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Since our last issue of the Nursing Network, so much has changed in our world, yet the Nursing Department’s mission of providing expert care to our patients and families endures.
The global pandemic of COVID-19 has challenged us to provide new and creative ways to manage our work environment. The wearing of masks and goggles, coupled with physical distancing when eating, allows us to practice in the safest manner possible. Encouraging our patients to wear masks and to socially distance at our programs is yet another strategy to keep our patients and workforce safe. Of course, there is also the importance of hand hygiene! None of these interventions are easy and at times can be uncomfortable. However, our nursing staff has shown grit and perseverance at adopting and adapting to the constantly changing guidance.
Linda M. Flaherty, RN, PMHCNS-BC, McLean’s senior vice president for Patient Care Services, noted that she had the privilege of reading the clinical exemplars submitted by nurses applying for the Professional Nurse Advancement Program. Some of the submissions from the fall call for applications noted the impact of providing nursing care during a pandemic.
Lianna Lashua, RN, who works on the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Inpatient Program, wrote of her growth and comfort in caring for patients in the isolation wing. It was a beautiful and articulate example of moving from novice to expert in caring for patients in the north wing. In her final paragraph in this narrative, Lashua wrote, “Being a psychiatric nurse in the middle of a pandemic was nothing I ever imagined I would be doing. However, I believe this situation led me to be a better nurse. I gained confidence in my leadership and critical thinking skills. I was forced into unknown territory and had to learn on the go, constantly evolving and teaching others along the way.” Thank you, Lianna! Your comments resonate for many on the nursing team.
Despite the pandemic, we have continued to move forward. In this issue, you will see highlights from our fall conference, “The Digital Revolution in Behavioral Health During a Pandemic.” Also, we acknowledge the spring 2020 and the fall 2020 recipients of the Professional Nurse Advancement Program and the robust participation of our nursing staff at the 2020 American Psychiatric Nursing Association Annual Conference.
McLean’s Nurses Take a Broader Look at Telehealth
To kick off McLean’s Fall 2020 Nursing Conference, titled “The Digital Revolution in Behavioral Health During a Pandemic,” Michael Hasselberg, PhD, RN, presented a talk, “Telehealth and Informatics.” A wide-ranging look at the past, present, and future of telehealth and other technologies, the presentation drew on Hasselberg’s experience as senior director of Digital Health for University of Rochester Medicine and co-director of the school’s UR Medicine Health Lab. Hasselberg discussed the growing use of technology in health care delivery, specifically behavioral health, advances in data collection, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated change.
2020 Margaret C. Tibbetts and Julia Altschule Nursing Awards
During McLean’s Fall 2020 Nursing Conference on November 3, two annual awards were presented to deserving nurses from the McLean community. This year’s Margaret C. Tibbetts Award went to Florence Morin, RN, a clinical coordinator at the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Inpatient Program. The 2020 Julia Altschule Award was presented to Stephanie Spillane, a mental health specialist and community residence counselor at several programs throughout the hospital.
McLean Nurses Highlighted at Annual Conferences
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, while efforts of direct patient care are at the forefront of nursing care around the globe, members of McLean’s Nursing Department had an impact on national and international psychiatric nursing, with several staff making poster presentations at this year’s American Psychiatric Nurses Association virtual conference and a presentation by Hayley Parét, MSN, PMHNP-BC, at England’s ECT Nursing Conference.
Bob Peterson: Refection on a Nurse Leader
When one walks into the nursing administrative wing, there is a wall with photos of graduating nurses from McLean Hospital Nursing School. In a photo of one of the last graduating classes, 1966, there is a man with an impish smile and an obvious heart of gold. That man is Bob Peterson, RN, dressed in his graduating whites, standing with the other graduating nurses who one felt they knew through the stories they heard Peterson tell.
As in years past, recipients were presented in Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. As part of the application process for Tier 1, the recipients provided a clinical exemplar essay to showcase their proficiency in assessing patient needs, planning, and implementing nursing interventions while utilizing therapeutic communications techniques. Tier 2 recipients’ exemplars included instances of utilizing critical thinking skills and leadership capabilities. Tier 3 recipients’ exemplars depicted advanced practice and positive influence on patient outcomes.
Exemplars touched on a wide range of topics, but many addressed the specific challenges presented by the COVID-19 crisis. Congratulations to this year’s recipients!
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