Leeann Bennett, RN


October 30, 2007

I am an RN who has been employed by Jordan Hospital for six years on a medical/surgical orthopedic floor. We have endured many changes since I started here. Change is usually a "scary word" for nurses, which is met with much resistance. I've been here as we worked towards and received Magnet recognition status, which was a long process. The journey never ends as we continuously strive to improve the quality of care for our patients and their family members.

Our floor continues to grow as many new graduate nurses are hired. These nurses are precepted by those who have completed a preceptor course and who want to share their time, knowledge, and experience to help the new nurse to grow and flourish. I have done both the charge and preceptor roles and have had many opportunities to grow and expand my nursing career by joining committees such as the Peer Support Team and Professional Nurse Practice Council.

Our hospital has always been a "Magnet Hospital." This was unofficial, of course until it was recognized and given the acknowledgement we all felt it truly deserved. We have a new nursing director on my unit who encourages the autonomy and growth of each individual nurse. She has allowed us to have a voice on how our floor, schedule, etc. is run. It is this interactive part of our practice which is helping us to feel like we are making a difference with our patients.

Something near and dear to my heart which I feel exemplified our Magnet hospital and especially our orthopedic floor was when one of our senior nurses underwent two orthopedic surgeries within six months. We all look up to her, as she is the "rock" of this floor, the one who everyone goes to when they have a question, problem, or just to "run something by." She is genuinely concerned about each and every one of us on both a personal- and work-related basis. In saying this, when she became our "patient" instead of our Clinical Leader, there was a missing piece on the floor. What we didn't know was what her experience would teach all of us.

She became the first orthopedic patient to be given Oxycontin and Celebrex pre-operatively and Toradol post-operatively. We later learned from her actions, that the Oxycontin (not Celebrex which was previously written) made her forget what we had just tried to teach her five minutes earlier. Her trials and personal experiences with treatments such as a femoral drip helped us learn how to better assist our patients. The input she had about noise level in the corridor at night made us each take a look at the role we play in improving the patient experience on our floor. What we learned from a nurse being on the other side and being the one in the bed (the patient), is an experience that humbled all of us.

Our Clinical Leader remained positive, even as she had to be admitted for the second time. She had the attitude that "everything happens for a reason." I also believe that is true. The learning on our floor continues to this day with a new perspective, a new light, and a more personalized look at our orthopedic patients. We focus on "What if that patient was your family member -- your mom, dad, sibling, or your fellow co-worker?" I believe that at Jordan, we have a close knit community hospital. That is why I am choosing to have my baby here in December. I am looking forward to my four day stay "as the patient" to hopefully gain more insight, compassion, and experiences to share with my colleagues just as my colleague did. Everything comes full circle if we all do our part, no matter how small it may seem. As we each bring our own individual strengths to our hospital and our patients, our Magnet Force will continue to grow even stronger.

This content is provided by American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for publication on the www.medscape.com web site.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center's (ANCC) internationally renowned credentialing programs certify nurses in specialty practice areas, recognize healthcare organizations for nursing excellence through the Magnet Recognition Program®, and accredit providers of continuing nursing education. In addition, ANCC offers an array of informational and educational services and products to support its core credentialing programs.

ANCC is passionate about helping nurses on their journey to nursing excellence. Visit ANCC's web site at www.nursecredentialing.org

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association (ANA).


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