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Methodist Mansfield patient grateful to John Phillips

In a recent review posted on Yelp.com, a patient was surprised and grateful to get a personal phone call from Methodist Mansfield President John Phillips, FACHE. Yelp logo

“I received an unexpected phone call that led to this review. Words can’t describe how impressed I am at this moment! I took my son in on 5/9/16. It was very busy, and the wait time was crazy … to say the least. The following morning I received a phone call from a gentleman at the hospital. At first I thought it was just a follow-up call to see how my son was doing, which he did ask about. I was dumbfounded when he introduced himself as the president of the hospital calling to personally apologize for the wait time. I was completely blown away that he would have any knowledge of my experience (because I didn’t say a word to a soul!!!), much less for him to take the time to personally call and apologize. He also asked if I would be willing to provide feedback regarding my visit in order to address and correct any issues. During our 30 min. phone call, I knew there was a genuine concern regarding the care given to patients and also within a timely manner. Prior to our conversation ending he insisted that I write down his name and cell number. Again, this is the president of the hospital! I believe this speaks volume about the compassion that this man has for this hospital, the patients and the staff!! THANK YOU JOHN PHILLIPS FOR TRULY CARING!!! I want to end this review by saying the ONLY negative part of our experience was the wait time! Once Brittany (who was AMAZING) got us in a room, it was smooth sailing from there. The nurses were great. I think his fav person was the Brazilian doctor that took him for his CT. :)” Thank you, John!

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Thank a Nurse During National Nurses Week

by Barbara Madson Madden, MSN, RN
Interim Associate Chief Nursing Officer
Methodist Dallas Medical Center

 
B Madden 6IMG_1038A higher calling. A passion to help others. Making a difference in others’ lives. Motivated to heal. Because I care. These are the reasons you’re likely to hear when you ask nurses why they chose this career. National Nurses Week was established to recognize the special people who choose nursing as their life’s work. It also offers an opportunity to thank nurses for the special gifts they bring to millions of patients each year.

Here are 10 ways to thank a nurse this week.

  1. Make a donation to the Methodist Health System Foundation in honor of a special nurse. The Methodist Foundation has launched a National Nurses Week campaign that offers donors a unique way to honor and thank a nurse. Donations can be made to any of the Foundation’s funds, and the donor can leave a message of thanks to the nurse being honored in the tributes section. To make a donation, visit Foundation.MethodistHealthSystem.org.
  2. Nominate a nurse at a Methodist Health System hospital for a G.R.E.A.T. award. This award, which stands for Giving Recognition for Excellence, Achievement, and Teamwork, recognizes nurses who are exceptional. Ballots are located throughout the hospitals, and it’s a G.R.E.A.T. way to give your favorite nurse a high five.
  3. Send a thank-you note to the person who inspired you to become a nurse. I’m a nurse today because of my dad’s encouragement. I’m so grateful to him for 30 years of a diverse and inspiring career in nursing, from bedside to teaching to management. Thank you, dad.
  4. Support a charity that is near and dear to your special nurse’s heart. Many nurses support nonprofit organizations by donating their time and talents. Find out your nurse’s charity of choice and make a donation in his or her honor during National Nurses Week.
  5. Send a thank-you card to a special nurse. Do you remember a particular nurse who made a difference in your life during an illness or hospitalization? In today’s world of electronic communication, a handwritten note will stand out, be appreciated, and perhaps even be saved.
  6. Remember to honor nurses who don’t work in hospitals, too. Don’t forget our school nurses, nurses in corporations, nurses who work in disaster relief, and others. A thank-you note, personal phone call, text, or even a social media post can do wonders to make them feel appreciated.
  7. Sponsor a National Nurses Week celebration at your doctor’s office. Take a cake or balloon bouquet to honor the nurses in your physician’s office.
  8. Support the nursing school in your area by making a donation to a scholarship fund. Today, more than ever, nurses are in demand. Making sure there are enough opportunities for aspiring nurses to receive the education they need is critically important.
  9. Have a nurse colleague to whom you want to show appreciation? Answer a call light that isn’t yours. Hide a note of appreciation in someone’s chart. Share a sample of your favorite foot cream.
  10. Just say thank you. Everyone appreciates a verbal pat on the back. That’s especially true for nurses who see giving of themselves as just part of their job. Taking time to say thank you is powerful and encouraging. Want to do more? Just go to our Facebook page and honor a nurse. You’ll be glad you did.

