Penn Nursing Study Improves Outcomes For Sepsis Patients

Penn Nursing Study Improves Outcomes For Sepsis Patients

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing (Penn Nursing) has collaborated with the Center for Home Care Policy & Research at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York on a national study that shows that a combination of early home health nursing and at least one outpatient physician visit in the first week after hospital discharge reduces the risk of 30-day hospital readmission for sepsis patients by seven percent. 

According to eurekalert.org, more than 1 million sepsis survivors are discharged annually from acute care hospitals in the United States. Sepsis survivors account for a majority of hospital readmissions nationwide and effective interventions are needed to decrease these poor outcomes. The study concluded that a combination of home nursing visits and early physician follow-up facilitates a coordinated care plan and early surveillance for new or recurrent problems. 

Kathryn Bowles, PhD, FAAN, FACMI, van Ameringen Chair in Nursing Excellence, and the study’s co-principal investigator, tells eurekalert.org, “Our findings support integrated care management, including scheduling physician follow-up before discharge rather than recommending that patients schedule their own follow-up, as well as a clear communication that this is a sepsis survivor so HHC can activate early attention. If translated nationally, this operational strategy could complement national and state initiatives to improve the acute and PAC outcomes of sepsis survivors. Our study revealed much room for improvement as only 28.1% of sepsis survivors transitioned to HHC received this intervention.”

To learn more about Penn Nursing’s collaboration on a national study of hospital readmissions due to sepsis, visit here

SAFE-T Center at Penn State Trains Nurses to Provide Sexual Assault Care

SAFE-T Center at Penn State Trains Nurses to Provide Sexual Assault Care

Pennsylvania State University is using telecommunications technologies to help train nurses for providing better care to sexual assault victims. The Sexual Assault Forensic Examination Telehealth (SAFE-T) Center connects experienced professionals with nurses and health care professionals in training for sexual assault care, while providing patients with crucial help.

The SAFE-T Center is helping provide better access to sexual assault care in underserved communities across the state. The center, now set up at three partner sites across Pennsylvania, was launched three years ago with funding from the Office for Victims of Crime in the U.S. Department of Justice.

“Having a forensic exam performed with expert nursing assistance in a safe, supported environment can be the first step toward healing,” said Sheridan Miyamoto, assistant professor of nursing at Penn State and director of the SAFE-T Center. “Every victim deserves expert care, and every nurse deserves support in providing that care.”

Merging Forensics and Healthcare

Forensic nursing is crucial to helping care for sexual assault survivors. Forensic nurses are trained in very specialized areas like forensic evidence and collection, and additionally learn how to work with the legal system, in order to interact and present evidence in courtroom cases. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, forensic nursing is expected to grow by 26% in the next ten years.

Jocelyn Anderson, a forensic nurse and researcher at Penn State, also works with the SAFE-T Center and knows how crucial the work of a forensic nurse and sexual assault nurse is.  As she shared with Penn State News, research shows that patients receiving care from specifically trained nurses are more likely to receive appropriate care and medication, and have a sexual assault kit properly collected. This means the likelihood of having their criminal case move forward increases, and the experience is not as traumatic for patients with forensically trained health care professionals.

“This specified training and knowledge is not something that every ER nurse or every trained physician can or should be doing,” Anderson said.

Jane French, a clinical coordinator at the SAFE-T Center, manages a team of expert sexual assault nurse examiners and local nurses. She helps ensure that the patients are cared for and that the staff are fully supported and confident in their work.

“Sexual assault exams can be technically and emotionally difficult, and staff who perform them may be difficult to retain,” French said. “The SAFE-T Center offers quality assurance, peer support, mentorship and on-demand training to help nurses feel confident that they are doing a good job.”

For more information on the SAFE-T Center, click here to visit their website.

New Study From Penn Nursing Links Nurse Work Environments With Outcomes

New Study From Penn Nursing Links Nurse Work Environments With Outcomes

A new meta-analysis from the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing’s (Penn Nursing) Center for Health Outcomes & Policy Research (CHOPR) has synthesized 16 years of studies to show the association between the nurse work environment and four sets of outcomes: nurse job outcomes, nurse assessments of quality and safety, patient health outcomes, and patient satisfaction. 

Nurses play a critical role in patient safety and new research from Penn Nursing explores the relationship between the nurse work environment and a variety of patient and nurse quality and safety outcomes. Nurses are often the last line of defense against medical errors and unsafe practices and this new research shows an association between nurse work environments and health care quality, safety, and patient and clinician well-being. 

Lead-investigator Eileen T. Lake, PhD, MSN, FAAN, the Jessie M. Scott Endowed Term Chair in Nursing and Health Policy, tells TheDP.com, “Our quantitative synthesis of the results of many studies revealed that better work environments were associated with lower odds of negative outcomes ranging from patient and nurse job dissatisfaction to patient mortality.”

