Nurses Week 2018 logo

As the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, said, “the very first requirement in a hospital is that it should do the sick no harm.” Hospitals have an obligation to deliver safe, quality care, and this obligation can only be achieved with the support of the largest group of healthcare professionals, nurses.

For more than 60 years, National Nurses Week has celebrated the integral role nurses play in moving healthcare forward. In honor of this year’s celebration, we would like to recognize our nursing partners and team members who are doing just that by inspiring, innovating and influencing each day to improve the delivery of healthcare, and particularly inpatient glycemic management.

Nurses play a central role and are often responsible for the implementation of protocols, order sets, monitoring, and education that lead to successful inpatient glycemic management. Whether a nursing leader designing the approach to treat patients with hyperglycemia or the bedside caregiver overseeing all care on a 24-hour basis and coordinating the care of patients with hyperglycemia, all nurses are pivotal to achieving best practice clinical care.

While everyone recognizes the role of nurses in glycemic management, perhaps no group is more familiar with the need to engage nurses with these programs then our own group of Monarch clinicians. Our team of nurses has seen the successful initiatives both on the front line of patient care and customer care. Previously working in hospitals, emergency rooms, clinics, labor & delivery, intensive care units, and surgery, they have seen and been responsible for improving glucose management practices. Now, working at Monarch, they’ve been able to work with other leaders at organizations to implement EndoTool® and improve the safety of insulin dosing.

With the experience from both perspectives, we’ve asked what advice they would give to other nurses in the field looking to advance glucose management:

“Improving glycemic management is a quality improvement effort that requires input and involvement from nurses. Nurses should be involved in all areas of improving glycemic care in the hospital setting, including planning and evaluation of needed services and technology, because they will be doing the majority of implementation and are central to any effort to improve care for the hospitalized patient.”- Laurel Fuqua, RN, MSN, Executive VP & Chief Clinical Officer

“With nurses often facing competing priorities, organizations that have driven home the importance of glycemic management as not just another task, but as a critical component of improving the health of their patients, are always more successful. All nurses understand it is not our responsibility to JUST do no harm, but to prevent harm by developing, supporting and instituting policies and practices proven to improve the safety of our patients, and that certainly applies to glucose control. We used to have a saying in the unit where I worked, ‘A good day is one where my patients are better when I finish my shift than they were when I arrived.’”- Laura Santana, BSN, Clinical Product Manager

“Overcommunicate and try to make it fun. Bedside nurses constantly have a million things on their mind, and every time they are pulled away from patient care, they are making mental lists on what they need to do next. This means that overcommunication of the importance of glucose management shouldn’t just be recommended, but required, to ensure everyone is getting the same consistent message. To make it fun, consider challenging other units to a competition. Implement a new glucose management improvement process each month and measure success through meaningful patient outcomes. Winners take glory, bragging rights, and some other awesome incentive!” – Chris Santry, MSN, RN, Clinical Services Specialist

“Without ADA compliant protocols it is difficult to expect a great result. First, I would champion ADA compliant protocols or allow a software-based glucose management system to help. Distribute responsibility in finding a champion to help the unit with glycemic management. Most EMR’s have analytic programs that this champion can use to help the unit improve. Allow them face time with doctors and nurses to promote ADA guidelines of care.” – Alana Weber, RN, BSN, CCRN, Clinical Services Specialist

“Education! Education! Education!  It sounds like a broken record, but it is the foundation for everything.  After education, I believe it is important to share data.  Small huddle meetings that let the clinical staff know the positive affect that proper glucose management is having on their patient populations.  Be transparent.  Share the good and the bad.  If blood glucose checks not being completed on time have become an issue, then address it and show how it affects patient care through data.” – Dave Hodson, RN, BSN, MSHI, Project Manager/ Senior Clinical Advisor

“My favorite quote on my training materials while serving as a flight nurse was by William Shakespeare, ‘The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.’ Remind nurses that it is about the patient, and glycemic management is an important part of the patient’s overall well-being. By utilizing EndoTool, the nurse is able to best meet their patient’s needs, contributing to the patient’s overall healing and improved health status while in the hospital setting.” – Jessie Scapinello, BSN, RN, Clinical Services Specialist

As our own nurses on the Monarch team can attest, nursing, especially relating to diabetes care, can be challenging, but the opportunity for impact is endless. We want to thank all nurses for everything they do and their essential role in delivering high quality healthcare.

Are you interested in hearing other suggestions and advice to engage nursing staff with glycemic management initiatives? Register for a complimentary educational webinar, “The Role of Nursing in the Continuum of Inpatient Diabetes Care.”