Category: Patients

Methodist Richardson Medical Center Announces $120 Million Expansion

By Ken Hutchenrider Jr., FACHE
President, Methodist Richardson Medical Center

The city of Richardson just got some great news. Methodist Richardson Medical Center is planning a $120 million, four-story, 125-bed acute care hospital for the Bush/Renner campus. As the leader of Methodist Richardson, I’m proud, excited, and keenly aware of the tremendous responsibility our organization has to care for the well-being of the residents of Richardson and surrounding communities. For more than 40 years, the patients and families in our service area have trusted us with their health. Now we are pleased to strengthen our commitment to them with the construction of this advanced, 266,000-square-foot medical center.

The final design for the new Bush/Renner medical center involved visiting many health care facilities across the country to evaluate work flow efficiencies, comfort, patient- and family-friendliness, and overall contribution to healing. Our final design brings the best ideas together to create what will be one of the leading health care facilities in the country.

The new medical center will feature:

  • A women’s pavilion
  • A level III neonatal intensive care unit
  • Labor, delivery, and recovery services
  • Advanced cardiac care including catheterization, electrophysiology, and surgical services
  • Advanced neurosciences program
  • Outpatient surgical services with a focus on minimally invasive surgery with the da Vinci® robotic surgical system
  • Comprehensive imaging technologies for enhanced diagnostic services and treatment.

The facility’s all-private patient rooms will incorporate a unique, highly efficient design with three distinct zones — the family zone next to the window, the patient zone around the bed, and the caregiver zone surrounding the patient zone.

The architectural design of the medical center incorporates lots of glass, bringing natural light into patient care and lobby areas. Outpatient services will be conveniently located on the ground floor, and many of our employee break rooms will have outside balconies, enabling staff to easily step outside for a breath of fresh air.

What benefits will this new Bush/Renner medical center offer and how does it integrate with our current medical center on Campbell Road? The facility is really the means to achieving a desired outcome. It will put the latest diagnostic and treatment resources at the fingertips of our exceptional team of physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals to provide our patients and families with the quality of care and outstanding experience that will help them regain their optimal state of health. It will also serve as the anchor of the Bush/Renner campus that currently includes a comprehensive cancer center, full-service emergency room, and physician office building.

After ground is broken in late summer or early fall 2012, construction is expected to take 24 months. The opening of the medical center in fall 2014 will bring a realignment of health care services to better serve the growing needs of the community. Acute care services will be centralized at the Bush/Renner medical center, while the Campbell Road campus will continue to offer a full-service emergency department, outpatient diagnostic and laboratory services, behavioral health services, and physician office building, and we will be adding long-term acute care, hospice, and inpatient rehabilitation services. By adding these acute care services at the Bush-Renner campus, we will be able to expand the scope of Methodist Richardson’s caring network to the growing communities of Wylie, Sachse, and Murphy.

In addition to improving the health of the communities we serve, we will be improving the area’s economic vitality. We’re adding 100 new positions, resulting in a total employee base of 1,000. We’re also expanding our medical expertise with physicians representing 35 specialties.

The expansion at the Bush/Renner campus along with the specialized services available at the Campbell location will equip Methodist Richardson with the ability to meet the needs of our community, allowing us to be the trusted provider for every generation.

If you’re looking for new opportunities to expand your career, then it’s time to choose Methodist. Learn more by visiting Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.

© Methodist Health System

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Expanding to Meet the Community’s Trauma and Emergency Needs

By Kathryn Allen
Vice President of Development
Methodist Health System

When you think of trauma and emergency services, which hospitals in the Dallas–Fort Worth area come to mind? Methodist Dallas Medical Center should be in the top

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three. The fact is, if you experience a severe injury or serious acute illness in the Dallas Metroplex, there’s a one in three chance you’ll be brought to Methodist Dallas. With a long history of investing in caring for the emergency medical needs of the communities we serve, Methodist Dallas has seen its emergency patient visits mushroom to more than 62,000 annually. The challenge for staff has been to meet the community’s growing needs in a facility designed to handle a maximum of 50,000 annual patient visits.

Plans are underway to add a six-story critical care tower to Methodist Dallas, the flagship hospital of Methodist Health System.

