Creating a Healthy Work Environment: Caring Is Critical to Us!

University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital (Birmingham, Alabama)

CSI Summary

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CSI Presentation

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CSI Toolkit

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Project Topic:

Decreasing moral distress and staff turnover

Hospital Unit:

Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CICU)

CSI Participants:

  • Jon Austin Moore, BSN, RN, CCRN-CSC
  • Kristopher Sexton, BSN, RN

Video Presentation

View this CSI team's project presentation video to earn CERPs.

Project Goals/Objectives:

  1. Increase scores in targeted AACN Healthy Work Environment Assessment Tool (HWEAT) categories
  2. Decrease “Measure of Moral Distress-Healthcare Professionals” (MMD-HP) survey scores
  3. Reduce annual unit turnover

Project Outcomes:

  1. Experienced no significant change in the overall summary score in the HWEAT survey
  2. Increased HWEAT “True Collaboration” category score 21%
  3. Decreased MMD-HP scores

Project Overview:

Turnover in the CICU was a problem for our hospital prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which placed staff at risk for dissatisfaction and burnout. Burnout has been associated with lower patient satisfaction, reduced patient outcomes and higher healthcare costs.

Based on the AACN Healthy Work Environment Assessment Tool results for the CICU, our CSI team focused on improving team communication and recognition. We instituted the slogan “Caring Is Critical to Us” throughout the unit to remind staff that not only do we care for patients, we must also care for each other. Our belief was that a focus on communication and recognition would reduce overall turnover in the unit. The CSI team also implemented staff engagement boards to encourage team members to recognize each other.

Permission to Reuse Materials
The materials associated with this AACN Clinical Scene Investigator (CSI) Academy project are the property of the participating hospital noted above, not AACN. Requests to use content contained in the CSI team’s summary, presentation or toolkit should be directed to the hospital. We suggest reaching out to the hospital’s Communications, Marketing or Nursing Education department for assistance.

The AACN CSI Academy program supports change projects based on quality improvement methods. Although CSI teams seek to ensure linkage between their project and clinical/fiscal outcomes, data cannot be solely attributed to the project and are estimations of impact.