In This Issue:

Nurse Volunteers

Nursing Clinical Grand Rounds

What's New: Nurse Engagement Survey

Lead Placement Training Helps
Improve Care

Nurse Q & A

Nurse Volunteer Opportunities:

Greenfield Union School District Health fair
March 3
6:30-7:40 p.m.
Greenfield Elementary School

Hartnell Career Fair
April 4
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Hartnell College

Heart & Sole Race
May 17
6:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

MCSIG Health Fair
May 22
3:00-6:00 p.m.
MCOE- Blanco Road

Taylor Farms Health Fair
June 24
1:00-5:00 p.m.
Taylor Farms Parking Lot

California Rodeo Salinas
July 17-20
Rodeo Grounds

Legs for Life
September 17 & 18
4:00-8:00 p.m.

CSUMB Health Fair
September 17
11a.m.-2:00 p.m.
University Center @ CSUMB

City of Salinas Health Fair
October 1
3:00-6:00 p.m.
Sherwood Hall, Salinas

Welcome to our first e-newsletter

Welcome to the first issue of the SVMHS Nurse e-newsletter. This year you'll receive a combination of print and e-newsletters throughout the year. The e-newsletter is designed to create more interaction so you can share your ideas, comments, experiences and questions. It’s easy to join in…just send an email to Also send us an email if you’d like to receive the e-newsletter at a different email address. We hope you enjoy the more frequent communication and will share your thoughts and ideas with us.

Nurse Volunteers
Chris Davis and Baby
Community outreach is an important part of our professional nursing practice. From the Heart & Sole Race, Rodeo and NICU Reunion to Labor of Love, Legs for Life and a variety of health fairs, SVMHS nurses volunteer hundreds of hours and touch thousands of lives every year!

Luz Jimenez, RN and Chris Davis, RN
(pictured at right) coordinated nurse volunteers for the NICU reunion and the Labor of Love event. “Every year, we celebrate the babies born in our NICU and their families,” says Chris. “Nurses pitch in to do everything from setting up activity areas and registration to managing the event that drew about 400 people last year. It’s rewarding to see kids and parents that we’ve helped and know that they’re doing well.”

At the annual Labor of Love event, pregnant women from around the county get information and screenings and learn about the many community resources available to them. “We try to provide information that women might not get from their OB such as baby shake syndrome awareness, the safe surrender program, breastfeeding and the WIC program, for example,” says Luz. “When you talk with people at this and other events, it’s clear to see that you are truly making a difference.”

We’re so proud of all our nurses who reach out from our campus to touch lives in our communities. If you’d like to join in the fun and reap the rewards of volunteering for community outreach, contact the Health Promotions Department at extension 1890. See some of the upcoming volunteer opportunities listed at left.

Nursing Clinical Grand Rounds

Clinical Grand Rounds, a longstanding practice for physicians, has come to SVMHS nurses as a way to promote evidenced based practice (EBP) and improve outcomes for our patients. The intent is to link the best information that relies on evidence rather than tradition to support your nursing practice. Clinical Grand Rounds showcases the expertise of SVMHS nurses, fosters sharing of knowledge from specialty areas and supports professional growth. And it’s a great venue for showcasing the hard work of SVMHS nurses on a wide array of clinical projects.

Our first Clinical Grand Rounds, held October 31 last year, drew nurses from throughout SVMHS as well as praise for the depth and relevance of the information presented. Speakers included Sheryl Leary, RN, MS, CCNS on Evidence Based Practice at SVMHS, Mary Stepien, RN on The Impact of Biopatch Dressing on Catheter Related Bloodstream Infections, and Maryanne Conklin, RN, PCCN on The Importance of Oral Care in Preventing Hospital Acquired Pneumonia.

Mark your calendars and plan to join the quarterly Clinical Grand Rounds slated for February 11, May 26, August 27 and October 29 in CP-4 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information on upcoming Clinical Grand Rounds and ways you can join in as a participant or presenter, please contact Sheryl Leary at ext. 2969 or Debbie Denham at ext. 3272.

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What's New:  Nurse Engagement Survey

Nurse Engagement SurveySoon we will launch a Nurse Engagement Survey developed by the Advisory Board. It was beta-tested with nurses at several hospitals to ensure that the questions are relevant and provide information that can be used to improve our professional nursing environment and support your passion for nursing. Engagement is the extent to which nurses enjoy and believe in what they do and feel valued for doing it. The goal is to gather information from you about your satisfaction with issues such as professional growth opportunities, teamwork, salary and benefits, work environment and autonomy, for example. We’ll use the information to identify opportunities and measure our progress in achieving excellence in nursing and patient care.

During the first quarter of this year, you will be able to complete the 54-question electronic survey through a link on Memnet or on Workstations on Wheels (WOWs). Look for more information over the next few weeks and plan to participate. We need to hear from you!

