‘Nurses News’ Category


SOMC To Host Free Nurse Refresher Course

Retired, laid-off and career-changed nurses are invited to regain confidence in the nursing profession by attending Southern Ohio Medical Center’s Nurse Refresher Course from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 24 and 25 in the Gibson Building on SOMC’s East Campus, 2201 25th St., Portsmouth.

The two-day program will allow participants to review fundamentals while discovering new technology with hands-on training. Day one will consist of lectures on documentation, electronic medication records, fundamentals of nursing and an overview of equipment used throughout the hospital; day two will be held in the SSU/SOMC Simulation Lab, allowing participants to practice their renewed knowledge and skills in a simulated hospital setting.

Registration is required and can be made by calling the SOMC Workforce Development Department at 356-2733. Deadline to register is Sept. 22.

SOMC Nurse Sworn in as Second Lieutenant in Army National Guard

Josh Hammond, RN, Intensive Care Unit at Southern Ohio Medical Center, left, was promoted and sworn in as Second Lieutenant in the Army National Guard. The ceremony took place Sept. 1 in the SOMC ICU and was conducted by fellow co-worker and guardsman, Phyllis Thieken.

SOMC Receives OHA’s Top Twenty Percent Award

Southern Ohio Medical Center has received the Ohio Hospital Association’s Top Twenty Percent Award for being one of the safest health care facilities in the state of Ohio.

The award is given through OHA’s Statewide Hospital Safety Campaign, which annually recognizes hospitals and health care systems that have secured the best workplace safety records.

“This honor recognizes that SOMC is not only working to provide a safe environment for our patients and visitors, but also our employees,” Leeann L. Sammons, vice president of SOMC Health and Safety, said.

Winners were chosen based on their organization’s submitted Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses data, which included the total recordable employee injury cases and days away from work for the past year.

“Safety is a priority in everything we do and this award shows our continuous dedication to go above and beyond,” Sammons said.

“Our leaders and front-line staff members have been working very hard over the past year to create and sustain a culture of safety and the safest working environment possible. This recognition is yet another way to measure our progress toward achieving safety excellence at SOMC.”

SOMC Named Second Among Best Employers in Ohio

Southern Ohio Medical Center has been ranked second among the Best Employers in Ohio for 2009, making an appearance on the list for the fourth consecutive year. Pictured are SOMC Emergency Department staff members (l to r) Jeanne Turpin, Tracy Scott, Jason Ross and Dr. Jason Cheatham.

The Society for Human Resource Management, Ohio State Council and Best Companies Group recently announced that Southern Ohio Medical Center has been ranked second 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 2009 Best Employers list is made up of 20 companies split into two categories: 10 small/medium-sized companies (15-249 employees) and 10 large-sized companies (250 and more employees). SOMC has been named among other large companies and is on the list for the fourth 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 25 employees in Ohio; and being in business for a minimum of one year.

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

The first section of the survey evaluated each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics; the second measured employee experience and satisfaction. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final ranking, which was managed by the Best Companies Group with assistance from ModernThink LLC.

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

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 2009 Nursing Camp at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

The program will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, July 13 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.”

The program is open to 30 participants.

For more information, please call Katy Stephens at 356-7191.

SOMC, SSU Nursing Students Provide Blood Pressure Checks For Teens

Nurses from Southern Ohio Medical Center and students from the Shawnee State University Bachelor of Science in Nursing program recently visited seven area high schools to provide a Teen Heart Check of blood pressures.

“The screenings help identify high blood pressure in teens.  We then notify the school of those students who were at high risk so that the school nurses may provide follow-up readings after the initial screening,” said Judy Hamer, R.N., a nurse at SOMC who coordinated the event. Parents or guardians of the teens are also notified per letter if their child was screened as high-risk.

Any student with a reading above 139 systolic or 89 diastolic was asked to repeat the screening at the school. These standards are based on national goals set by National Institutes of Health. Local screening has revealed that a significant number of high school students have an initial blood pressure reading of 140/90 or higher.

