(Washington, D.C.) – The Magnet® nurses at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital are conducting studies aimed at improved and even more supportive patient care.
“Nurses often work the closest and the longest hours with our patients, so their input can really make a huge difference,” said Kimberly Groner, MSN, RN, ANP-C, CCRC, NE-BC, director of Professional Practice, Research and Outcomes at MedStar Georgetown.
“MedStar Georgetown nurses have studied new ways to benefit our patients for many years. I’ve seen nursing research make strides in specialties like transplant, pain management, rheumatologic diseases, cognitive and behavioral therapy, exercise and arthritis.”
One study involves nurses at MedStar Georgetown and their perceptions, comfort and support of advance care planning. On National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16 Georgetown nurses set up information tables, handed out packets and answered questions from 220 patients and visitors about advance care planning. Study leaders will use a survey taken by two groups of nurses to gauge whether or not the event influenced their knowledge and perceptions.
“Our nurses want to have the knowledge and comfort to assist patients who need information about advance care planning, “said Groner. “This study will look at whether or not getting involved with an effort to educate the public helps.”
Another study uses a video tool to provide patients and their families with information in laypersons’ terms about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), life support and patient/family confidence in their decisions about end of life care.
“Participants take a questionnaire before and after viewing a ten minute video to see if their knowledge on these important topics improves,” said Groner. Our aim is to survey fifty people at first and if we find it helpful, we will make the video a standard practice to include more patients because we will have evidence-based research to prove that it works.”
Debra Long, a recent in-patient at MedStar Georgetown participated in the video tool study administered by principal investigator Marlena Fisher, BSN, RN, CCRN.
“I thought the video was very helpful,” said Long. I was very comfortable watching it and I think others would benefit from the information provided. I have talked with my family members about these very issues.”
“Research has shown that traditional methods to educate patients about CPR and life-sustaining measures haven’t worked very well,” said Fisher. “We want to provide our patients with the terms used by the medical community and see if the video helps them retain the information. Participation in the survey is completely voluntary.”
MedStar Georgetown nurses are also studying the effects of a curriculum whose purpose is to improve the care of the elderly, called NICHE, Nurses Improving Care for Health System Elders.
MedStar Georgetown nurses, who are already NICHE certified are looking at a protocol that could mean a better night’s sleep for some older patients.
“The nurses consulted with physicians and proposed taking patients’ vital signs at 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. instead of midnight and 8 a.m.,” said Groner. We think these might be hours when patients are actually sleeping and we want to determine if this allows for a more restful patient experience. It could be a very simple and practical way to help our patient get better sleep and maybe even heal faster.”
MedStar Georgetown was the first center in Washington, D.C. to achieve prestigious Magnet status back in 2004 by the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center (ANCC) and joins just 71 other institutions, or fewer than seven percent of hospitals nationwide, to be recognized by the Magnet Recognition Program® three times in a row. The program recognizes healthcare organizations for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice.
About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is a not-for-profit, acute-care teaching and research hospital with 609 beds located in Northwest Washington, D.C. Founded in the Jesuit principle of cura personalis—caring for the whole person—MedStar Georgetown is committed to offering a variety of innovative diagnostic and treatment options within a trusting and compassionate environment.
MedStar Georgetown’s centers of excellence include neurosciences, transplant, cancer and gastroenterology. Along with Magnet® nurses, internationally recognized physicians, advanced research and cutting-edge technologies, MedStar Georgetown’s healthcare professionals have a reputation for medical excellence and leadership. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital—Knowledge and Compassion Focused on You.