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Lead Placement Training Helps Improve Care

As a result of the Duke University clinical trial led by Anthony Sintetos, MD, PhD, City of Salinas and Carmel Valley fire department paramedics and EMTs now use a 12-lead EKG when transporting people who are thought to be having a heart attack. Kate Chilkott, RN, Level II, helped organize and present specialized training for paramedics/EMTs as part of a RN III project. Classes were held in September 2007, training more than 20 people in placing the leads so that data can be immediately relayed to the cardiologist on call. “Our ability to review EKG results before the patient reaches the hospital greatly improves patient outcomes,” says Kate. “The training increases the confidence of the paramedics/EMTs in placing the leads quickly and accurately so we can prepare for the patient’s arrival.”

This is another example of how SVMHS nurses are reaching out to improve the network of care throughout our community. Excellent work and dedication, Kate!

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Nurse Q & A

In each issue of the SVMHS Nurse e-newsletter, we’ll pose a question to our nurses and share some of the answers we receive. As Evidence Based Practice (EBP) is at the heart of our efforts to continuously improve patient care and outcomes, our first question explores some of the ways EBP has already influenced how nursing is practiced at SVMHS.

Q: How has evidence based practice affected your nursing practice and your unit?

Dana Rogers, RN, ICUA: Participating in the EBP classes gave me a greater understanding of its importance and the necessity of applying it to my clinical practice at the bedside. Two examples of how EBP is currently applied in the ICU are multi-disciplinary rounds held three days a week and the Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP) protocol. Rounds bring together an ICU pulmonologist, pharmacists, dietitians, physical and occupational therapist, respiratory and speech therapists, discharge planners, social workers and RNs to look at all aspects of a patient’s care as well as the needs of the family. This communication between disciplines enables us to bring the best evidence based care to our patients. The VAP protocol follows a set of steps done at the bedside to lessen the occurrence of ventilator associated pneumonia. The goal—and what we’ve seen already—is to enable early extubation and improved outcomes for patients in the ICU.
—Dana Rogers, RN, ICU

A: We’re nearly finished with developing guidelines for the placement and care of urinary catheters that will be used throughout SVMHS. By Mary Labre, RN, Level IIusing research, we’ll provide clinical care we are proud of. Some of the changes proposed to the Policy and Procedure Committee include: Using a reminder form that is placed in the MD order section of the chart that indicates when a catheter has been in place for more than five days; Creating a computer pop-up screen that alerts the RN when the five days have expired; Designing a data-collection tool to assist us in documenting urinary catheter insertion and care in Meditech’s nursing documentation system; And using soap and water or hospital-approved cleansing wipes when cleaning the peri-area rather than using provodine-iodine as previously accepted and approved. I look forward to applying these relevant measures to my practice and encouraging others to become aware of the prevalence of hospital-acquired urinary tract infections. Together we can benefit by exploring the EBP research available to all of us.
—Mary Labre, RN, Level II

Tracy Chavez, RN III, Level IIA: EBP has changed the way I practice. It strengthens my clinical decision-making by integrating evidence from research with clinical expertise and sensitivity to each patient’s values and preferences. By exploring the wealth of research-based information available to us, we can continue to improve care for our patients. One example is nasogastric tube placement verification using x-ray. Research revealed that the standard practice of pH testing of aspirate and auscultation to differentiate between gastric and respiratory placement was not definitive. The change to x-ray verification, proven effective by EBP, can significantly improve care and comfort for our patients.
—Tracy Chavez, RN III, Level II

A: When it was decided that the PICC line insertion program would be coordinated and run by Diagnostic Imaging Mary Stepien, RN, DInurses, we knew that we wanted a program that was put together using the best practices available. Nurses participating in the program first attended a PICC insertion class offered by Nadine Nakazawa, RN, OCN, PICC Program Coordinator at Stanford Medical Center. Nurses were then proctored by Phil Rosati, RN, OCN, Clinical Nurse Specialist in Vascular Access. The new PICC Line insertion policy was written using the best practices as outlined by the Infusion Nurses Society Core Curriculum and Policies and Procedures for Infusion Nursing. There has been an ongoing effort by the PICC line insertion nurses to ensure that current practice keeps pace with the best practice available. Literature shows that the use of BIOPATCH placed on the catheter entrance site at time of insertion and with each dressing change can reduce the incidence of catheter related blood stream infections. DI nurses are currently working on a project to recommend the use of BIOPATCH to the Products Committee and Wendy Olivia. The nurses involved in the PICC Line insertion program at SVMHS will strive to keep current with the best practice available to ensure positive outcomes for our patients.
—Mary Stepien, RN, DI

Question for the next SVMHS Nurse e-newsletter:
How are you incorporating SBAR into your clinical practice, and do you find it an effective method of communication? Send us an email.

Have a question or comment about SVMHS Nurse Send us an email.

Illustration © Peggy Clancy, RN
Illustration © Peggy Clancy, RN

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