Thursday, May 5, 2016

Nurses are the Mainstay of our HealthCare System

The Oxford dictionary defines backbone as the chief support of a system or organization; the mainstay. Nurses are the mainstay of our health care system. Without nurses, the system would quickly fall apart.

Annually, GBMC celebrates National Nurses Week and National Nurses Day. National Nurses Week is celebrated yearly starting on May 6, also known as National Nurses Day, through May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing.
During this week, we take the time to reflect on the profession of nursing and what our nurses mean to us and to also express our gratitude for their care and caring. It’s no secret that nursing requires self-sacrifice and dedication.

The 1,200+ nurses across the GBMC HealthCare system work very hard.  Caring for patients with many needs requires physical and mental stamina. It is not a profession for people who have difficulty focusing on others. Dedication to helping others is a key trait that defines nursing. Our nurses are smart, well-trained and resilient. Their work is not predictable. I am so grateful for their ability to adapt to the variability in demand for their services from day to day and sometimes from minute to minute.

GBMC has always been known for our outstanding nursing care at the bedside of individual patients. More recently, our nurses have become leaders in quality improvement. Just review any of the myriad of metrics that we display at You will see reduced infection rates, falls, and serious safety events among others. Nurse have frequently been the leaders on the teams that have achieved these heightened levels of performance. They have collaborated marvelously well with their physician colleagues and others to move us closer to our vision every day.

We in the GBMC HealthCare system are blessed to have phenomenal nurses in our inpatient units, in our operating suites, in our outpatient areas, our physician practices, and in our hospice. I am very proud of all of them and honored to call them my colleagues.

I also want to highlight the great work by our nursing administrators and educators for their ability to recruit young nurses, train them well and mentor them, making GBMC a great organization for nurses.

So during Nurses Week, please join me in thanking our nurses for all that they do.

How has your life, professionally or personally, been touched in a positive way by a nurse?  Please share your comments below and show our nurses how valuable they are.

Hand Hygiene 
Practicing hand hygiene is a simple yet effective way to prevent infections. Cleaning your hands can prevent the spread of germs, including those that are resistant to antibiotics and are becoming more difficult to treat.

This Thursday, May 5th was declared, by the World Health Organization (WHO), as “World Hand Hygiene Day.”  The day has been designated to remind healthcare workers and to encourage patients and their families to practice good hand hygiene.  It’s no secret that many patients in the United States are affected by healthcare-associated infections and many of these situations could have been prevented by caregivers properly cleaning their hands at key moments in patient care.

So, to celebrate the day and to remind us all of the importance of hand hygiene, members of our Infection Prevention Team, led by Laurie Hart, RN, will be going around the hospital to educate our staff on the proper handwashing techniques and the “5 Moments of Hand Hygiene.”  Thank you very much for washing your hands!

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