AACN News—June 1999—Association News

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Vol. 16, No. 6, JULY 1999


NTI Exposition Helped NIH Plan New Facility

A group of clinicians involved in planning a new in-patient care facility at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Md., used the 1998 Critical Care Exposition as a one-stop shopping opportunity.

In addition to critical care nurses from the NIH who were attending AACN’s National Teaching Institute in Los Angeles, Calif., the teaching institution sent other representatives to the conference to scope out the latest in healthcare equipment and technology showcased at the exposition. This group included representatives of biomedical engineering, materials management and respiratory services, as well as a medical intensivist and the administrator managing the project.

The Critical Care Exposition provided these planners multiple advantages, according to Terri Wakefield, RN, MS, an ICU manager who served as a nurse consultant on the design project.

“We didn’t want to depend solely on consultants to tell us what is available,” Wakefield said. “We wanted to be well-informed ourselves. “We knew that the NTI was a place where we could find everything in one setting.”

Traditional circumstances find vendors that offer similar products making presentations at different times, rarely on the same day or even week. The ability to view equipment and visit with representatives in a condensed time period allowed the group to compare the products while the information was fresh, Wakefield explained.

“We actually got to touch the equipment and play with monitoring equipment in a simulated patient care room,” she said.

“The opportunity to have all these companies in one place also enhanced the group’s responsibility to be fair and equitable in its decision making,” she added.

Another drawback to viewing and considering equipment over a longer time period is that different representatives might be involved from visit to visit.

“This way everyone saw all the different products together,” Wakefield said. “Because the nurses were there attending lectures, they were able to participate directly in the feedback to administrators.”

Although other conferences provide excellent vendor resources, they are often more product-oriented, Wakefield said. The Critical Care Exposition at NTI does a nice job of bringing together a broader spectrum of technology and equipment innovations.

Since the 1998 Critical Care Exposition, the NIH has concluded the design phase on its facility and is into the construction phase.

Winners Announced in Special Membership Recruitment Drive

AACN President-elect Anne Wojner, RN, MSN, CCRN, recruited the most new members during a special membership promotion March 1 through April 6, 1999.

However, Wojner declined the first-place award of complimentary airfare, hotel and registration to the 1999 National Teaching Institute.™
Instead, complimentary NTI registration was awarded to the individuals who tied for second-place in the recruitment drive. They are Curtis Stringer, RN, BSN, of Boulder, Colo., and Deborah Laughon, RN, BSN, MS, CCRN, of Lakeland, Fla.

A total of 111 new members were recruited during the contest period.

AACN’s ongoing Member-Get-A-Member program allows participants to earn awards year-round for recruiting new members. Member-Get-A-Member kits are available by calling (800) 899-AACN (2226). For more information, visit the “Benefits Directory” area of the AACN Web site http://www.aacn.org. Click on “AACN Member Resources..”

Committee Chairs Appointed

AACN President-elect Anne W. Wojner, RN, MSN, CCRN, has appointed the following members to chair the 1999-2000 volunteer committees:

Committee Chair
Advanced Practice Work Group Jill T. Jesurum, RN, MN, CCRN
NTI Work Group Julie B. Kruithof, RN, MSN, CCRN
Research Work Group Suzanne M. Burns, RN, MSN, CCRN, RRT, ACNP
Professional Development Think Tank Stephanie L. Calcasola, RN, MSN
Ethics Integration Work Group Beth A. Glassford, RN, MS
Leadership Development Work Group Chris Breu, RN, MN, CNAA, FAAN

Award to Cite Adult ICU Design

August 15, 1999, is the deadline to submit applications for the 1999 ICU Design Citation award. This year’s citation will go to an adult ICU.

The citation was established by a joint committee representing AACN, the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), and the American Institute of Architects Committee on Architecture for Health to recognize critical care units that combine functional ICU design with the humanitarian delivery of critical care.

The winner receives a total of $1500—$500 from each of the sponsoring organizations. In addition, the winner receives registration for one person to attend each of the organization's annual meetings and a plaque to display in the unit.

Materials submitted each year by winning and runner-up entries are compiled into an ICU design video and booklet, which is a valuable tool for ICU design teams as they seek ideas. Another publication, titled Critical Care Unit Design & Furnishing, is available to help team members make an optimal contribution from design conception to fruition. These resources are available from SCCM, (714) 282-6000.

Applications for the ICU Design Citation award can be obtained by calling Kim Cantrell at SCCM, (714) 282-6047.

Make the Most of Online Financial Planning Tools

A Merrill Lynch study revealed that almost 60% of adults over the age of 25 believe a personal computer provides a significant advantage in conducting financial management activities.

According to this survey (the Ninth Annual Merrill Lynch Retirement and Financial Planning Survey; June 1997), people with a strong saving orientation who are serious about financial management are more likely to use their computers for online personal financial management. However, as an increasing number of financial institutions offer electronic access to account and other data, consumers must learn how to effectively use these online tools.

Online Financial Management
Financial institutions generally offer one of two types of online financial management services.