Anchoring the new facility will be a state-of-the-art, expanded emergency department. Featuring 55 individual treatment rooms, the new ED trauma center will provide our trauma physicians with some of the latest and most advanced diagnostic technologies and patient-centric design. This is especially critical for trauma patients where seconds are precious during the first “golden hour” following injury.

Topping off the new critical care tower will be eight new surgical suites and 11 new
surgical intensive care unit patient rooms. With this expanded facility, Methodist Health System is taking a leadership position in emergency and trauma services, stepping up to the plate with an ambitious plan that isn’t just about a building — it’s about recognizing
the increasing demands from the community and meeting those demands with the
best solution.

Groundbreaking is set for September 11, 2012, with completion targeted for spring 2014. It’s no accident that we chose September 11 for breaking ground on this monumental project. It’s an important day we’ll never forget. Emergency responders were the underpinning of New York’s response to the crisis that day, and the fire, police, and emergency medical technicians paid a tragic price for their bravery and commitment. Every day, we are blessed to work with these professionals.

While the new facility will be impressive, bricks and mortar are only one benefit to the community. The new tower is a resource that will help the extraordinary team of physicians, nurses, technicians, and other health care professionals deliver the best-possible care to patients and their families in extremely trying times. That’s the message we want to bring to the community and our employees as we launch a capital campaign to raise approximately $20 million for this project.

As we designed the new patient tower, emergency and trauma physicians, nurses, and clinicians were at our side, helping us make key decisions about the design and functionality of the new facility. In addition to unparalleled patient care areas, we are including family-friendly spaces and specially designed teaming areas that facilitate rapid and efficient development of individual patient care plans.

Methodist Dallas employees will serve as proud ambassadors in the community, helping us spread the word about the unquestioned need for this new patient tower and the array of benefits the community will receive when the tower opens in 2014.

If you’re looking for an opportunity to join a health care leader committed to serving the vast medical needs of the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, then look to Methodist. Learn more by visiting Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.

© Methodist Health System

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10 Reasons Why Nurses Are Amazing

By Fran Laukaitis, RN, MHA
Chief Nursing Officer, Methodist Charlton Medical Center

I love National Nurses Week. It’s one of my favorite times of the year. This week, at Methodist Health System we’re having a wonderful celebration to honor the extraordinary nurses who are part of the Methodist family. What’s more, we’re kicking off the DAISY Award program to further recognize our nurses (more about that later).

National Nurses Week gives us an opportunity to publicly thank our nurses and let them know that we are proud to be here with them as they make a difference to others every single day. They are a blessing for patients and they are a blessing to me personally as their nurse leader.

Why are nurses so special? Here are the top 10 reasons why nurses are truly amazing.

  1. Selflessness. Nurses give so much of themselves to others every single day.
  1. Flexibility. Our staff works tirelessly to deliver the high-quality care our patients and their families have come to expect from Methodist. With self-scheduling, nurses are usually able to find ways to juggle rewarding careers with the needs of their families.
  1. Passion. Nurses are passionate about what they do, which explains why they work hours others wouldn’t consider working, including evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays. And yet, it can be magical to work in a hospital on Christmas morning with patients who appreciate the sacrifices and the care that nurses give them on that special day — as well as each day of the year.
  1. Compassion. The spirit of caring for others extends beyond nurses’ patients to encompass their co-workers, the organization, and the entire community. They come in early. They stay late. They trade shifts so others can attend important family events. They give, give, give.
  1. Humor. Nurses excel at having a sense of humor that many patients appreciate during difficult times.
  1. Connecting with patients. Caring for patients involves more than caring for their physical well-being. It’s not unusual for nurses to do extraordinary things for patients, like celebrating birthdays and anniversaries, bringing a Christmas gift to a patient who has no family, and many other thoughtful acts that contribute immeasurably to the overall patient experience.
  1. Putting patients first. Our nurses are guided by a simple but crucial principle — do what’s best for the patient.
  1. Sharing. Whether at the beginning of life or at the end, or anywhere in between, nurses are there to share the most important milestones with their patients as well as some of their toughest days. Patients may not realize it, but they impact and shape our lives too. I cherish the memories of so many of my patients from many years ago.
  1. Trust. It’s not lost on our nurses that their profession is one of the most trusted in the United States. Not only is this an honor, it is a responsibility to meet patients’ and families’ expectations every day.
  1. It’s our calling. It is our life’s work. For all of us at Methodist, nursing isn’t just a job, it’s our life, our calling, and we can’t imagine doing anything else.

