Letters – February 2012

Letters with an asterisk were also published in February print and digital replica editions.

*Healthcare-Associated Infections

I am privileged to have been cited in the August (page 10) and October (page 8) issues of AACN Bold Voices for remarks from the floor during an NTI 2011session about healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). Our team at American University of Beirut Medical Center works diligently to achieve positive outcomes.

However, I was quoted as having said that we “sustained a zero HAI rate for 18 months.” That is our aspiration and my words may have been misinterpreted in transcription. After we instituted our “Choose No VAP” bundle, two of our units experienced zero rates, but only for seven months in one and five months in the other.

Hera Tashjian
Beirut, Lebanon

Embrace Conflict. Really?

*I enjoy reading Mary Stahl’s note every month. December’s was the best yet.

What a great perspective on teamwork and the importance of embracing diverse ideas. Thank you to Mary for doing such a great job as our president.

Paulette Blankinship
Atlanta, Ga.

*Mary Stahl’s December message seemed written just for me as I navigate my new role of nurse manager of the Thomas Palliative Care Unit, VCU Medical Center. I believe I have established trust with my team. Now we’re ready to move to the next phase of building the team: giving feedback and managing conflict or divergent views.

I posted Mary’s column on our information board to use as talking points to guide our development. Thank you for these words to help us build a healthy work environment.

Clareen Wiencek
Richmond, Va.

Recognition for Certification

*Shands Hospital at the University of Florida began to create a culture of certification in 2003. Our goal is for 24 percent of eligible RNs to be certified by 2012, which is close to the rate of 27.9 percent for hospitals with Magnet designation.

Incentives at Shands include up to $300 reimbursement for testing, review courses and books, an increase in hourly pay and several reward and recognition programs.

Recently, the Trauma ICU clinical leader started a certification preparation group that attracted 50 nurses from several units. They were supported with a review course, study materials, DVDs, the group registration discount and assistance preparing the application.

Rebecca Norton
Gainesville, Fla.

Thank you, Dear Abbey

Thank for November’s story highlighting pet therapy. I wrote the following letter to Abbey, a Golden retriever, after her weekly visit to our ICU.

Dear Abbey,
You help patients and families, but you help the staff just as much. You arrived at my side while I cared for a family and their loved one as we withdrew life support.

Hugging you helped my heart. Together, you and I helped create a peaceful and loving sense of community that helped our patient and family experience a good death.

Please thank your owner. You and I couldn’t be a team if she didn’t bring you to Orlando Regional Medical Center every week.

Shirley Eckes
Lake Mary, Fla.

AACN Bold Voices encourages your letters for possible print and/or online publication. Please be concise. Letters may be edited before publication.

Include your name, credentials, city, state and email address (for verification).

Write to aacnboldvoices@aacn.org.

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