These are just a few of the ways you can thank a nurse this week — National Nurses Week. Year after year, patient satisfaction surveys show that nurses are some of the most trusted people in the healthcare setting. They also are highly correlated to overall satisfaction. I’m honored to work with such dedicated, caring professionals. Thank you to each and every nurse who works at Methodist Health System. You help us make a difference in our patients’ lives every day.

If you’re looking for an organization that’s thankful for outstanding nurses and thankful for their caring and compassion, then consider Methodist Health System. Visit us at Jobs.MethodistHealthSytem.org.

© Methodist Health System

EOE/MF/D/V

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Becoming a Nurse Leader in the OR

by: Joshua Ast, BSN, RN, CNOR
Nurse Manager, Surgical Services
Methodist Richardson Medical Center 

I was destined to work in healthcare. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always had this desire to help others. My mom set the example as a radiology tech and my interest in science fueled my passion to pursue a healthcare career. But, as I’ve discovered, even if you know what you want to do, you can’t be sure where fate is going to lead you.

I decided to join the Navy when I was 18 because I felt that would give me the opportunityJoshua AstFB to pursue my goal. I completed surgical tech school in Bethesda, Maryland, and spent three years overseas. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2005, and in 2010, I joined Methodist Richardson Medical Center as a nurse in the operating room. As soon as my training was finished in March 2011, I was immediately deployed by the Navy to serve as a critical care nurse in Afghanistan. I returned to Methodist Richardson in December 2011.

The idea of being a leader had never really occurred to me. That’s when fate stepped in and my director suggested that I participate in the Methodist Health System Emerging Leaders Program (ELP). The program is designed to provide leadership training to future leaders of the organization. I’m so fortunate that my nurse manager and my director recognized my potential and encouraged me to enter the program. When I completed the ELP course, they took a chance and offered me the position of nurse manager of surgical services. This not only tested me, it also provided me with the opportunity to put what I had learned in the leadership program into practice.

Filled with confidence, I set my next career goal — becoming a certified perioperative nurse. Even though it wasn’t required, I personally felt that someone in my position needed to have this credential. Thanks to Methodist’s Clinical Advancement Program that includes tuition reimbursement, I passed the exam and obtained the credentials.

Even though the OR can be a pretty serious place, I’ve learned that people tend to listen to me more when I relate with them and don’t take myself too seriously. The idea of having fun with your job is an outgrowth of the thing I really love about my work — the feeling of family here at Methodist Richardson. You don’t find that everywhere. This is the one place where, for the first time in 20 years, I actually look forward to coming to work every morning.

I believe in having a finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the OR. While my administrative duties are important, the OR and my staff come first. Every great leader I’ve had in my career has led by example, so I choose to follow in their footsteps by providing an example to my staff. What advice do I give to new employees? Whatever you do, strive to be the very best at what life presents to you.

If you’ve decided to be the best you can be, consider Methodist Health System. Visit us at Jobs.MethodistHealthSytem.org.

© Methodist Health System
EOE/MF/D/V

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Intensive Care Expansion Brings New Employment Opportunities at Methodist Charlton Medical Center

By David Molengraaf, BSN, RNDavid MolengraafMCMC
Director of Critical Care Services
Methodist Charlton Medical Center   

This spring, Methodist Charlton Medical Center is expanding our intensive care unit. Why? To meet our growing needs and to continue striving to provide the highest-possible standard of care in our community. In fact, it’s essential that we expand.

Methodist Charlton has one of the busiest emergency departments in the Dallas–Fort Worth area. Last year, we had over 85,000 emergency visits.  And the volume continues to grow year over year. Not only are the numbers increasing, but the acuity of the patients is increasing as well. Truly sick patients who have severe respiratory issues such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema, as well as those with chest pain and heart disease and advanced kidney disease, come through our emergency department doors daily. Many of these patients require admission to the intensive care unit. Over time, the demand just continued to increase.