Earlier I mentioned the DAISY Award. We are proud to launch this special nursing recognition at Methodist during National Nurses Week. Nominations will be accepted throughout the year, and an honoree will be selected from each Methodist hospital four times per year. The DAISY Award grew out of the grief of one family’s loss and their desire to thank the wonderful nurses who took care of their loved one during his final days. You can read more about this award at www.daisyfoundation.org.

If you’re looking for an amazing place to be a nurse, then it’s time to choose Methodist. Learn more by visiting Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.

© Methodist Health System

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Nursing on a Mission

By Doris Giles, RN, MS, and Debbie Seider, RN, MSN
Congregational Nursing Coordinators, Methodist Health System

Many hospitals talk the talk about treating the whole person -– body, mind, and spirit. We’re proud to say that at Methodist Health System, we walk the walk. As congregational nursing coordinators, we extend the Methodist Health System mission by partnering with nurses at faith communities to help them have healthier congregations.

What, you may ask, is a congregational nurse? Congregational nursing traces its modern roots to the 1980s when a Lutheran minister in Chicago realized that nurses in congregations were uniquely positioned to bridge the languages of faith and health. He recognized that nurses could help bridge the gap between the church and modern medicine and could augment care for patients through the faith-based system ensuring whole person health — body, mind, and spirit.

Today, we’re

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proud that our congregational model has expanded to include 54 churches in Dallas, Oak Cliff, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, Red Oak, DeSoto, Duncanville, Mesquite, and Grand Prairie. The focus of congregational nursing is health promotion and disease prevention with the intentional integration of faith and health. Many of the congregants in the churches we serve suffer from chronic illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension. These diseases take a toll not only on individuals, but on the group as a whole. So, helping people understand what they can do to prevent health issues and the value of early detection and treatment improves their health and the overall well-being of the entire congregation.

We know that we can only do so much. That’s why, when we’re dealing with such big challenges as diabetes and high blood pressure, we turn to recognized, well-respected partners to support our efforts. We’ve partnered with the American Diabetes Association to implement Project POWER, a faith-based curriculum to help members of congregations understand diabetes, care for themselves if they have the disease, and recognize signs and symptoms that put them at risk for developing the disease. We also link up with social agencies that share the same mission and commitment as Methodist.

We know that physical, emotional, and spiritual health are intertwined. Often, spiritual issues arise from physical ailments. Or, emotional issues can trigger physical responses. That’s why we look at the whole person and his or her individual situation and intentionally integrate health and faith to provide care.

Our interest in congregational nursing grew from our desire to combine our personal experiences of service at church with our nursing profession. For example, we were dismayed when renal patients came in to begin dialysis because their kidneys had been damaged by undiagnosed diabetes or hypertension. The model of congregational nursing may have been able to prevent their kidney failure from occurring. We were elated to discover that Methodist promoted this model of nursing in the community and became coordinators for the congregational nursing program in 1999 and 2000.

We can’t say enough about the rewards we receive from the congregations with whom we work. We see the payoff of our efforts every day as congregations become physically, emotionally, and spiritually healthier. And our work with fellow nurses to help them understand the mind, body, spirit connection, is extremely gratifying. As nurses, we are trained to do procedures, but we don’t always learn how to just “be” with someone. We strive to bridge that gap when we work with other nurses on the philosophy of congregational nursing.

Here are five important attributes we think contribute to a successful congregational nurse:

  • Passion. Has a passion for serving others.
  • Maturity. Has developed professional maturity and an understanding of his or her faith -– understanding that other people’s faith may not be the same as yours.
  • Healthy boundaries. Maintains healthy boundaries.
  • Integrity and character. Knows how to respond appropriately to sensitive and confidential information.
  • Reflective. Knows how to assess his or her spirituality on a day-to-day basis.

Our best advice to nurses considering congregational nursing as a career is to evaluate what you’d like to do and then make a good decision based upon where God is leading you.

If nursing is your calling, then it’s time to explore the many nursing opportunities

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available at Methodist where you can share your gifts. Learn more by visiting Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.

