Recently I had the pleasure of being invited to participate in Nursing Leadership “Rounds” with Jean Ten Haken, MSN, RN, CENP SVP, then the Patient Care Services & CNO of the Elliot Health System. Jean is now the Elliot Health System’s Chief Operating Officer.
“Rounds” is the term used to describe nursing leadership’s process for visiting each unit. The purpose is to keep communication open and leadership visible to front-line staff. Leaders listen to staff describe their work and address questions that are important to them. The make up of the rounding team is different each month, with different nurse leaders participating each time. I had the privilege to accompany Jean as well as Melissa Vitagliano, BSN, RN, CNOR Clinical Nurse Manager, Surgical Services and Lisa Demos, MSN, RN, CCRN, Clinical Nurse Manager Outpatient and Inpatient Endoscopy. We went from department to department, meeting with the nurses and staff that work the evening and night shift. Did I mention that these “rounds” take place from 8pm to 1am?
We started our evening in the Emergency Department (ED). Two social workers were among the staff talking with us. They were so happy to learn that I am an Associate. They took the opportunity to thank the Associates for gift cards that the Associates provide to some patients in the ED. These cards are worth $5 each and help patients obtain prescriptions when it is a financial hardship. The two social workers were so excited to be able to say “Thank you!” and to let me know how very important the cards are and how much they are appreciated.
After the ED we went up to the 8th floor and worked our way down, stopping in every department that was open. One of the last departments we visited was Women’s and Children’s Services. Again, I received a very warm welcome! The Associates have contributed to the department’s “Safe Sleep Program”. Anne Frechette, who is the OB Unit Educator and one of the nurses who spearheaded the program, showed everyone the “swaddlers.” These are sleep sacks in which the newborns are wrapped, to keep them safe as they sleep. Another proud moment for the Associates!
In every department we were warmly welcomed. The nurses and staff asked lots of questions of Jean, Melissa and Lisa. I learned so much by listening and I was even asked an occasional question. They enjoyed hearing the current news of the hospital and having their concerns heard and addressed. It was an honor to be included. I had a great time meeting the nurses and staff of the Elliot Hospital.
Thank-you Jean, Melissa and Lisa!