Mclean Hospital

Nursing Network 2016

A publication of the McLean Hospital Nursing Department

December 1, 2016

The Fall 2016 issue of Nursing Network finds Sheila Evans, MSN, RN, PCNS, sharing stories of the early part of her nursing career. Nurses at McLean are working on quality improvement projects to increase high-quality patient care. Finally, the fall prevention awareness program in McLean’s older adult psychiatry programs works to educate patients, families, and staff about fall risk factors and evidenced-based fall prevention measures.

Nurses at McLeanMy McLean Over the Years: From Childhood Escapades to a Young Nurse’s Training to Clinical Research
Part one of a two part series. Sheila Evans, MSN, RN, PCNS, can remember hearing about McLean Hospital even as a young child. Her great grandfather, grandfather, and father were born and raised in Belmont. In the 1800s, her great grandfather built a strong business on his farm as the town blacksmith. The shop and barn were less than a half mile from McLean.

Quality Improvement Ideas
Nursing is a unique, identifiable, and autonomous profession with the right, duty, responsibility, and expertise to determine the scope and standards of nursing practice. Providing high-quality care to patients is a priority for professional nursing. Quality care is the degree to which health services for individuals and populations increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge.

Leaves Are Meant to Fall, Not People: It’s Time to Shake the Tree With Education
Falls are the leading cause of injury and death in older Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). More than 2.5 million elderly Americans are treated in emergency rooms for fall-related injuries every year. Falls accounted for $30 billion in medical costs in 2014, and that number is expected to increase to an estimated $60 billion by 2020. Cognitive impairment increases the risk of falling in older adults. The lack of self-awareness, the effects of medications, poor vision, and impaired memory/behavior are additional risk factors for falls in this demographic.

Read the full issue.


The Spring 2016 issue of Nursing Network notes what a remarkable several months it has been with the opening of an additional 31 beds in two programs in our Admissions Building. The Nursing Department needed to recruit for an additional 75 positions for these new beds. These new positions were in addition to the more than 30 positions that they are typically working to fill.

The issue also highlights the Patient/Family Advisory Council (PFAC). The objectives of PFAC are to provide and communicate the perspectives of the patients and their families regarding the care experience at McLean and to work with the hospital in an advisory role to enhance the care experience. In recent years, advisors have served as guest faculty to educate our employees and trainees about the experience of receiving care at the hospital, participated as co-leaders of specific committees such as the Care Experience Committee and the Stigma Reduction Sub-Committee, and participated in the development of the PFAC website. The Tunnel Art Project was initiated by a PFAC member in an effort to make the area more welcoming and inspiring.

Finally, in a reprint of a letter to the Boston Globe, the hard work of our nursing staff is celebrated.

Jeanne McElhinney and Ann Rapoport Recognized for Outstanding Leadership
Nurse directors Jeanne McElhinney and Ann Rapoport share many qualities. They are both exemplary leaders, committed to creating top-quality clinical programs for patients and work environments where staff members learn, thrive, and grow. The pair also led their units through an unprecedented expansion that has added 31 badly needed beds to their programs.

Patient and Family Advisory Council Encourages Patient/Family-Centered Care
Her son’s last stay at McLean was a turning point: Barb Chandler credits the hospital with helping him get his life back on track. So when she saw a flyer looking for new members to join the hospital’s Patient and Family Advisory Council, Chandler was intrigued.

A “Salute to Nurses” Letter
Published in the Boston Globe honoring five McLean nurses. For many years I’ve scanned your annual Salute to Nurses, and this year I’d like to point out your annual omission: psychiatric nurses. You omit them because, due to the pervasive stigma attached to mental illness, patients do not openly recognize and honor these nurses.

Read more in the full issue.


In the Winter 2016 issue of Nursing Network, we hear from two of our nurses. Katherine Athens, RN, a nurse in the Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) Service, shares the story of a difficult circumstance with a patient and how she and her colleagues dealt with it.

Barbara Waldorf BSN, MPH, tells us about how her own experiences with caregiver burnout and resilience have led her to teach a class at McLean on compassion meditation.

A Case of Pulmonary Embolism
My name is Katherine Athens and I am a nurse in the electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) clinic. It was a busy Friday in the clinic in March, a year ago. We were preparing to treat over 50 patients that day. Our practice had been expanding over the years, and it was hardly unusual to treat 50-plus patients a day—but it was busy nonetheless. (Since then, we have moved to a newly renovated and expanded space within the hospital.) I had recently assumed the role of preceptor for a nurse who had just joined our ECT team. I had been an RN in the ECT clinic just shy of two years at the time.

Sustainable Compassion Meditation
Last year I wrote an article for the McLean nursing newsletter about traveling to India and my journey with global health nursing. This year I am writing about another journey, an inner journey. A journey of burnout and creating resilience which has brought me to teach a class in compassion meditation here at McLean Hospital for nurses and other health care providers.

Read more in the full issue.