‘Nurses News’ Category

SOMC Nursing Leaders Present at Magnet Conference


Magnet Conference

Nursing leaders at Southern Ohio Medical Center recently presented “The Transformational Practice of Strategic Value Leadership” to a crowd of more than 500 people during the 2010 American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) National Magnet Conference Oct. 13-15 in Phoenix, Ariz.

“Since January 2008, SOMC has been a Magnet designated hospital, one of only six percent in the country,” Claudia Burchett, vice president of SOMC Patient Services and chief nursing officer, said. “We strive to create an atmosphere of excellence using our five strategic values: safety, service, quality, performance and relationships. At the conference we spoke about these values and were met with an enthusiastic response.”

ANCC is the world’s largest and most prestigious nurse credentialing organization and a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA). More than 6,000 nurses representing all 50 states and countries around the world annually attended the conference, which explores nursing excellence in clinical practice, leadership and research through educational sessions and poster presentations.

Those who presented included (l to r) Karen Thompson, RN, MS, CNS, director of SOMC Home Care and Wound Healing Services; Mary Kate Dilts Skaggs, RN, MSN, NE-BC, director of SOMC Emergency, Outpatient and Pediatric Services; Valerie DeCamp, RN, MHA, NEA-BC, director of SOMC Inpatient Nursing Services; and Claudia Burchett, RN, MBA, FACHE, NEA-BC, vice president of SOMC Patient Services and chief nursing officer.

“This is the third year we have presented and hope to do so again in the future,” Burchett added. “We look forward to attending next year’s conference and continuing our organization’s journey toward excellence.”


3rd Annual Nursing Symposium

Southern Ohio Medical Center will host the Third Annual Nursing Research Symposium from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 25 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th Street in Portsmouth.

Area nurses, faculty and students are invited to learn more about the nursing research being conducted at SOMC, Shawnee State University, Marshall University and Riverside Methodist Hospital. Presentations will be made on a variety of topics including minimal lift environment, resilience, childhood obesity, heart failure and hemolysis of blood specimen.

The event is free of cost. Breakfast and lunch will be provided and contact hours will be awarded. Pre-registration is requested by Oct. 12 and can be made by calling Lisa Thompson at 740-356-8310.

SOMC Nursing Camp Offers Hands-On Experience for Students

Southern Ohio Medical Center held a 2010 Nursing Camp July 19 for local students grades seven through 12 interested in pursing nursing. Shown in the picture are the participants using surgery instruments to get Hershey kisses out of a box that simulated a body.

Southern Ohio Medical Center recently held a Nursing Camp for students grades seven through 12 interested in pursing nursing as a career. The camp, held July 19 at the Friends Community Center, led students through a day in the life of a nurse at SOMC.

“We host the nursing camp every year to better prepare students for the nursing field,” Katy Stephens, nurse recruiter at SOMC, said. “Even though the day only provides a glimpse of what nursing is all about, it’s still more than what most people know when they start nursing school.”

The camp started at 10 a.m., introducing participants to cardiac nursing. In this portion of the day, they examined real pig hearts and learned about open-heart surgery. After a quick tour of the main campus, participants stopped by the SOMC/SSU SIM Lab to learn more through simulated nursing exercises.

“This was my first time attending Nursing Camp,” Courtney Cole, a senior at Lewis County High School, said. “I had a really great time and enjoyed myself. I liked trying to find the patient’s pulse in the SIM lab.”

After lunch, participants learned about emergency nursing by touring the LIFE ambulance mobile unit and watching demonstrations of patient immobilization.

“I volunteered to lay on the backboard during the emergency demonstration,” Tristain White, a freshman from Portsmouth West High School, said. “I’m interested in pursing nursing and after today, I think I like emergency nursing the best.”

Registered Nurse Julie Thornsberry also talked to the students about the responsibilities of a nurse during a surgery and allowed the teenagers to gain experience by trying on surgery gowns, gloves, hats and masks. The crew then worked together to staple wounds (made out of foam) and sew arteries to a heart (with rubber tubing).

“We try to make the activities as hands-on and as fun as possible,” Stephens added.

Cheryel Miller, a senior at Lewis County High School said she has been on the health and sciences track at school and had been debating on becoming a surgical RN or a maternity RN. After the camp she is sure she wants to work with babies and moms in a maternity unit.

“The 2010 Nursing Camp was very successful,” Stephens said. “We couldn’t have done it without the help of our SOMC employees and LIFE ambulance and I hope the students had a good time and learned helpful information about the nursing field.”

