The Brigham Looks to End ‘Piggybacking’

As we covered in our June issue of H&HN, violence appears to be on the rise within the hospital setting, and it’s an issue that keeps many nurse leaders awake at night. One of the less-talked-about causes of such violence is the practice of “piggybacking” or “tailgating,” according to Brigham and Women’s Hospital. That’s when a nurse or other hospital employee holds a door open for a stranger, unintentionally letting someone into a secure area. To help combat this problem, the Brigham has launched a new campaign to bring more awareness to the issue. That will include two “provocative” videos depicting the worst-case scenarios in these situations, along with new signage around the hospital and updated security policies. “In hospitals and health care organizations, we work in a culture where our first instinct is to help others,” Erin McDonough, chief communication officer for Brigham and Women’s, said in the release. “Closing a door to someone feels uncomfortable and impolite, and it contradicts what many of us have been taught from a young age. We need our staff to know the potentially dangerous consequences of enabling people who do not have permission to access restricted areas — whether consciously or unconsciously — and give them tools that empower them to take action.”

‘Sepsisists’ to the rescue

Nurses who are dedicated to battling sepsis are finding success in preventing cases of the dreaded condition at health systems like St. Joseph Hoag Health, according to a Kaiser Health News report. St. Joseph Hoag has a sepsis team with clinicians dedicated to stopping sepsis from taking hold in its patients, according to KHN. The anti-sepsis duties of Dawn Nagel, a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, Calif., who works on the sepsis team, incude tracking patients, starting antibiotics, taking labs, giving fluids and checking on patients, all on a strict timetable, the article states. Now we just have to come up with a name for sepsis specialists. Sepsisist has a bad ring to it, but sepsisiologist might work. Sepsisian sounds like it belongs in a science fiction novel. Post your suggestions, real or fake, below.

Hospital Tries Kids Camps to Relieve Shortage

Hospitals and health systems are always exploring creative ways to address the nursing shortage, which has become a well-known problem. Memorial Health System, Springfield, Ill., recently held its annual “Teens Experiencing Nursing” camps in in Springfield, Jacksonville, Taylorville and Lincoln, Ill., to encourage young students to consider a career in nursing, according to an article in The State Journal-Register. Applying to the camp wasn’t for the faint of heart. Out of 140 applicants, only 60 were selected to attend the free day camp. Selections were based on grades, essays, letters of recommendation and the occasional personal interview. One student, Hannah Niemann, 17, said her experience had been “amazing,” the Journal-Register reported. “I got to see different traumas, and I got to see some medicine take place really fast, and the experience has just made me know 100 percent that this is the career I’d like to fall into,” Niemann told the newspaper.

Meanwhile, Kentucky Tries Apprenticeships

Norton Healthcare is ushering in Kentucky’s first registered nursing apprenticeship program, WHAS11 reports. The 12- to 18-month paid apprenticeship is designed for current nursing students who have already completed a set of amount of credit hours from an accredited university. During the apprenticeship, students will get hands-on training with a Norton Healthcare staff mentor. The program is part of a state-initiated effort to help augment the local workforce called “Kentucky Trained. Kentucky Built.”

Rapid Fire

Here are a few more nurse-related items that caught our eye in the past week, in rapid fashion:

  • The nursing shortage in Missouri has reached an all-time high, with about 6,000 staffing positions vacant at hospitals in the Show-Me State, according to The Columbia Missourian.
  • As we’ve covered before in Nurse Watch, attracting more men to the profession may be one way to help relieve its staffing shortage. And yet, many men don’t want to become nurses thanks to old gender stereotypes – and many of their wives actually feel the same, Susan Chira writes for The New York Times.
  • Also on the shortage front, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has been forced to rely heavily on “traveling nurses” to help fill staffing gaps, The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports. But doing so puts a high financial burden on hospitals and can also damage staff morale and propel turnover, according to the newspaper.
  • And finally, to end on a cheerier note, we have two stories of nurses acting as heroes while off duty. Those include an “angel” off-duty RN who rescued a drowning toddler in Arizona, and another who helped deliver a baby during a Spirit Airlines flight from Florida to Texas.