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Reflection of an Attitude

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Chief Nursing Executive
Deb Shriver



Pathway to Excellence - The Reflection of an Attitude


Though the experience of her father's death is still very fresh and painful, Kia Deuel is already able to see the good that came from the loss. Among the positives, is understanding the impact one nurse can make in the life of a patient and their family, and the importance that UnityPoint Health - Trinity has placed on that role.


Kia, BSN RNC, has made a career as a Pediatric nurse at Trinity for 25 years. Following in her mother's footsteps, she firmly believes nursing is a calling and it is one that she takes to heart. This is why Trinity's recent designation as a Pathway to Excellence hospital means so much to her as a nurse.


"The recognition and honor for a hospital to achieve the Pathway to Excellence is an acknowledgement that Trinity is committed to being above the rest," Kia shares. "It says to our employees, our future employees and the people we serve that we are continually striving for excellence. It says that we hold ourselves to a higher standard, and as a nurse I take comfort
in that."


Trinity first started the process to apply for the Pathway to Excellence in the early fall of 2010. In September, UnityPoint Health - Trinity was notified that it had achieved the honor and prestige of a Pathway to Excellence hospital.


Over the months of evaluating how Trinity met the 12 standards required by ANCC's Pathway to Excellence, Trinity's staff were able to explore best practices and to assess everything that they did in providing quality patient care. "During that time we really were able to explore what was working well and what changes to processes we could make to improve care, all the while keeping patients and their families at the center of our focus," explained Kia.


The evaluation process did bring about improvements to patient care Kia shares, including Infection Prevention, a committee which she sits on, and prevention of Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI). "We started to strongly work on the criteria around catheters, making sure the bag doesn't get too full or sit on the ground. Most importantly, nursing staff have been working closely with physicians around decreasing the length of time that a patient has a catheter. We've also established documented criteria in which a patient has to meet in order to use a catheter." The evidence of this diligence toward Infection Prevention can be seen through the recent naming of HealthGrades as Trinity being in the top 5% of U.S. hospitals in patient safety.


Kia tributes part of the success of the Pathway to Excellence accreditation to Trinity's nursing shared decision making counsel called Inviting Growth in Nursing and Igniting Teams in Excellence (IGNITE). IGNITE consists of four committees all represented by nurses which include; Nursing Practice and Operations, Nursing Education and Research, Nursing Professional Image, and Performance Improvement. These groups meet on a regular basis to ensure Trinity's nursing staff has the tools needed to provide the best care for the community in which they serve.


"Bedside Reporting is one area IGNITE has supported that I now have a greater appreciation of because of my own experience," states Kia. Bedside Reporting is the practice of educating patients and families about their care at shift changes and including them on any decisions that need to be made concerning their care.


Late this October, Kia and her family found themselves at another healthcare facility praying her father would recover from emergency heart surgery. "I learned personally how one nurse can play such a vital role to a patient and their family," Kia shared. "When you are sitting at the bedside of a loved one feeling helpless, how you are treated and how you are included in their care means everything. When things are not going well, a nurse can make a bad situation better by filling it with compassion and caring, or a nurse, just by their attitude, can make the situation frustrating and heartbreaking."


"I am proud to be a part of the Trinity family," Kia acknowledges. "I'm proud that we are continually working to provide great care, and that our employees truly want to continually improve. I believe that the Pathway to Excellence designation is a reflection of that desire."