SOMC Nursing Units Identified as Best Practices by PRC

Multiple nursing units at Southern Ohio Medical Center were recently identified as best practices in one or more areas of the Professional Research Consultants’ (PRC) 2010 National Patient Benchmarking Database. PRC is a marketing research company that SOMC works with to conduct patient satisfaction surveys.

The units were chosen based on nationwide benchmarks above the 90th percentile ranking and include the Heart Care Unit (for overall room accommodations); Medical Surgical Care Unit (for cleanliness of the hospital and overall room accommodations); Surgical Vascular Care Unit (for cleanliness of the hospital and overall room accommodations); Maternity Services (for cleanliness of the hospital, overall quality of doctor’s care, and staff’s management of pain); and the Emergency Department on the South Campus (for overall level of safety and staff’s management of pain).

“As a best practice, these units will be listed as contacts that other PRC organizations can call and consult when they need help or advice to improve their current scores,” Valerie DeCamp, director of SOMC Inpatient Services and Accreditation, explained.

“This is truly an honor and shows that others recognize the excellence that goes on in our hospital. We’re very excited to share our processes and look forward to helping others achieve a higher standard of patient care.”

SOMC Named 100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare

Southern Ohio Medical Center was recently named 100 Best Places to Work in Healthcare by Becker’s Hospital Review/Becker’s ASC Review.

The 2010 list was developed through nominations and research and the organizations were selected for their demonstrated excellence in providing a work environment that promotes teamwork, professional development and quality patient care.

“People want to be a part of something great. This distinction, as well as our Magnet Designation, VPP Star Status, FORTUNE Best Places to Work and our number one Best Employer in Ohio distinction will be a way to show those seeking employment, that SOMC is the place to be,” said Vicki Noel, vice president of Human Resources at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

SOMC Nursing Camp to Offer Hands-on Experience

Local students enrolled in grades 7-12 who are interested in learning about the nursing profession are encouraged to sign-up for the 2010 Nursing Camp at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

The program will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, July 19 at the SOMC Friends Community Center, 1202 18th St., Portsmouth. Lunch will be provided by Life Ambulance.

“A lot of the time, students don’t find out what being a nurse is truly all about until their very first day of nursing school,” Katy Stephens, nurse recruiter at SOMC and coordinator of the camp, said. “This program lets them explore the idea of nursing before deciding that it’s really what they want to study during their collegiate careers.”

During the camp, participants will gain a better understanding of nursing responsibilities through one-on-one interaction with hospital employees, as well as many hands-on activities and simulation tools.

“We want to give students experiences they can learn and grow from,” Stephens said. “In the past, we concentrated more on having speakers come in to talk about nursing, but this year students will actually be able to get their hands in there and see what it’s all about. It should be a lot of fun and we’re really looking forward to it.”

Pre-registration is required by June 30 and must be completed online at www.somc.org/camp. The program is open to 30 participants.

For more information, please call Katy Stephens at (740)-356-6499.

SOMC Named Best Employer in Ohio

Southern Ohio Medical Center has once again been ranked first among the Best Employers in Ohio, making an appearance on the list for the fifth consecutive year. Pictured above are members of the SOMC Hospice Services team: (l to r) Diane Colley, Thelma Bouts, Cindy Castle, Becky Dodridge, Stephanie Carter and Joanne Jordan.

he Society for Human Resource Management, Ohio State Council and Best Companies Group recently announced that Southern Ohio Medical Center has once again been ranked first among the Best Employers in Ohio.

“This is quite an honor for our organization and further proves that SOMC houses some of the best employees in the nation,” SOMC CEO Randy Arnett said. “The selection is based largely on the survey of our own employees and their view of our organization and says a lot about us as a quality employer and a great place to work.”

The survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the Best Employers in Ohio, benefiting the state’s economy, its workforce and businesses. The distinction is given based on an evaluation of various attributes including hiring processes, celebration in the workplace, caring among team members and communication.

“We are very proud of the family atmosphere here at SOMC, which resonates in our relationships with one another and with our patients,” Vicki Noel, vice president of SOMC Human Resources, said. “This recognition, along with our Magnet Designation, VPP Star Status and FORTUNE Best Places to Work distinction, not only emanates pride to our community through employees, but also strengthens our recruitment and retention efforts.”

The 2010 Best Employers list is made up of companies split into three categories: small sized (15-24 employees), medium-sized (25-249 employees) and large-sized (250 employees or more). SOMC has been named among other large companies and is on the list for the fifth consecutive year.

To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill eligibility requirements which include being a for-profit, not-for-profit business or government entity; being a publicly or privately held business; having a facility in Ohio; having at least 15 employees in Ohio; and being in business for a minimum of one year.