Opening in mid-March 2016, our ICU will expand from 24 to 32 beds, with 12 additional beds for overflow. With a 44-bed capacity, Methodist Charlton will have one of the largest ICUs in Dallas County. Plus the new unit has just been built out, located on the top floor of our new patient tower. This is good news for our patients and staff as we’ll be moving into a completely new space, one which includes new equipment with some of the latest technology. For example, one new piece of equipment will be able to provide a noninvasive way to measure septic patients. The test is quick and painless, greatly reducing the chance for infection. Our intensivists and nurses practitioners are eager to begin using the technology.

We will be hiring 28 additional ICU RNs, so there’s never been a better opportunity to join a tremendous organization that’s on-the-grow. I think what really sets Methodist Charlton apart and makes it a unique place for a nurse to work is that our president is a nurse. In fact, she’s the first nurse to move into the president’s chair in Methodist Health System. As a leader, she has our back and really understands and supports the frontline staff because she’s been there and knows what it takes to provide great care.

What’s more, our ICU has a wide acuity mix. We have two cardiothoracic surgeons on staff so our ICU sees many patients who have had coronary artery bypass graft  and open heart and intra-aortic balloon pump procedures. For our staff and new ICU RNs we hire, that means they have a real opportunity to expand their skills. If our clinicians want to learn and expand their skill level, we want to teach them.

I’m very proud of the people who work in the ICU who make it not just a good place to work, but a great place to work. They are focused, cohesive, caring, and respectful of each other. They truly enjoy working together as a team, and that’s critically important in an area such as intensive care. We encourage our staff to pursue additional education, and many have become certified registered nurse anesthetists or nurse practitioners. It’s an environment where nurses can thrive and excel.

If you’re looking for new opportunities in a brand-new environment, then consider Methodist Health System. Visit us at Jobs.MethodistHealthSytem.org.

© Methodist Health System

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Resolutions That Will Change Your Life in 2016

By Carrie Camin
Assistant Vice President, Wellness
Methodist Health System                                                          

Have you ever read an article and found yourself nodding your head the whole time you are reading it? That happened to me recently. I came across an article entitled Five New Year’s Resolutions That Will Change Your Life,”  by Shane Robinson. The article appeared in the Jan. 10, 2015 issue of Forbes Magazine. While I’m not a regular reader of Forbes, I’m certainly glad my path crossed with Robinson’s via this article.

Here are Robinson’s life-changing resolutions:

  • Smile more
  • Maintain or start a health and fitness regimen
  • Schedule personal time
  • Don’t commit to things you can’t do
  • Use your calendar.

Reading this list started me thinking about how these align with our culture at Methodist and the many of the wellness programs we offer our workforce and community.

two female young nurses having fun with tablet computer during break

Smile more. A smile can sometimes be just what the doctor ordered. At Methodist Health System’s new employee orientation, we talk about our culture and always smiling greeting one another, patients and visitors.  In the world of wellness, we maximize the value of a smile when people are in need of stress relievers. We encourage folks to take a walk and bask in and reciprocate smiles with our fellow employees. It’s amazing what a mood elevator it is and how a smile can be so contagious.

Maintain or start a health and fitness regimen. The benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise are well documented. Here are some quick tips that might help you fast-track and achieve your health and fitness plans in 2016.

