You have seen the helicopters flying critically ill patients in and out of SJHW. But have you ever had the chance to see inside the helicopter and see how flight nurses are able to care for patients in the air? Interestingly enough, neither had many of the ED nurses within the SSM-STL North Operating Group (NOG). That’s why St. Joseph Hospital West Trauma Coordinator Jason Collum invited ARCH Air Medical Service to spend a day providing trauma training to ED nurses across the NOG on the St. Joseph Hospital West campus.
ARCH Flight Nurse and Outreach Coordinator Marie Campbell provided staff with important information on topics like pediatric trauma, shock, and abdominal trauma, along with some unique case studies. Then the nurses were able to take an up-close look at an ARCH helicopter, to get a better idea of what their airborne peers are “up” to. “Emergency room staff, ambulance medics, helicopter medics...we’re all working for the same thing, and that is the best possible outcome for each patient,” says Collum. “So by networking, and understanding what each entity is capable of doing, I think that will help us to provide more fluid patient care.” Collum says he would like to host another training event in the fall, and invite local ambulance staff to join as well.
By Kate Hayes
Manager, Public Relations & Marketing
This story started when I found out that two former SJHW patients had given Valentines to the staff on 2-East several weeks ago. Albert Thomas and Terralee Rich were so pleased with the care that they had received on the unit while recovering from life-threatening illnesses, that both of them felt that they just had to do something to say “thank you.” Albert sent a large bouquet of roses, and Terralee hand-delivered a giant card.
I thought that these were such lovely gestures, that I decided to visit these two patients at their homes, and find out more about the care that had made such an impression on them.
When Terralee told me about how the nursing staff anticipated her needs before she had to ask for things, and when Albert said he appreciated their promptness, I was not surprised. After all, “customer service” is the culture at SSM St. Joseph Hospital West.
What did surprise me was when I glanced on top of the entertainment center in Albert’s home and saw not just one, but two cards that were from the hospital. They were thank you cards. And...they had been sent before Albert sent the staff his lovely gift of roses. Albert explained hat he had actually had two recent stays at SJHW, and after each stay, all of the staff who had taken care of him signed a card, sending him well wishes, and thanking him for choosing SJHW. When I asked him what he thought about that, he said it was “awesome.” Obviously, it meant enough for him to have both cards on display for all of his visitors to see.
I didn’t even have to ask Terralee about her card. As she spoke about the warmth she felt from the nursing staff, she told me, “I know they loved me back. And they sent me a nice card saying that I was one of their
nicest patients ever, and that thrilled me to no end! I’ve bragged so much about it because it made me feel their warmth and their love.” All of this she said as tears rolled down her cheeks.
Wow. All of that love and gratitude because our staff not only took the time to deliver exceptional care while these patients were here...they also took a few minutes to sign a thank you card. You should know...you are making an impact.
-What puts patients at high risk for developing pressure sores?
-How do you properly document skin breakdowns in Epic?
-Is one ointment better than another for certain kinds of sores?
-What role does nutrition play in the healing of skin wounds?
These are the kinds of questions that nurses and clinical partners from all SJHW units (except OB and Surgery) brushed up on in an “internal health care” of sorts, called the Skin and Wound Care Blitz. It was held over three days in January. Nursing staff members were able to visit a variety of different stations, where they were able to see and feel the difference in wound care products, measure and identify sores, taste nutritional supplement products and play out wound care scenarios, among other activities.
So why all the extra education? “Unfortunately, the SJHW population in general is at high risk,” explains Mary Pagano-Lampe, RN, staff development specialist for the SSMSTL North Operating Group. “We have the elderly, we have people with fragile skin, we have patients that aren’t well nourished. So as soon as they come to the hospital, we need to know that, so we can prevent any further skin breakdown or prevent it from happening altogether.”
Pagano-Lampe points out that even patients who are extremely well cared for can develop pressure ulcers, like actor Christopher Reeve, who actually died as a result of complications from an infected pressure ulcer. Nurses like Nathan Seely, RN, SJHW float pool, said they really enjoyed the extra training. “I felt it was very informative. We might see a big wound one day, then not see another one for a couple of weeks or a month, so this is a good refresher.”
This is a little tour of the new diagnostic cardiac cath lab suite, which opened at SSM St. Joseph Hospital West on December 1, 2008. The Physicians Cath Lab, or PCL, is operated by SJHW-affiliated cardiologists.