The study involved a systematic review of studies from around the world that reported empirical research using the Practice Environment Scale of the Nursing Work Index. The study reported data from more than 2,600 hospitals, 165,000 nurses, and 1.3 million patients about the practice environment, nurse job outcomes, safety and quality ratings, patient outcomes, and patient satisfaction.

To learn more about Penn Nursing’s new study linking better work environments with lower odds of negative outcomes, visit here

Pitt-Greensburg Receives $1.5 Million Grant for Growing Nursing Degree Program

Pitt-Greensburg Receives $1.5 Million Grant for Growing Nursing Degree Program

The University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg was recently granted $1.5 million from the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation to support its growing nursing degree program. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program welcomed its second class of students this fall and is recruiting its third.

The program is affiliated with the internationally recognized University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing and holds national accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Pitt-Greensburg hopes to address a shortage of nurses in the region who have earned degrees. The university expects to have 300 students enrolled in the program by 2020 and to graduate 75 nurses each year.

Marie Fioravanti, director of nursing at Pitt-Greensburg, tells triblive.com, “The BSN is quickly becoming a required degree by major health care providers in the region and the nation. Studies show that hospital units employing nurses with BSN degrees post significantly lower mortality rates than those staffed by non-BSN-degreed nurses.”

The Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation has provided support to Pitt-Greensburg in the past, helping to fund academic halls and technology improvements. The new grant will allow the university to enroll more nursing students and students will have the opportunity to participate in more than 900 hours of clinical experiences at health care facilities in neighboring counties.

To learn more about the $1.5 million grant awarded to University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg’s nursing program, visit here.

Nurse of the Week: Jewish Trauma Nurse Ari Mahler Shows Compassion While Treating Synagogue Shooter

Nurse of the Week: Jewish Trauma Nurse Ari Mahler Shows Compassion While Treating Synagogue Shooter

Our Nurse of the Week is Ari Mahler, a trauma nurse in Pittsburgh and a member of the Tree of Life synagogue’s Jewish congregation, who treated suspected synagogue shooter Robert Bowers after he was brought in to be treated for multiple gunshot wounds from police. The tragic October 27th shooting that killed more than 11 people left Mahler in fear that his own parents may have been victims of the shooting, especially his father who is a rabbi, but he felt compelled to do his job as a nurse and show compassion to his patient regardless of his actions.

Mahler’s story emerged after Allegheny General Hospital President Jeffrey Cohen, who is also Jewish and a member of the Tree of Life Synagogue, told news outlets that a Jewish nurse and Jewish doctor treated the suspected shooter. After seeing local news stations talking about the care he provided that day, Mahler decided to respond with a Facebook post that has since been shared more than 171,000 times.

Bowers had no idea that his nurse was Jewish and Mahler did not disclose that fact while providing treatment. Mahler’s viral Facebook post, which begins with the words “I am The Jewish Nurse,” go on to explain:

“I wanted him to feel compassion. I chose to show him empathy. I felt that the best way to honor his victims was for a Jew to prove him wrong. Besides, if he finds out I’m Jewish, does it really matter? The better question is, what does it mean to you?”

Mahler ultimately provided lifesaving care to his patient as an act of love and humanity, reaffirming that love in the face of evil can provide hope and a path forward. To read Mahler’s full account of treating suspected synagogue shooter Robert Bowers, visit here.

Penn Futures Project Appoints Nursing Faculty Leader to Serve Children and Families of Philadelphia

Penn Futures Project Appoints Nursing Faculty Leader to Serve Children and Families of Philadelphia

The Penn Futures Project, a collaborative effort among three Penn schools serving the Philadelphia community, has appointed new faculty leaders to serve the children and families of Philadelphia. Deans from three Penn schools named Nursing and Nutrition professor Terri Lipman and Child Development and Education professor Vivian Gadsden to serve as the project’s first faculty leaders.

The program was launched in 2015 to promote an interdisciplinary approach to serving the children and families of Philadelphia. Members of the School of Nursing, School of Social Policy and Practice, and Graduate School of Education collaboratively aim to help local community members while simultaneously providing community-based training for graduate students in the field.

Penn Futures oversee five initiatives including a data analysis project to map communities that need pre-kindergarten service, the development of a multidisciplinary child welfare certificate, and the formation of guidelines to train teachers, nurses, and social workers to better serve LGBTQ students. The program also oversees the Calvin Bland Faculty Fellowship which supports one faculty member from each of the three Penn schools to research race, gender, and health in communities of color.

Lipman is the assistant dean for community engagement for Penn Nursing and previously served as director of Penn’s Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program. To learn more about Penn Nursing professor Terri Lipman and her new role as faculty leader for the Penn Futures Project, visit here.

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