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Education blitz evaluates nursing performance in patient care

The Classroom has been a busy place this past week at St. Lukes Hospital as every member of our nursing staff has been required to complete annual competencies. Using a bank of laptop computers, the nurses are reviewing patient care policies in the Classroom before heading down the Outpatient hallway where they must demonstrate their ability and actual performance during the hands-on portion of the annual review.

From the blood glucometer, to the patient lift, to the Broselow pediatric emergency cart, to the defibrillator, to cardioversion and rapid sequence intubation, to name a few, every nurse has been through the series. At each station, evaluators assess each nurse as he/she demonstrates knowledge and competence. Successful completion and documentation of the annual competencies is maintained for each nurse in order for the hospital to be in compliance with various regulations.

Who benefits from all this extra effort? Of course our staff and our physicians benefit, but our main focus is our patients. They can take comfort and feel confident that the care they receive at St. Lukes Hospital is up to date, assessed, maintained, demonstrated and improved continually. In keeping with our mission and values, annual competencies ensure our patients are indeed receiving excellence in quality care.

Providing competent nursing care is important on a personal and local level to our staff, our Board of Trustees, our medical staff and our community. Providing competent care is also a priority for many national organizations, such as the American Nurses Association and for The Joint Commission.

By all accounts, this education Blitz has been very successful in making sure St. Lukes Hospital meets national patient safety standards and ensures our staff is skilled, competent and confident in their scope of practice. To keep nursing skills sharp, this annual review and hands-on demonstration have proven to be effective in making sure staff is following patient care policy and using technology consistently throughout the hospital and by nursing unit.

Much of the success for this years Blitz goes to Sandy Brooks, RN, Performance Improvement and Education Coordinator. Id like to express appreciation to Sandy and the numerous department managers and supervisors were instrumental in planning and staffing the education stations. Id also like to recognize David Pearson, director of Information Services, whose expertise was invaluable in making this years event 90 percent paperless.

Additional education this week was taking place in the Medical Library where several staff members were undergoing Pediatric Advanced Life Support or PALS. We were pleased to benefit from the teaching expertise of Kristy Thillent, a nurse educator with the American Heart Association.

Providing education and hands-on opportunities for our staff to refresh and sharpen skills ensures our patients and community that we are committed to provide exceptional care, close to home.

Please drop by St. Lukes Hospital Sunday, Jan. 24, to meet our new CEO Ken Shull and his wife, Heidi. The community is invited to join us between 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. in the hospitals main lobby. Light refreshments will be served. In case of inclement weather, please join us Feb. 7.