Posts tagged ‘Nursing’

Toxic nursing environments examined in new book

whennursesTwo Penn State College of Medicine professors have written a book that proposes solutions to bullying, bad attitudes, and turmoil in the nursing profession. It will be published Friday, April 12, by Sigma Theta Tau International, the nursing honor society.

The organization approached Cheryl Dellasega with the idea for the book as a follow up to her 2011 When Nurses Hurt Nurses, which presented the problem. “It hit a nerve of sorts, so they wanted another book that was more solutions focused,” she says.

Dellasega’s research centers on relational aggression, while colleague Rebecca Volpe studies organizational cynicism and ethics. When Volpe came to Penn State Hershey three years ago, she and Dellasega began talking about how both of their research interests fell into the category of toxic environments.

“Toxic environments are everywhere, but the stakes are uniquely high in healthcare – potentially life and death,” Volpe says. Toxic Nursing:  Managing Bullying, Bad Attitudes, and Total Turmoil not only examines the roots of the problem, but discusses potential consequences and offers solutions. (more…)

April 11, 2013 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

Penn State Hershey nurses help provide student health screenings in Lebanon

In a typical school year, it takes the nurses of the Lebanon School District four months to conduct health screenings of the entire student body. This year, that effort is expected to take just two days thanks to the involvement of nurses from Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

The Medical Center nurses are teaming up with the district’s nursing staff to conduct vision, hearing, height, weight and scoliosis screenings for students. Nearly 60 Penn State Hershey nurses visited three of the district’s schools on December 7 and more than 75 have returned to the remaining four schools today (December 14). Normally, district nurses would team up to do the student health screenings, leaving their own buildings short-staffed. But this initiative spares the nurses precious time that they can now spend helping students in their respective schools.

Nurse and young girl conducting a hearing test

Hearing tests are part of the health screenings that Penn State Hershey nurses are helping conduct in the Lebanon School District.

Some of the information gathered will be provided to parents in the form of letters stating their child’s height, weight and body mass index (BMI). So-called BMI letters are common. In fact, every year, parents of all school-age children in Pennsylvania receive one from their schools. But this effort is unique because some of the letters sent out in Lebanon will feature a new format. The Center for Nutrition and Activity Promotion (CNAP), which is part of the Department of Public Health Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, has drafted a revised BMI letter based on survey feedback from parents across Pennsylvania who said they wanted better explanations of health risks and a more detailed course of corrective action. CNAP plans to submit the revised letter to the Pennsylvania Department of Health next year in hopes that the new format will be adopted by all public school districts across the commonwealth. CNAP’s efforts to revise the BMI letter are funded by a grant from the Highmark Foundation. (more…)

December 14, 2012 at 4:44 pm 1 comment

When it all comes together… How the nurses of 7West put together a perfect wedding with some help from their friends

Wedding programs

The wedding was perfect—a beautiful bride in a white dress, gorgeous autumn flowers, an outpouring of love from friends and family. The only difference between this wedding and a fairy tale was its locale, which was the surgical waiting room on the first floor of Penn State Hershey Medical Center.

The November 10 wedding, for 19-year-old leukemia patient Courtney Sprenkle and her then-fiance Scott Shelly, was pulled together in about a week’s time. Courtney and Scott had originally planned to get married next year but, after already putting much of their lives on hold during her fight with cancer, she decided the time was right.

Courtney was originally diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia two years ago. During that time, she had three rounds of chemotherapy and two bone marrow transplants, all with Scott by her side. While each treatment was temporarily successful, the leukemia always returned a few months later. After her most recent relapse in October, she talked with her care team about her dream of a picture-perfect wedding.

“We said ‘if she wants it, we’ll make it happen,’” recalls Carol Magee, one of Courtney’s nurses on 7 West, Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. (more…)

December 3, 2012 at 2:06 pm 53 comments

Developing nursing leaders from within

Penn State Hershey has many people to thank for supporting the building of the new Children’s Hospital. From its very foundation to its breathtaking Learning Wall, gracious donors have helped to turn this vision into a reality. Contributor Francis (Fran) S. Soistman, Jr., co-founder and executive vice president of Jessamine Healthcare, Inc., along with his wife, Holly, were  looking to make an impact in a specific way—the development of nursing leaders.

“I’ve spent almost my entire career on the healthcare insurance side of the business and have a very strong appreciation for the role that nurses play in delivering quality health care,” explains Soistman. In the past, the Soistmans have set up endowments for Penn State to fund nursing scholarships. “We wanted to do something of significance to further support men and women thinking about going into nursing and bring more highly trained nurses into the field.” When they decided they were ready to make another contribution, the Children’s Hospital seemed a good fit.

Jeanne Arnold speaks to nursing students

Jeanne Arnold, local philanthropist and advocate for the Children’s Hospital and former senior vice-president of patient care services for Good Samaritan Hospital in Lebanon, speaks to one of the leadership classes.

In preparing for the transition to the new Children’s Hospital, the nursing leadership recognized a large staffing challenge. In fact, the Children’s Hospital would require a 100-percent increase in nurse managers and clinical nurse managers. To meet this need, Penn State Hershey saw the opportunity to “grow from within” by developing and implementing a program that would transition members of its existing pediatric and women’s health nursing teams into these leadership roles.

(more…)

July 26, 2012 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

An interview with our new CNO and CMO

CNO Sherry Kwater and CMO Carol Freer

Chief Nursing Officer Sherry Kwater and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Carol Freer

Earlier this year, Carol Freer, M.D., M.S., F.A.C.P., C.P.E., ’91, was appointed chief medical officer (CMO) for Penn State Hershey Medical Center. She had served as the interim CMO since July 2011. Freer joined Penn State Hershey in 2008 as associate professor of medicine and director of hospitalist outreach. In 2009, she became vice chair for clinical affairs in the Department of Medicine.

At the end of 2011, Sherry Kwater, M.S.M., B.S.N., R.N.,  was appointed chief nursing officer (CNO) for the Medical Center after serving as interim CNO since last May. She joined the Medical Center in August 2010 and brings more than twenty-five years of health care executive leadership to the role.

Freer and Kwater recently answered some questions about their new leadership roles, their vision for helping shape the Medical Center’s continuing growth, and what it’s like to work together toward improving patient quality and care. (more…)

July 23, 2012 at 10:00 am Leave a comment


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