Washington Hospital Celebrates National Nurses Week
When you're a patient in a hospital, many different individuals provide specific expertise for your care and recovery. But the individual a patient sees most often is a nurse. Nurses are there 24 hours a day, tending to patients, administering medications, overseeing monitoring systems, working with physicians, supporting families of patients and generally making sure the patient's medical needs are met.
May 6 - 12 is National Nurses Week, dedicated to honoring and celebrating contributions nurses make to patient care. At Washington Hospital, nurses will be honored and thanked on May 9 during a series of teas with the hospital's senior executives.
The theme of this year's National Nurses Week is "Nurses Leading the Way..." which recognizes the growing leadership role nurses take in providing healthcare services to a community.
"Washington Hospital is proud of its nursing staff," Santos said. She noted that most Washington Hospital nurses have bachelor's degrees in nursing and have specialized certifications in their field of study. Many also have master's degrees and some are PhDs. Most of the hospital's nurses are affiliated with national professional nursing organizations and participate in continuing education programs to keep current with developments in nursing and medicine.
In keeping with this years theme, Santos noted that nurses "lead the way" in many ways. Nurses provide leadership at the patient care level, helping to direct patient care, taking on evidence-based projects to improve patient outcomes, providing leadership in hospitals to improve the physical environment of care.
At the bedside, nurses provide expert knowledge of disease treatment and patient care and, in the community, nurses work to educate patients, families and the general public on ways to improve health conditions and how to prevent health deterioration from chronic diseases. Nationally, nurses have been CEOs of hospital facilities, researchers and members of state and federal legislatures and administrations, Santos added.
Because of the outstanding work by the hospital's nurses, Washington Hospital has been recognized as a "Magnet Hospital" by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Being named a "Magnet Hospital" is the highest of awards and one few hospitals achieve.
Santos said magnet hospitals are different than the typical hospital and focus on five distinct attributes:
¥ Transformational Leadership - effective and "transformational" style of nursing management
¥ Structural Empowerment - having the structure in place for nurses to perform at the highest level
¥ Exemplary Professional Practice - this is a place where nurses take ownership of their practice and provide care at an advanced level
¥ New Knowledge, Innovation and Improvements - nurses never stop trying to make their practice better and use evidence-based knowledge to improve satisfaction and outcomes
¥ Empirical Quality Results - outcomes are measured in a scientific way
While National Nurses Week puts a specific spotlight on nurses, Santos said, Washington Hospital invites all members of the community to recognize and honor nurses as important leaders every day throughout the year in meeting the nation's health care needs.