Facility design’s impact on nurse morale

Are poorly designed hospitals helping to contribute to nurse burnout and general job dissatisfaction? According to a new study out of the University of Melbourne in Australia, the answer is most certainly yes. Analyzing data from both existing studies and newly convened focus groups, the study found that the design of workplaces has a measurable impact on both attraction and retention. The most critical elements in designing any workplace for nurses are space (for storage, meals, etc.), proximity (walking distances to storage, care sites), and the quality of the indoor environment (noise, odor, temperature). "Our work shows that it is not just about pay. While that is important, the team environment, organizational culture and hospital design also influence a nurse's decision of where to work," researcher Lucio Naccarella told one news site.

Nurse helps patient get through a 'ruff' situation

When Arlene Zinkle-Payne was hospitalized recently in Washington state, it left her beloved dog Fufu in the lurch. With no one to step in and care for the canine, animal control had to collect the pet and place her in a shelter. That’s where PeaceHealth United General Medical Center, Sedro-Woolley, Wash., nurse Crystal Espinoza, R.N., comes into the picture. Knowing how important Fufu was to her patient’s well being, Espinoza arranged to have the dog picked up and is now caring for the pooch at her own home until Zinkle-Payne recovers. “I see heroes and angels every day in nursing," Preet Singh, R.N., director of clinical services at PeaceHealth United General, said in a press release. "I am so proud of the care, love and trust that our patients and families receive every day — not just from Crystal, but from each and every one of the nurses who work at PeaceHealth."

The nurse’s critical role in relieving IT implementation headaches

Implementing a new health IT system can be a troubling and trying experience for hospitals. But nurses can play a key role in alleviating those headaches, writes Rebecca Freeman, R.N., chief nursing officer of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Often, Freeman believes, the biggest challenges that arise from IT have nothing to do with technology and are rooted more in policies and processes. She believes that all types of nurses — not just those who are informatics pros — play a part in addressing those IT challenges, from bedside nurses to RN educators. They can do so through working in interdisciplinary teams to help shape workflows, training and implementation plans, Freeman writes.