© Methodist Health System

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I Loved Being an ED Nurse

By David Campbell, RN, BSN, CEN, CPEN, CTRN
Manager of Education, Methodist Richardson Medical Center
(Formerly Emergency Department Nurse, Methodist Charlton
Medical Center)

I loved being an ED nurse. I say loved because eight months ago I took a new position as manager of education for Methodist Richardson Medical Center. But, for the first 12 years of my career, I was a full-blooded ED nurse. What attracted me to the ED and how did I last so long in such a fast-paced environment? I saw it as a benefit to my career, and enjoyed the variety it offered me every day.

My career in the ED took many twists and turns including stints in pediatric nursing, as a member of the transport team, as an ED nurse at Methodist Charlton Medical Center, and as a clinical educator in the ED. What’s so great about working as a nurse in the ED? I can sum it up in four words — people, variety, technology, and gratification. Let me explain.

The people I worked with, the people I cared for, all of them contributed to the fast-paced, exciting environment in which I

thrived. In the ED, variety is the name of the game because you see and care for patients presenting with everything from the flu to multi-system traumas. You even have an occasional baby born in the ED! This variety provides a great foundation for expanding your career and your knowledge base. You also get to experience a wide variety of technology requiring hands-on skills. Many procedures are initiated in the ED — catheters, drips, IVs, complex medication regimens, monitors, defibrillators, and much more.

Finally, the ED is probably the only place in the hospital where you can see the immediate results of your care. In other areas it can take days, weeks, or even months before a patient improves and the value of your care becomes apparent. But in the ED, for example, if someone comes in with a broken arm, you set it, splint it, provide pain medication, and send him or her home. The patient improvement, right before your eyes, is very gratifying.

Another benefit of working in the ED is the

opportunity you have to not only care for
the patient, but also care for his or her family. Families who come to the ED are anxious, worried, and craving information. I always try to put myself in the families’ shoes and imagine what I can do to comfort them and make their experience as satisfying as possible. What I learned over the years was the critical role that families play in the well-being of their loved ones – from the time they hit the ED doors until the time they were back
home. Families have as much to do with how satisfied patients are with their care as
the patients do.

I left the ED reluctantly, but I’m happy that my career path took me in a new direction. Every position I’ve held previously has involved some aspect of education. I’ve always loved teaching and my current position allows me to build on the role of educator as I plan for the educational needs of the entire staff of Methodist Richardson. My vision of a great educator is to inspire others to not only “get it,” but to “share it.”

I got into nursing because I wanted to help people. Now, I can reach so many more
people by training fellow nurses to think more critically and to better understand the disease processes.

One final reason to consider a nursing career in the ED — it could lead to love. My wife and I met when we were both working in the ED many years ago. You never know where your career and life will lead you.

If you’re ready for a fast-paced, gratifying nursing experience, then maybe it’s time to choose an ED specialty at Methodist Health System. Learn more by visiting Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.

©Methodist Health System

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Marching to Support the Health of Babies

By Pam Gessling, BSN, MBA, NEA-BC, RNC-OB, EFM-C
Director of Nursing for Women and Children’s Services,
Methodist Dallas Medical Center

April 21 is a day that many Methodist Health System employees are looking forward to. That’s the day we get to show our true color — Methodist blue — by supporting the health of babies in our community by participating in the March of Dimes Walk for Babies.

Why are we so passionate about this event? Everyone in Women and Children’s Services knows someone who has had a premature baby. They’ve seen the impact that premature births can have on babies and their families in terms of future health challenges and ongoing costs of care. They know that if prematurity can be prevented, the health of the community benefits.

Last year, more than 1,200 Methodist walkers raised a total of $144,000, the second-highest amount raised by any company in Dallas, and the largest amount raised by any health care organization. Participation in the Walk counts toward community service and nurses can use it toward the requirements for their clinical ladder points. Various activities are conducted at the Methodist campuses, fueling a friendly rivalry that propels our fundraising efforts to new heights each year.

During the past two years, the March of Dimes has provided more than $80,000 in grants and funding to the Life Shines Bright Pregnancy Program. Part of Methodist’s mission is to drastically reduce preterm birth rates in the Methodist Dallas Medical Center service area which unfortunately has one of the highest preterm delivery rates in the nation.