  • Set achievable and time-bound goals. Put them on your calendar and follow –up to assess your progress and success. Make goals around you and behaviors you can sustain. If you hate running, don’t set a goal of running three times a week. Like to dance? Boogie to your favorite tunes for 30 minutes three times a week.
  • Work on one goal at a time. Don’t try to tackle too much at once. If improving your diet and exercise regimens are on your list of goals for 2016, make your exercise routine part of your weekly schedule before embarking on better nutrition.
  • Get your zzzs. Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep makes you crave sugar and caffeine, often found in sodas and high-calorie and high-sugar coffee drinks. Sleep allows your body to recover and regenerate.
  • Mix it up. Add variety to your exercise routine. Make good use of your time with interval training. Pick a comfortable pace for your walk or run. Add push-ups or squats every two minutes. Try adding 30 second bouts of activity every few minutes.
  • Keep moving. Take the stairs. Go the long way. Start tracking your steps. Give yourself the gift of a device that will keep you on your feet. Free trackers available as apps on your smart phone can be very useful.
  • Find new ways to reward yourself. Replay and celebrate your victories. Just finished a brisk walk and feel great? Capture that feeling for replay later. Relive that feeling when you need motivation or affirmation. Bask in your success instead of treating yourself with that brownie, burger, or latte.
  • Socialize through activities. Instead of dinner and a movie, go bowling, support a charity, help your friend clean out her closet, go to the park, or take your dog for a walk.
  • Get in a good laugh. Try to find a way to laugh every day. Laughter really is the best medicine.
  • Shake it off. Bad traffic? Sarcastic co-worker? Don’t stress out. You can only control you. Carrying the negative with you only weighs you down. This would be a good time for a hardy laugh!
  • If you have not already, get your annual physical. Connect with your personal physician and get the appropriate preventive exams for your age and gender. If you don’t have a personal physician, find one and begin a long-term relationship.

Schedule personal time. Try to keep work and personal time separate. Of course, sometimes work priorities come first. But, if you take time for personal needs, you’ll be surprised how it will energize your work. If you can, take mini-breaks in your day to hydrate, share a joke, take a lap around the office. Schedule time to work out. Make plans with friends and family and keep them — you’ll be amazed how taking time for yourself will actually improve your efficiency at work.

Don’t commit to things you can’t do. Over committing and under delivering is a sure formula for stress and self-imposed failure. Remember, what you can’t get done today will be there tomorrow.

Use your calendar. Posting events and tasks on your calendar will help you manage your time and keep you accountable to yourself. Health findings in 2015 remind us that lights on the screens of tablets can actually interrupt your sleep pattern, so try putting your phone or tablet away one or two hours before your go to sleep. Set the alarm on your phone or tablet that tells it is time to power down. Put this on your calendar and stick to it.

2016 promises to be an exciting year full of promise and fulfillment, especially if you take these life-changing resolutions to heart!

If you’ve resolved to improve your life and your career in 2016, consider Methodist Health System. Visit us at Jobs.MethodistHealthSytem.org.

© Methodist Health System
EOE/MF/D/V

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Looking for a Company Whose Employees Care About Each Other? Look Here.

Marcus Jackson, RRT, FACHEMarcus Jackson Head Shot
Director of Cardiopulmonary Services
Methodist Mansfield Medical Center

I’m so proud to be a part of the Methodist Health System family. That pride grows even stronger when I’m in the community and people tell me about their heart-warming experiences at a Methodist hospital. But for me, it’s our history of taking care of our own through financial and emotional support that truly demonstrates the spirit of family that is embedded in the Methodist culture.

Employee fund logoAt Methodist, our mission is to improve and save lives through compassionate quality health care. We believe that mission statement is inclusive of our Methodist family as well — so when I was asked to serve as chairman of our employee giving campaign called Methodist Gives in 2014, I was truly honored. The annual campaign occurs during the month of November, and employees have numerous ways to donate and can direct what their contributions support.

Thanks to the commitment from leadership and tremendous interest from our employees, we raised money and had a lot of fun along the way. Activities such as Zumba® dancing, a chili cook-off, karaoke, and hit-your-boss-in-the-face-with-a-pie helped us increase donations last year by 18 percent. Our president, Dr. Mansfield, even sang to help us raise money!

One of the programs that we support is the Basic Employee Needs (BEN) Fund, which provides financial support to employees in a time of personal crisis. Launched in 1999, it has distributed more than $610,000 to over 500 employees.

How is the BEN Fund making a difference in employee’s lives? This quote says it all: “My mother was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. As of May, she is not able to work under doctor’s orders. I do my best with paying bills, but disability has not agreed to help and we need to pay rent for two months while she recovers. She is no longer working and I am the only family member taking care of her, along with supporting my two children. I am behind on my bills with helping my mother. I am currently a month late on my car note, my rent is late monthly since May, and I still have my children to provide for.” The BEN Fund provided $1,500 in much-needed and much-appreciated assistance to this employee.