Companies are then required to enter a two-part survey process to determine the Best Employers list.

The first section of the survey evaluates each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics; the second measures employee experience and satisfaction. The combined scores determine the top companies and the final ranking, managed by the Best Companies Group.

For more information on the Best Employers in Ohio program, please visit www.bestemployersoh.com.

SOMC Magnet Status Attracts Excellent Nurses

Southern Ohio Medical Center is the first hospital in the tri-state region to achieve the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s (ANCC) highest honor, the Magnet designation, recognizing national excellence in nursing. After obtaining Magnet in January 2008, SOMC has become a member of the elite six percent of hospitals in the U.S. that can claim this distinction.

“In the health care profession, Magnet recognition is an immense honor,” Claudia Burchett, vice president of Patient Services and chief nursing officer, said.

“It serves as external recognition of the excellent care that we provide to our patients and their families. This achievement was the result of more than 30 months of preparation, 2,000 pages of submitted documentation, a four-day on-site inspection and years of commitment to quality and excellence.”

According to the ANCC, statistics show that nurses who work in Magnet-designated hospitals are more satisfied with their job and the care they provide. Magnet hospitals also have an increased retention rate for nurses – an important factor in light of today’s nursing recruitment challenges.

“I saw a SOMC billboard about Magnet and then I went online to find more information about the facility,” Carolyn White, a new nurse at SOMC, said. “I had previously worked for a Magnet hospital and when my husband and I were looking to relocate, I knew SOMC was the place for me.”

White chose to leave her friends and family to move five hours from her home in Glasgow, Kentucky to the Portsmouth area. She has been a RN in the SOMC Orthopedic and Family Care Unit since November 2009.

“Working at SOMC has made my move a lot easier,” she said. “I think I have my family and friends here now.”

Ruthie Sandala also had a similar situation. She searched and applied online for two years before landing a position in the Same Day Surgery department at SOMC. After previously working for a Magnet organization, Sandala moved from Indianapolis to Portsmouth just to work at SOMC because she knew what Magnet really stands for.

“I know that Magnet means the hospital values their nurses and treats them well,” Sandala said. “And they usually ask the nurses for their opinions before putting policies in place.”

Burchett added that physicians are also attracted to Magnet hospitals. “It’s a sign to them that the hospital is dedicated to hiring and keeping the most qualified nurses,” she said. “We provide an environment where education is vital, and we promote ongoing education, certifications and nursing research.”

The ultimate goal of Magnet recognition, however, is a demonstration to patients of the quality care provided by Magnet hospitals. Independent studies show patients who receive care at Magnet hospitals have a shorter length of stay, improved patient outcomes and higher satisfaction rates. According to the ANCC, “Magnet recognition provides consumers with the ultimate benchmark to measure the quality of care they can expect to receive.”

SOMC to Recognize Certified Nurses Day

March 19, 2010 is Certified Nurses Day, a national day of recognition for certified nurses. Southern Ohio Medical Center will honor its 162 board certified nurses who provide quality care to their patients every day.

The date was specifically chosen as the national day to celebrate because it’s the birthday of Margretta “Gretta” Madden Styles. She is globally known as the “Mother of Nurse Credentialing” and served as the President of the American Nurses Association. A recipient of numerous honors and recognition, Styles is responsible for encouraging board certifications and higher standards of patient care.

“We are very proud of all of our nurses at SOMC,” Valerie DeCamp, director of nursing, said. “On behalf of the organization, it is my pleasure to express the gratitude we feel for the proficiency and leadership our nurses demonstrate when they achieve and maintain national board certification in their nursing specialty.”

Certification, as defined by the American Board of Nursing Specialties (ABNS), is the formal recognition of the specialized knowledge, skills and experience demonstrated by the achievement of standards identified by a nursing specialty to promote optimal health results.

“As a result of nurses acquiring additional certifications, it creates an environment of professionalism and specialized competency,” Karen Walburn, manager of Employment, said. “This special day gives us an opportunity to recognize and encourage nurses to pursue this important step in their careers.”

Nurse certification has been linked to a reduction in medical errors, according to the American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN).

Ryan Carpenter, RN, BSN, CEN, SANE, assistant nurse manager of the Health Care Center said, “As a certified nurse, I feel more prepared. I’m more confident in knowing that my skills are up-to-date and that I will have the knowledge and expertise to provide excellent care for my patients.”

“We realize that it takes personal dedication and persistence to achieve and maintain certification,” DeCamp added. “We value their commitment to nursing excellence.”