Through our Golden Cross Academic Clinic, which serves patients’ wellness and chronic-illness management needs as well as trains physicians, we started a prenatal care model at Methodist Dallas Medical Center called Centering Pregnancy. Groups of moms-to-be with similar gestational periods participate

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in prenatal education on a regular basis to guide their care. We’re thrilled with the results that our efforts have achieved. From a preterm delivery rate of more than 20 percent three years ago, we have reduced the incidence to 6 percent today. We can truly see the results of our walking efforts translated into improved health for the babies and their families in our communities.

If I were a nurse considering a health care organization for my career, I would ask three questions about its support for the community:

  • Do you give back to the community?
  • How do you assess community needs to select organizations to support?
  • How much employee support do you have for these initiatives?

Why do I give back? I’ve volunteered for the March of Dimes for 25 years. My commitment, like that of most volunteers, stems from my personal experience. I was a premature twin. My sibling didn’t survive. I just want to make a difference for someone else. Everyone deserves their full nine months of gestation to help assure a healthy start in life.

If you’re searching for a career that benefits not only the patient but the community as well, then it’s time to choose Methodist. Learn more by visiting Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.

© Methodist Health System

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Focusing on a Core Measure: Reducing Hospital-Acquired Infections in Ventilator Patients

Sonya Goffney, RT, Manager Respiratory Therapy

Methodist Dallas Medical Center
Nicole Higdon, RT
Tara Merchant, RT
Methodist Dallas Medical Center

Working at a tertiary care facility like Methodist Dallas Medical Center provides clinical staff with the opportunity to care for patients with medically complex conditions. Many are critically ill and require careful monitoring and higher levels of care. While challenging and rewarding, this level of acuity places added responsibility on the caregivers’ shoulders to do everything in their power to prevent costly hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) from occurring.

For respiratory therapists, a primary focus is preventing ventilator-associated pneumonias (VAPs) from occurring in critically ill patients. This common HAI has been targeted for incidence reduction by The Joint Commission and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In fact, CMS will begin penalizing hospitals with unacceptably high rates of VAP through its value-based purchasing reimbursement model. Ventilator patients are often unable to maintain and clear their airways. Their cough can be minimal and they have trouble clearing their secretions. This causes their immune system to be compromised so they’re more susceptible to pneumonia.

Why are VAPs of such concern to The Joint Commission and CMS? In his March 2009 article, “The Direct Medical Costs of Healthcare-Associated Infections in U.S. Hospitals and the Benefits of Prevention,” R. Douglas Scott II, an economist for the Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimates that more than 52,000 VAPs occur annually with a per patient cost of between $14,806 and $28,508.

In “Strategies to Prevent Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia in Acute Care Hospitals” published in the October 2008 issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the incidence of VAP among ventilated patients is reported to be between 10 to 20 percent. These studies also suggest that many cases of VAP could be prevented by careful attention to the process of care.

At Methodist Dallas, reducing VAPs is a team effort. Respiratory therapists and nurses join forces to follow ventilator patient care protocols outlined by The Joint Commission, CDC, and other leading health care organizations.

  • Keep the head of the patient’s bed raised between 30 and 45 degrees unless other medical conditions do not allow this to occur.
  • Check the patient’s ability to breathe on his or her own every day so that the patient can be weaned from the ventilator as soon as possible.
  • Follow generally accepted hand-washing guidelines, cleaning hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub before and after touching the patient or the ventilator.
  • Clean the inside of the patient’s mouth on a regular basis, including suctioning the patient’s mouth to reduce germs.
  • Clean or replace equipment between use on different patients. Much of the equipment we use at Methodist Dallas is designed for one-time use, which can be more costly but safer for the patient.
  • Suction the endotracheal tube frequently.
  • Educate and involve the family on pneumonia and HAIs and encourage their participation in their loved one’s care.
  • Establish and follow ventilator bundles of care that are comprised of standing orders for ventilator care that are on the patient’s chart and serve to ensure optimal safety.

Every day we track, via unit boards, the length of time since the last VAP and every day we go without an infection is a reason to celebrate. The great thing about working as a respiratory therapist at Methodist Dallas is that you really feel like everyone is motivated to help the patient get better and go home.

If you’re a respiratory therapist who’s ready for a breath of fresh air for your career, then it’s time to choose Methodist. Learn more by visiting Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.