Initially, these services required the installation of software. Today, these online systems are increasingly Web based. This easy-to-use communication pipeline allows financial institutions to provide customers with the tools to conduct financial activities directly from its Internet site.

The primary benefit of any online system is convenience. An online system eliminates the time and effort expended in trying to reach someone by phone or making a special trip to your financial institution. Instead, you have direct access from your own computer any time you need it. You and your financial consultant can view your financial data at the same time, even if you are thousands of miles apart, and you can communicate using e-mail.

The more information you can access, the better. You should be able to easily determine whether a check has cleared or an automatic deposit has been made, or how much you have in an account. If you have a debit card, you should be able to find out when charges and credits are applied to your account. If you have loans, you should be able to check your current loan balance.

You should also be able to easily download your account holdings and activity into a spreadsheet program for further analysis. Some services also allow you to download monthly and/or quarterly statements, which can eliminate last-minute searches for information for purposes such as credit applications, tax reporting and budgeting.

As an investor, your portfolio holdings are an integral part of your financial picture. The best service is one that includes your investment information, so you can see when transactions are settled, monitor investment income and watch for corporate changes and distributions. You may also be able to access “intelligent” information—at-a-glance research and analyses such as current portfolio weightings and allocations.

In evaluating online financial management capabilities, also look for electronic funds transfer services. With this service, you can transfer funds automatically between accounts at your primary financial institution as well as other financial institutions.

Investment Information a Must
Of course, managing a portfolio involves more than reviewing what you have already done. Some online services offer added value in the form of information that enables you to make timely decisions about your investments.

The most fundamental information of this type is market quotes including current prices for stocks, corporate bonds, mutual funds and options. Historical performance information, particularly when displayed in easy-to-read chart form, can also be useful. In addition, daily summary market data such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, the NASDAQ Composite and top equity advances and declines can give you an overall sense of how the markets are doing.

Some financial institutions offer access to economic and market research from their own research departments, which can provide insight and wisdom. If you are interested in more in-depth research on companies, industries and geographic regions, or in the investment opinions, earnings estimates or stock recommendations of specialists in the field, you will want to have an online financial management service that makes reports like these available. Be discriminating about this important resource in making effective investment decisions.

In addition to account and securities information, some sites offer educational information on how to manage your personal finances and plan for the future, including online seminars given by a variety of specialists. An online service that incorporates all these types of information and updates its service often can be a great tool.

AACN members now have access to a special Internet site, which has been set up for them through a partnership with Merrill Lynch. Click on the “Benefits Directory” area of the AACN Web site at http://www.aacn.org to link to this new site.

No Substitute for Advice
Online financial tools are not a substitute for personal financial-planning assistance. To get the most from your online service, use it to facilitate discussions between you and your financial adviser. Sharing critical information can make your communication more focused and constructive. The insight of a financial consultant who has experience in both the strategies and tools of financial management and in your specific circumstances can be especially valuable.

Be a Part of the Wyeth-Ayerst Nursing Fellows Reporters Program

The deadline to apply to be a mentor or fellow in the AACN Wyeth-Ayerst Nursing Fellows Reporter Program is July 9, 1999.

This 9-month fellowship is sponsored by Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories in collaboration with AACN and the American Journal of Nursing.

Through the program, acute and critical care nurses participate as either mentors or fellows. Guided by the mentor, each fellow prepares an individualized fellowship project that includes attending AACN’s National Teaching Institute™ and Critical Care Exposition and developing a manuscript, which is published in a supplement to the American Journal of Nursing. The subject area for this project is cardiopulmonary.

Applications must be received by July 9, 1999. For more information about the program and how to apply, call (800) 394-5995 to contact AACN Clinical Practice Specialist Michele Wolff, RN, MSN, CCRN, at ext. 414 or Research/Practice Associate Carla Stallworth at ext. 335.

Research, Creative Solutions Abstracts Invited for 2000 NTI

Abstracts on research studies, research utilization and creative solutions are being accepted for AACN’s 2000 National Teaching Institute™ and Critical Care Exposition, scheduled for May 21 through 25 in Orlando, Fla.

September 1, 1999, is the submission deadline. Presenters will receive a $75 reduction in NTI registration fees. All other expenses are the responsibility of the presenter, who can be either the first author or a designate of the author.

Following is information about the abstracts that will be accepted:

Research and Research Utilization
These abstracts can focus on any aspect of critical care nursing research including reports of research studies or reports of research utilization. Only abstracts of completed projects will be accepted.

Abstracts reporting research studies must address the purpose; background and significance; methods; results; and conclusions.

Accepted abstracts will be designated either as an oral presentation or as a poster presentation.

Creative Solutions
These abstracts focus on specific strategies and practice innovations that are used by nurses to solve difficult, unique or interesting problems in patient care, nursing practice, nursing management, or nursing education. The creative solution must have been implemented, with outcomes evaluated.

Abstracts must address the purpose of the project and description of the creative solution, as well as evaluation and outcomes.

To obtain abstract forms, call (800) 899-AACN (2226).