Teens are educated on products that may cause high blood pressure such as caffeine, high-energy drinks, sodas, tobacco use, etc.  The teens are asked to eliminate such products from their diet prior to their next screening with the school nurse to determine if their high blood pressures are a result from using these products or if a more serious condition exists.

Schools participating in the program are Wheelersburg, Washington Nile, Glenwood, Green, Minford and South Webster.

SOMC Nurses celebrate through giving

Southern Ohio Medical Center will take part in the nation’s celebration of highlighting nurses with a little different angle this year. Rather than celebrating for themselves, nurses at SOMC have challenged one another to give back to the community in which they serve.

“We have always shown our appreciation for our nurses at SOMC through small gifts or celebrations throughout the organization. This year, because of the economic state of our nation, our nurses wanted to take their caring a step further by giving back to our community,” said Claudia Burchett, RN BSN MBA FACHE NEA-BC VP Patient Services and Chief Nursing Officer.

This year, SOMC nurses have developed “SOMC Nurses Giving Back”, a system-wide campaign to donate to an organization of their choice during National Nurses Week.

“Our areas chose the Domestic Violence Shelter,” said Jason Ross, RN, Nurse Manager of Emergency Services at SOMC. “We came to this decision as a team (including the Wheelersburg Urgent Care Center and the SOMC Health Care Center) and really felt like we could make a difference in community by doing so. It is a good feeling to know that not only can we touch the lives of those who come through our doors, but also those who we may never see.”

Nurses from all areas of the hospital have chosen various organizations in which to give and will be collecting items through the end of this month. Donations will be distributed during National Nurses Week, May 6-12.

SOMC Recognized As A Fit-Friendly Company by the American Heart Association

Southern Ohio Medical Center (SOMC) has been named a Gold Level Start! Fit Friendly Company by the American Heart Association. This is the second year SOMC had earned the recognition.

The award is given to companies that demonstrate a commitment to promoting exercise and good nutrition in the workplace. To reach the gold level, a company must meet certain criteria including offering employees physical activity support, increasing healthy eating options at work and promoting a wellness culture.

According to the American Heart Association website, the Start! Fit Friendly program is designed promote positive change in businesses by recognizing companies that create a culture of physical activity in the workplace.

This year 962 business have been named Start! Fit Friendly Companies.

SOMC named to Best Places to Work For list two years in a row

Officials at FORTUNE magazine have announced that Southern Ohio Medical Center is listed 68th as one of the Top 100 Places to Work in the United States. This honor has been given to SOMC two years in a row.

“This confirms that our family atmosphere of caring for our patients as well as each other has made us a great place to work,” said Vicki Noel, Vice President of Human Resources at Southern Ohio Medical Center.

The distinction is given based on an evaluation of various workplace attributes including hiring processes, celebrating in the workplace, caring among team members and communication. A majority of the process is weighted by the thoughts and opinions of the employees of SOMC. SOMC was evaluated against various organizations across the United States including large corporations and other healthcare organizations.

A driving factor for the companies on this year’s list is that they excel at creating jobs. Of the 100 companies on the 2009 list, 73 are currently hiring.

In his FORTUNE.com blog, Managing Editor Andy Serwer writes, “No matter what happens with the economy, the demand for talent will remain. Great companies know that super-motivated, happy, world-class employees are an incredible competitive advantage.”

“This is quite an honor for our organization,” said Randy Arnett, President and CEO of Southern Ohio Medical Center. “It only further proves that SOMC houses some of the best employees in the nation.”

Arnett said the distinction will not only emanate pride to our community through employees, but will also help with recruitment and retention.

“People want to be a part of something great. This distinction, as well as our Magnet Designation, VPP Star Status and also serving as the Best Employer in the state of Ohio will be a way to show those seeking employment, that SOMC is the place to be,” he said.

In the next few weeks, SOMC will receive a feedback report and the ranking of the organization based on data accumulated from the evaluation process. SOMC is always searching for methods of gathering information to make adjustments and improvements in work life.

“Listening to our employees is important. Based on feedback from various venues such as the Employee Opinion Survey and distinctions such as this, we have made changes to our organization that will continue to make SOMC a great place to work. We will continue to listen and learn from those who make the greatest impact on our organization – our SOMC team,” Noel said.

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