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BWFH hosts "Evening of Inquiry"

Evening of Inquiry

Recently, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital hosted the Greater Boston Chapter of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses Evening of Inquiry.

The event showcased two podium presentations and several poster presentations on topics related to research and evidence-based nursing practice affecting acute and critical-care nurses. Among the presenters were several from BWFH: ICU nurse Meaghan McCarthy, MSN, RN, presented one of the two podium presentations and presented the accompanying poster. Pain Management Center Clinical Leader Kathy Armando, BSN, RN, and Pain Management Center nurses Laurie Flahive, BSN, RN, and Amy Kandalaft, RN, had one of the poster presentations.

McCarthy’s project, titled “Implementation of Violet Signs for Violent Patients to Reduce the OSHA Reportable Incidence of Assaults on Nurses,” was co-authored with Quality and Magnet Program Manager Tracy Lane, BSN, RN-BC. The two began the project when they both worked on 6 South. There, the nurses agreed to use violet signs on the doors of patients with a history of violent behavior, instead of standard white signs. Violet was chosen to align with the tag line “Violet for Violence” to alert nurses and other team members of patients with a potential for violent behavior. McCarthy explains, “This non-verbal cue is used to notify all staff at BWFH to be on higher alert when entering a room.”

The use of violet signs to signify a violent patient was implemented hospital-wide in August 2016 with great success. “The hospital’s OSHA reportable incident rate of assaults on nurses decreased,” says McCarthy. “Strategies for preventing nurses and other caregivers from patient assaults are crucial in the hospital setting and this is a simple and cost-effective strategy that can really work.”

For McCarthy, the opportunity to present her work to a room full of her peers was quite special. “It was empowering to share the successes of the project to a room full of nurses who were all working to make a difference, not only on their units, but in healthcare,” she says.

Armando, Flahive and Kandalaft’s poster, titled “Educating Patients Before Spinal Cord Stimulator (SCS) Trial,” aims to prove that patients who have a pre-trial education appointment with staff at the Pain Management Center, come to their SCS trial with more knowledge of the planned procedure and there has been a zero cancelation rate since implementing this practice change. “We now provide patient education to all patients undergoing SCS trial,” says Armando of her poster’s outcome.

Armando says the experience of presenting a poster at the Greater Boston Chapter of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses Evening of Inquiry was very rewarding. “It was truly an awe-inspiring night,” she says of the work that was shared.

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