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Culture Change Througout Aging Services




(Source: Family Caregiver Alliance Caregiving PolicyDigest Volume X, Number 13)

A July 13th story on NPR examined a Medicare pilot program created under the new health care law that will send doctors and nurse practitioners to visit patients with chronic conditions in their own homes.  The three-year demonstration project, called Independence at Home, will begin in 2012 or sooner and is expected to serve 10,000 of the sickest Medicare beneficiaries.  This type of program will benefit family caregivers who often spend much of their time transporting care recipients to and from doctor's appointments.  For more information, visit:  NPR


Elder-Friendly ER Opening in Port Huron, MI

(Source: by ChangingAging.org)

I was in St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Port Huron, Mich., today. Chances are you’ve probably never heard of it before. Well, this October, St. Joseph Mercy will complete renovations and open one of the nation’s first senior-specific emergency departments. It’s part of a project that was first piloted by Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md., and has been a smashing success for elders, their families and caregivers at the hospital.

I took the opportunity to grab a quick hello from Karen Harris — stay tuned for more information when the ER opens in October!  Senior Emergency Center

RN jobs to rise by 25% in nursing facilities over next decade, government report finds

(Source:  McKnights)

Registered nursing employment is expected to grow by 25% in nursing care facilities from 2008 to 2018. That is according to the 2010-2011 edition the of Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.  Employment is expected to increase by 48% in physician offices and 33% in home health during the same time period. Growth will be at a slower rate in hospitals (17%).  Overall RN employment is expected to rise by 22% from 2008 to 2018. That is “much faster than the average for all occupations,” the 2010-11 edition of Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook reported.  LINK



Nurses: You Better Have Fun!

(Source:  Janet Izzo, Linked In).

According to recent statistics, the number one reason for nurses leaving their jobs is not what you would guess.  It has nothing to do with rotating shifts, working weekends or holidays.  It has nothing to do with work overloads, understaffing or being forced to float to unfamiliar hospital units.  Nurses resign primarily because of issues with coworkers…either they don’t get along with their counterparts or personalities clash to the point of making work (and life) miserable.   

If the workplace is not a positive and enjoyable atmosphere in which to work, nurses will move on.  It seems to be grounds for turning in resignations.  Remember that we often spend more hours in the day with coworkers than we do with our own families.  Eight hours (or twelve as the case may be) is an inordinate amount of time to be unhappy.

To survive and thrive in nursing involves more than just making it through a shift.  It incorporates feelings that we have made a difference in the lives of others.  It means that we are able to go home feeling good about ourselves and the work we have done.  And if we happen to have a little fun along the way, all the better!  There’s an old song that says “love makes the world go round”, but so does laughter and comradery.  Nursing management would do well to take that advice to heart!  Staff turnover is incredibly costly.  Orienting new nurses is the least cost efficient way to spend resources.  Retention of staff is the key. 

As nurses, we must also take some responsibility to assure our workplace is a pleasant and nurturing environment in which to work.  Uplifting one another, supporting one another, and arriving to work with a positive attitude is imperative.  Granted, we like to think of ourselves as the epitome of health care professionals, yet our personal lives are sometimes complicated and hectic.  Is it possible that we often take things too seriously and forget to laugh?  

As dyed in the wool caretakers of humanity, it often feels as though we are in charge of the health and well being of not only ourselves and our families, but of the entire world and its inhabitants.  No wonder we feel bogged down at times!  Nurses deserve to have a friendly and happy atmosphere at work.  If we find that isn’t the case, perhaps we need to be the one to address the issue at the next staff meeting.  A few well thought out suggestions to turn things around may be all that’s needed.  Coworkers will thank you for your bravery and willingness to “step up to the plate” as long as it is done in a positive way. 

Work will always be work, but there is absolutely no reason it can’t be fun once in awhile.  And unless those statistics are lying, we better have fun!  Or else!  LINK HERE


Study: Patient Satisfaction with Hospitals on the Rise

(Source:  www.ahanews.com)

Hospitals are improving the inpatient care experience, according to a study reported today in Health Affairs. The study assesses changes in the mean percentage of positive responses on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey for hospitals participating in March 2008 and March 2009. "We found improvements in all measures of patient experience, except doctors' communication," the authors state. "These improvements were fairly uniform across hospitals. The largest increases were in measures related to staff responsiveness and the discharge information that patients received." The Hospital Quality Alliance, whose members include the AHA, began reporting the survey findings on the Hospital Compare website in March 2008.  LINK HERE