Another way to give is through the Methodist Health System Foundation 30 Minute Club (30MC). By giving at least 30 minutes of their base salary per pay period, employees can continue giving throughout the year and receive an end-of-year tax deduction. Since 2005, employees have donated more than $1.5 million to campus projects and equipment, which allows them to better serve their patients.

We introduced this concept at new-employee orientation and were blown away by the willingness of new employees to join the 30MC, even before they had received one cent in pay from Methodist. In 2015, these donations were used for ventilators at Methodist Charlton Medical Center, patient sofas for Labor and Delivery at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, and a prayer garden at Methodist Mansfield Medical Center.

Check out this year’s Methodist Gives video: Foundation.MethodistHealthSystem.org/Employee-Giving.

If you’re ready to join a family of generous givers, consider Methodist Health System. To learn more, visit us at Jobs.MethodistHealthSytem.org.

© Methodist Health System
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Looking for Team Spirit? Look No Further than the Softball Diamond.

By Amanda Mahone, Talent Sourcer and Softball League Coordinator, Methodist Health System

AmandaAt Methodist Health System, we don’t just talk about teamwork and family. Our culture is infused with collegiality, and our employees have each other’s backs. The great thing about a team is that its members can accomplish much more than what one person can do alone; however, it’s that individual effort that contributes to the overall success of the team. For our patients, that’s great news.

You can find the team concept in action in many venues inside and outside the hospital. With the advent of fall, many turn to the great American pastime — baseball. The fall classic, the World Series, still captures the dreams of young and old alike. For Methodist, that same ideology — individuals contributing to a team’s success and going the extra mile to succeed — is fielded in our spring softball league.

The Methodist softball league started more than 15 years ago. Today, about 100 employees and family members play on the teams. When you consider the team names, you can tell that fun is at the heart of why the league was formed. From Methodist Dallas Medical Center are the Emergency Flatliners, Pharmacy Crushers, Radiology Rays, and OR Cutters. Methodist Charlton Medical Center fields the Charlton Champs from the Methodist Charlton Family Medicine Center and Code Blue from the intermediate care unit. Rounding out the roster is the IS Servers from Methodist Health System.

The league plays three games on Wednesday nights from 7 to 10 p.m. for seven consecutive weeks. Six teams play each other, and one team has a bye game each week. Similar to our work environment where data and metrics of success are critically important, so are the weekly stats we keep on each player and team. At the end of the season, the top four teams advance to the playoffs, and the winning teams in the playoffs face each other in the championship game.

Who won this year’s championship, you ask? The Emergency Flatliners are the Winning team Photo Aug 26, 9 47 59 PMchampions! They received a large trophy that is proudly displayed in their department.

Why do employees participate in the league and play on teams? As the league coordinator, I can assure you it’s a great way to network and socialize with employees you may not have met otherwise. You also get to know employees from other Methodist facilities. Many of our softball players have formed long-lasting friendships. The league affords Methodist employees and their families with an opportunity to get together outside of work, strictly for fun and fellowship. On the ball field, you often see a colleague’s true personality and talents emerge. And the relationships between departments that are built on the ball field actually transfer to our everyday work environment in the hospital — more good news for our patients and their families.

Best of all, Methodist is extremely supportive of our softball league, contributing funds for the umpires, scorekeepers, field reservations, and supplies. I am truly grateful for the support. It’s a lot of volunteer work for me, but once we start the season, it’s all worth it. Softball is in my blood. When I’m in a game, I can just be me, not an employee, a mom or a wife. Not only am I a softball veteran, I’m a 13-year Methodist employee. Over the years, I’ve seen the difference that playing softball makes in employees’ lives. We help each other to be successful and we work for one common goal — to help our team win. That translates to our day-to-day work where we care for each other and we work for one common goal — to care for our communities.

If you’re ready to join a new team, consider Methodist Health System. To learn more, visit us at Jobs.MethodistHealthSytem.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

EOE/MF/D/V

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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

EOE/MF/D/V

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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

EOE/MF/D/V

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