Rules and standards are the concepts that allow people to maintain a high level of the services they perform and constantly improve them. The Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) competencies that were developed “to improve the quality and safety of health care” are one of them (Altmiller & Hopkins-Pepe, 2019, p. 199). Another function is to “ensure that graduate competencies in quality and patient safety are sufficient to meet practice needs” (Peterson-Graziose & Bryer, 2017, p. 435). Asking a highly qualified healthcare professional on these topics can give new and additional knowledge on the subject to nursing students. This paper will provide insight into the work of a nursing manager in an intensive unit (ICU) from the perspective of QSEN competencies.
Like many other medical facilities across America, we serve diverse populations. My teammates and I have often encountered and interacted with patients whose culture, languages, and religious beliefs differed from ours. Of course, we, as highly competent healthcare professionals with significant nursing experience, fully support a patient-centered approach to caring for persons with a different backgrounds. Yes, sometimes we encounter some barriers when trying to provide care; most of them are of language or religious nature. Within the past years, I have witnessed an increasing number of Hispanic and Middle Eastern patients. So I started reading related literature about their cultures and religions and learning the basics of their languages to be more aware of treating them properly. Learning is the key to improvement, and I sometimes set up educational meetings with other workers to learn new things about our diverse patients.
As you already know, I work as a nurse manager in the ICU. Here, we have several nursing and inter-professional specialists. Our high-skilled and well-trained team consists of ICU and bedtime nurses as well as nurse care coordinators. Our inter-professional health workers include physicians and their assistants, clinical pharmacologists, technologists, and respiratory therapists. Each of our staff members knows everything about QSEN competencies and applies them masterfully.
As you might have guessed, the recent change that I will describe next is related to the current COVID-19 pandemic. We had to switch to remote communication and consultation via digital applications with patients’ family members. It was due to the high infectivity of the coronavirus that scientists discovered. Moreover, it was also more psychologically comfortable for the nurses to communicate with the patient’s relatives this way.
Unfortunately, the last year has indeed brought several tragic cases for us. Some of our patients passed away due to complications associated with COVID-19 and pre-existing conditions, most of which were obesity, cardiovascular, and other respiratory diseases. At one of the meetings, our unit discussed the issue for a long time, and our clinical pharmacologist suggested increasing the number of drugs in the medication for COVID-19 patients. It was a good decision that allowed us to reduce mortality to almost zero and improve the well-being of patients during hospitalization.
I can assure you that our unit and the organization strictly follow all current national safety guidelines. Here, every two weeks, we check the staff’s knowledge of safety practices and measures. When new policies are released, each member of our unit undergoes safety training and receives related educational material. It is worth noting that every newcomer also goes through these procedures when being introduced to our ICU.
Not to brag, but I do not remember having any problems using electronic medical records (EMR). I grew up in an already digitalized society, so it was easy for me to understand how to create, operate, and modify various types of digital data. I often help other nurses and newcomers when they have issues with EMR. During my clinical practice, I have noticed that some older health workers are embarrassed by their underdeveloped computer skills, and I believe this issue should be discussed.
Altmiller, G., & Hopkins-Pepe, L. (2019). Why Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) matters in practice. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 50(5), 199–200. Web.
Peterson-Graziose, V., & Bryer, J. (2017). Assessing student perceptions of Quality and Safety Education for Nurses competencies in a baccalaureate curriculum. Journal of Nursing Education, 56(7), 435-438. Web.