©Methodist Health System

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RN Refresher Course Gets Veteran Nurses Back In the Game

By Tony Paterniti, RN, PhD
Director, Department of Education, Methodist Health System
Cheryl O’Neal, RN, MSN
Education Specialist II
Methodist Health System 

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Does this sound like you? You’ve been a nurse for a number of years. A few years back, you decided to take a break from the profession. Now, you’re ready to get back to the bedside, but you need to make sure your skills are up to date so that you’re prepared to get back in the game.

Methodist Health System understands this situation and has created a unique solution to help nurses get up to speed quickly so they can return to the workforce. The RN Refresher Course at Methodist Health System is the only hospital-based, return-to-work program in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Methodist created this unique educational program a few years ago after seeing many applicants who had temporarily left the nursing profession and wanted to return to caregiving.

The 16-week RN Refresher Course fulfills all of the requirements set by the Texas Board of Nursing. Applicants typically have been out of nursing for two to 20 years. The course includes an orientation, skills review, on-site clinical once a week at various Methodist Health System hospitals, and an online textbook. Most students complete the course in six to 16 weeks, depending on the pace they choose to pursue. Applicants who successfully complete the course receive a certificate of completion.

The Methodist RN Refresher Course is generally recognized for meeting the needs of veteran nurses. The course is offered three times per year, with each class comprising 20 nurses. Classes usually fill up quickly. Many Refresher Course students say it meets both their personal and professional needs because the curriculum integrates online learning with in-hospital clinical experience.

Historically at the leading edge of nursing education and career opportunities, Methodist is a preferred employer for nurses at all stages of their careers. Like many of Methodist’s educational initiatives, the RN Refresher Course is a win-win for both the organization and the nurse. The course:

  • Helps nurses who have been out of the profession build confidence in their clinical skills in a supportive, supervised environment.
  • Updates students on the latest health care technology and computer systems. This is an area of concern for many returning nurses.
  • Eases students back into a work routine with an eight-hour shift.
  • Offers students the opportunity to assess and test themselves in a work environment after being away from the job for a while. For some, the experience tells them that returning to work may not be their best course of action.
  • Provides students the opportunity to resume full-time work with an income and benefits.
  • Offers some students the opportunity for full-time employment with Methodist upon successful completion of the course.

Methodist’s commitment to nurses extends beyond the RN Refresher course to the System’s partnership with the El Centro Community College Nursing Program. Fully funded by Methodist since 2006, employees, volunteers, and immediate family members of employees who are accepted into the program have their tuition, fees, and textbooks paid for by Methodist. And, Methodist sponsors seven nurse internships for nursing school graduates. We are proud of the quality education we provide for nurses in all phases of their careers.

If the time is right for you to return to nursing, then it’s time to choose Methodist’s RN Refresher Course. Learn more by visiting http://www.methodisthealthsystem.org/RNRefresher or Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.

©Methodist Health System

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Breaking the Myth About Telemetry

By GeTonya Dickerson, RN
Clinical Nurse Supervisor, Cardiac Telemetry,
Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

I always knew I wanted to be a nurse. In 2005, I joined Methodist Health System as a patient care technician (PCT) while attending nursing school. During my last year of school I signed a contract with Methodist. It was great for me because I got paid while I was finishing my education, and I had a job for two years after graduation.

When we built a house in Mansfield, I looked at the options available at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center. The available position was in telemetry, but I was afraid of learning rhythms and that made me uncomfortable caring for cardiac patients. Also, I heard nurses say that telemetry nursing was more difficult than med-surg because the patients were sicker with higher acuity levels.

I’m glad I decided not listen to the other nurses and to take a chance with telemetry. I’m thankful that Methodist Mansfield gave me the chance to become a telemetry nurse. From the start, they assured me that I wasn’t alone, and they would provide the additional training and backup resources I would need to be successful. I became certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and attended a dysrhythmia class. I found it reassuring to have monitor techs available in the monitoring room to provide backup around the clock. And in times of crisis, I knew I had the support of the charge nurse and other nursing staff. Teamwork is a tradition at Methodist, and it shows as evidenced by our achievement of Pathways to Excellence®, Chest Pain Center with PCI accreditation by the Society of Chest Pain Centers, and a Best Place to Work eight years in a row by the Dallas Business Journal.

