Hospitals try ethics training, restructuring leadership to relieve RN stress

We all know that nursing can be one of the most stressful professions, and there are lots of studies to prove so. Often, the knee-jerk reaction can be to just hire more nurses to try to lighten the workload, but some believe that’s a bad idea if they’re being brought into a disorganized hospital, NPR’s Shots blog reports. Experts offer alternative ways to help relieve nurse burnout, which the blog labels as a “public health crisis,” such as pursuing magnet status from the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a way to gauge and improve nursing culture. Others, meanwhile, say that nurse burnout can be caused by the “moral distress” of having to make difficult care decisions. Some hospitals are even using nursing simulations as a way to practice how to make their ethical concerns heard at the workplace, according to NPR.

Illinois hospital gives nurses their own space to relieve stress

Aiming to curb nurse burnout before it bubbles up, one hospital is trying a different approach to stress relief. Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center, in Zion, Ill., has begun using “renewal rooms” in its facilities, as a way for RNs to get away from the commotion for a few minutes during shifts, according to ADVANCE. The rooms offer nurses an array of stress relievers, such as a massage chair, yoga mat, relaxing CDs, inspirational books and a tabletop waterfall. The space already has been used more than 400 times in the first three months, and nurses at the Zion hospital have reported a drop in their anxiety levels. Midwestern Regional is already looking to use them further, incorporating more renewal rooms into the construction of a new six-story inpatient tower.

Texas Health invests big bucks in sexual assault program

One Texas hospital network is positioning itself as one of the nation’s leaders in caring for sexual assault victims following an announcement last week. Texas Health Resources is making use of some $6.5 million in donations to spread the availability of its Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program across a 16-county region in North Texas. With that, the system believes that it will offer one of the largest sexual assault treatment programs in the U.S., according to a press release. Such “SANE programs” offer multidisciplinary care to sexual assault victims who show up at hospital emergency departments. Nurses trained in this fashion can provide everything from crisis intervention and emotional support to comprehensive health assessments, medical treatment and the collection of forensic evidence. THR currently provides SANE services at two of its hospitals in Dallas and Fort Worth, but the donations will allow the organization to expand the offering across the entire system.

Rapid fire

Here are a couple more nursing news items that caught my eye this past week:

  • To get ahead of the nation’s nursing shortage, Western Arizona Regional Medical Center is growing its own RNs in house.
  • The American Organization of Nurse Executives just named Maureen Swick, R.N., previously the chief nursing officer at Inova, as its new chief executive.
  • Finally, a new Nurse’s Health Study found that women who live in homes surrounded by greenery experience as much as a 12 percent lower mortality rate and improved mental health.