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ICU team receives Best Poster for Clinical Information Most Pertinent to Your Practice at AACN Horizons Conference

From Left: ICU Nurse Director Estier Sayegh, MBA, BSN, RN, CNRN, PCCN, CCRN, Meaghan McCarthy, MSN, RN, CCRN, Meigan Young Amaral, MSN, RN, ICU Clinical Leader Ellen McCarthy, DNP, MSN, RN, CCRN, and Professional Development Manager Patricia Rabbett, MSN, RN, CCRN-K

Held recently in Portland, Maine, the 2022 Region 1 AACN Horizons Conference was attended by members of Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital’s Department of Nursing. The three-day critical care educational symposium is designed to facilitate the communication of advances appearing on the horizon in critical care. It is also aimed at establishing a network among all participating members to improve the quality of care given to acutely ill patients.

At the event, the ICU’s Meigan Young Amaral, MSN, RN, along with Clinical Leader Ellen McCarthy, DNP, MSN, RN, CCRN, and staff nurse Meaghan McCarthy, MSN, RN, CCRN, presented their poster presentation, “Nurse Driven Palliative Care Consults in the ICU.” The Unit Based Council project was started here at BWFH to improve the rate of palliative care consults for patients in the ICU, which in turn brings much needed resources to the patients, their families and the staff in the ICU. At the end of the Horizons Conference, the team was awarded the Best Poster for Clinical Information Most Pertinent to Your Practice.

All three shared their thoughts on the experience:

“This was my first regional AACN conference and my first time presenting!” says Amaral. “I was so honored to be able to attend as it was a valuable experience. We’ve been working hard even through the pandemic to continue productivity on our projects because it’s part of our profession and our responsibility to improve care for our patients, but it was nice to be regionally recognized for our project. Winning the award was gratifying and gave us validation that our work is meaningful. It made me proud to have other nurses from other regional institutions approach us to ask questions and show their support. Some nurses have already emailed to gather more information on how they can implement a similar project at their own hospitals. I honestly was pleasantly surprised to win the award. Learning and listening to other projects was inspiring as well. It was really nice to network with other local critical care nurses and leaders in an in-person setting again.”

“It’s always great to attend conferences to share your work and learn what nurses are doing at their facilities to improve patient care and patient outcomes. The AACN Horizon’s Conference is nice because it is a critical care educational symposium. I always leave rejuvenated to do more!” says Ellen McCarthy. “Meigan did a great job showcasing the ICU’s palliative care project and it was nice to be honored with the Best Poster for Clinical Information Most Pertinent to Your Practice! Hopefully, patients beyond BWFH will benefit from early palliative care consults to improve their quality of life and support them in their decision making.”

“It was nice to go to an ‘in-person’ conference again and learn from so many great speakers. It is always so nice to learn what other hospitals are doing to improve patient care. We often realize that we could implement these best practices on our own unit,” says Meaghan McCarthy. “And it was very rewarding to be recognized for our palliative care project. We worked hard on the project, throughout the pandemic, and to see other nurses recognize our project as most pertinent to clinical practice validated all of the efforts by our Unit Based Council. In addition, it showed how other nurses recognize palliative care as an essential aspect of caring for the ICU patient, something our nurses are very passionate about.”

To learn more about the Unit Based Council project, check out page 30 of the Department of Nursing Annual Report.

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