What’s so ironic is that what I at first feared about the job is actually what I enjoy most. I’m proud that I work in a specialty area that requires more of me as a nurse. I have to maintain my certifications and keep up on the latest advances in cardiac telemetry. I also enjoy working with critically ill patients. Because most of these patients receive intravenous medication drips and specialized cardiac drugs, I have to monitor each drug differently. There are certain side effects that are unique to each drug and some side effects that are common to all of the drugs. So I monitor the patient and his or her telemetry for signs of potential problems.

After receiving a report from the previous shift, I conduct patient rounds, review their charts and rhythms, and gather the required medications to administer. When I review patient rhythms, I look for abnormalities or arrhythmias.

I feel that telemetry has prepared me to provide better care for patients with a variety of diagnoses. Because many of the patients entering the hospital suffer from some type of cardiac issue, being certified in telemetry helps me be more confident as a nurse for the vast majority of patients for whom I provide care.

Being a telemetry nurse is both challenging and rewarding. I absolutely love working here and in 2011, true to Methodist’s commitment to promoting from within, I was advanced to my current position as clinical nurse supervisor.

I love working at Methodist Mansfield because they believe in the culture of ALWAYS. We will ALWAYS be there for our patients and we will ALWAYS be there for each other.

If you’re ready to fall in love with a new career, maybe you should consider Methodist. Learn more by visiting Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.

© Methodist Health System

EOE/M/F/D/V

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Trends in Cardiology

By Chris Murray, RCIS
Lead Tech, Methodist Dallas Medical Center

We’ve come a long way, baby. That’s not only true of most areas of medicine; it’s especially true for cardiology, my area of specialization. When I think about the leaps and bounds we’ve made in diagnosing and treating various heart problems since I began my career, it’s astounding and satisfying.

It’s amazing how much technology has improved patients’ lives and how much it has pushed cardiovascular clinicians to continually learn and expand our understanding of this all-too-common disease. I’m satisfied knowing that as caregivers,
we are fortunate to practice in an environment dedicated to pursuing excellence in all phases of cardiovascular care.

Here are just a few examples of the exciting developments in the field of
cardiovascular care.

  • The radial vs. femoral artery approach for diagnostic and interventional procedures has resulted in an 80 percent reduction* in complication rates and an accompanying increase in patient satisfaction, because patients’ recovery time is reduced as are the number of complications.
  • Structural repair trends include:
    • A minimally invasive percutaneous approach to repair structural defects and move away from open surgical procedures.
    • The percutaneous aortic valve, which is on the market for treatment of aortic stenosis and aortic insufficiency.
    • And, the mitral valve clip placement is being used for treatment of mitral regurgitation.
  • Vascular repair trends include:
    • Improved stents, which have evolved from polymer-coated, metal drug-eluting stents to drug-eluting bioabsorbable stents, potentially reducing restenosis.
    • Expansion of vascular services to improve not only heart health but also extremity health, which greatly benefits patients overall.
  • Perhaps some of the most exciting research is being studied in clinical trials on drug-eluting balloons, drug-eluting stents for the periphery, and using different forms of atherectomy in combination with other forms of therapy.

For patients, cardiovascular excellence means less-invasive diagnostics, improved CT angiograms, and much earlier identification and intervention with appropriate treatments. For clinicians whose passion is cardiology, it means the opportunity to practice in a center featuring the latest technology and the challenge of becoming more and more tech savvy so they can maximize the value of these new tools to enhance their practices and improve their patients’ outcomes.

For me, Methodist Health System has the right prescription for cardiovascular excellence. We have:

  • A growing integrated delivery system.
  • A cardiovascular program that is expanding in scope and expertise.
  • A commitment to recruit and retain top cardiac specialists and sub-specialists, as well as other members of the cardiovascular care team.
  • A long-range view that is grounded in investing in current and emerging technology.
  • A passion for continuous clinical improvement in care processes to produce enhanced patient outcomes.
  • A focus on patient- and family-centered care to improve the overall patient and family experience.
  • A laser-focus on differentiating based on quality, such as chest pain centers with percutaneous coronary intervention accreditation at Methodist Dallas Medical Center and Methodist Richardson Medical Center.

If Methodist Health System is your choice for a career partner, learn more by visiting Jobs.MethodistHealthSystem.org.

©Methodist Health System

EOE/M/F/D/V

*Source: heart.org by WebMD

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