hear all relevant perspectives.
Skilled communicators call upon goodwill and mutual respect to build consensus and arrive at common understanding.
Skilled communicators demonstrate congruence between words and actions, holding other accountable for doing the same.
Skilled communicators have access to appropriate communication technologies and are proficient in their use.
The Healthcare organization is responsible for setting policies, procedures and structures that foster comminication between the organization and the employees, patients and families. This is done in a number of ways. The AACN lists the following:
The healthcare organization provides team members with support for and access to education programs that develop critical communication skills including self-awareness, inquiry/dialogue, conflict management, negotiation, advocacy and listening.
The healthcare organization establishes zero-tolerance policies and enforces them to address and eliminate abuse and disrespectful behaviors in the workplace.
The healthcare organization establishes systems formal structures and processes that ensure effective information sharing among patients, families and the healthcare team.
The healthcare organization establishes systems that require individuals and teams to formally valuate the impact of communication on clinical, financial and work environment outcomes.
The healthcare organization includes communication as a criterion in its formal performance appraisal system and team members demonstrate skilled communication to qualifiy for professional advancement.
We want to hear from you. So how do you promote, practice and meet the challenges of skilled communication?
I'll go first. When communicating with a person be present. Do not multitask. Do not plan responses before you have heard what is said. Look the person in the eyes, be thoughtful and hear not just the words, but the message.
Here is a link to the AACN's Healthy Work Environments Initiative.