HealthDecember 18, 2019

Our top 10 most popular blogs of 2019

As we are counting down to 2020, we wanted to look back on our most popular posts of 2019. It was difficult to narrow down, but here are our top 10 most-read posts this year. We are sharing them again, in case you missed them!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this year and are finding valuable information for your everyday management and practice. We can’t wait for another year to bring you more nursing leadership information!

10. How telehealth is changing home health care

As a nurse leader, you’re expected to keep up with the latest advancements in health care technology. And one of the most exciting recent advancements has been the advent of telehealth and telemedicine. Telemedicine involves “the exchange of medical information from one site to another via electronic communications to improve a patient’s health status.” It’s the clinical component to telehealth, which also encompasses non-clinical services. In particular, telehealth is anticipated to have a significant impact on home health care.

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Nurses are always looking for ways to improve processes, and Lean Six Sigma is a way to accomplish this. The method combines two well-established quality improvement tools, ‘Lean’ and ‘Six Sigma,’ to systematically reduce waste and limit variation in healthcare facilities processes.

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As part of their day-to-day jobs, nurses are exposed to patients with terminal illness, chronic debilitating diseases and conditions, pain, emergent situations, trauma and death. They face these work challenges all while going about their own personal life stressors and challenges outside of work. These combined stressors can trigger compassion fatigue and even lead to depression, nurse burnout, and suicidal thoughts. Nurses are there to help others, but what happens when our nurses need help?

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As a nurse leader, one of the most pernicious problems you face is nurse burnout. This condition may not be apparent on the surface, as your staff may appear to be conducting their day-to-day activities adequately and competently. But stress or anxiety may lurk beneath—a recent survey found that nearly half of U.S. nurses have considered leaving the field, a statistic borne out and reinforced by the ongoing nursing shortage.

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Think back to your first job as a registered nurse. Were you prepared for the realities of nursing? Or were you, like so many others, hit by “reality shock” when you learned what being a nurse actually meant? There are huge discrepancies between nursing school and the workplace. School familiarizes nursing students with the fundamentals of practice, but many feel like they’re thrown into the fire when they become employed. As a result, as many as 33% of new nurses leave the profession within the first two years of practice.

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Patients may face a litany of fears and anxieties when receiving care. Healthcare facilities can be frightening places for those who aren’t used to them, and this may exacerbate fear or anxiety they may be already feeling about medical conditions they or loved ones are facing. To provide patient-centered care, healthcare professionals must comfort and reassure patients at every step of the way. There are three things you can instruct your staff to do to ensure patients feel supported.

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Thanks to efforts at the national, organizational, and personal levels, rates of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) have fallen. But they do continue to plague hospitals, patient care providers, and patients themselves. According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one out of every 31 hospitalized patients has a HAI on any given day. The total cost of HAIs, including direct, indirect, and nonmedical social costs, is estimated between $96–$147 billion every year.

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We know that hospitals can be frightening places to people who don’t spend a lot of time there. So, as a result, healthcare professionals must practice patient-centered care, in which they anticipate the anxiety or fear that patients sometimes experience when receiving care and take responsibility for comforting and reassuring their patients at every step, making sure the patient is at the center of everything they do.

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Often times, registered nurses can find the discrepancy between their responsibility for their own nursing practice and the decision-making process at leadership and management levels frustrating. This is how the idea of shared governance first developed more than 30 years ago. This conflict, which pits nurses control of their own nursing practice against their place in healthcare organizations, is at the heart of the movement to improve shared governance in nursing.

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How to help colleagues and staff improve competency, care and outcomes.

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