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Improving Patient Outcomes and Staff Morale One Step at a Time

Tisha Dunkley, PCA, and Katie Lyons, BSN, RN, at the 6 North Walking Club Leaderboard

For many hospitalized patients, mobility can be the key to safely returning home to continue recovery. Increasing mobility can improve respiration, prevent complications of being in bed and speed rehabilitation. That’s why the staff on 6 North at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital started the Walking Club.

“Patients sometimes feel trapped in their room,” says Patient Care Assistant Tisha Dunkley. “Just getting them out of their room and into the hallway for a walk can do a lot to make them feel better.”

Katie Lyons, BSN, RN, adds, “Patients can breakdown quickly in a hospital bed. It’s important to keep them mobile to reduce falls and prepare them for going home.”

Dunkley and Lyons see the impact that walking up and down the hallway three times a day can have on a patient’s recovery. Together, they have championed the Walking Club to encourage their colleagues to walk as often as possible with their patients.

“I’m not quite sure who originally came up with the idea, but soon Tisha started keeping track of each of our coworkers’ walks with patients on a whiteboard and it quickly became a friendly competition amongst the staff. Our manager even offered a free beverage coupon for the first person to complete 30 walks,” explains Lyons.

Dunkley also took the initiative to provide inspiration though messages and riddles on the whiteboard, all to create a positive working environment for the staff. “You’re helping the patient, but it’s fun at the same time,” she says.

6 North Nurse Director Suzelle Saint-Eloi, RN, MS, is proud of her staff’s creative thinking. “Our Walking Club is a way to engage staff to walk patients, create fun competition and foster teamwork,” she says. “Plus, it’s been really fun listening to them talk about whose names are on the board and who has the most walks.”

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