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SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Department of Nursing Services

News Archive

Nursing Initiatives Improved Patient Care

» Pressure Ulcer Prevention

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Ana Lisa Besa-Tse RN, MICU, Jacqueline Boyd RN, G. Watson–Grey , Assistant Director of Nurng

The journey to pressure ulcer prevention in our Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) started in 2007 with the recognition that half of the patients who developed ulcers had them on the sacrum (at the base of the spine) and heels. A comprehensive educational plan was implemented for all staff. An educational pamphlet was also developed for patients and their families to engage them more fully in this aspect of their care. Improvement was rapidly noted.

In 2010, a multidisciplinary team was formed to conduct weekly rounds on all MICU patients, offering bedside clinical instruction as well as recommendations for treatment. Rounds were then extended to all inpatient areas. Gainosuke Sugiyama, MD, assistant professor of surgery, joined the pressure ulcer team in 2011, and due in large part to his knowledge, teaching, and support, our outcomes continued to improve dramatically. By the second quarter of 2011, our national benchmark data showed that our median prevalence rates for hospitalacquired pressure ulcers stage 2 and above was 0.00 in the MICU.

Wound Care and Ostomy Nurse Bruno Valcin, RN, who heads UHB's Pressure Ulcer Prevention Program, says that hospital-acquired pressure ulcers have dramatically decreased throughout the hospital in 2012. "We now have one of the lowest rates of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers as compared to the more than 1,800 hospitals in our benchmark database," he reports.

The Nursing Department was honored to have the MICU nurses present a poster on pressure ulcer prevention at the University HealthSystem Consortium's Annual Meeting Research Day Conference in September 2012. This was the first time a nursing poster from SU NY Downstate was presented at this conference.

» Reducing Noise on Our Clinical Units

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Yunona Zaytseva, RN, gets the green light for keeping
things quiet at NS 32

Noise reduction is one of the most inexpensive corrective actions that nursing staff can implement in their hospital units to improve patient satisfaction and promote healing.

Excessive noise can make patients sicker and extend their length of stay unnecessarily.

To make sure that noise is kept to a minimum, UHB's Women and Children's Services has installed an ingenious and very effective early-warning system. At nursing stations 31, 32, 35, 42, and 43, we use a device modeled to look like a traffic light to let staff know when it is necessary to quiet down. If the noise level rises above a set threshold, the light changes from green to amber. If the noise continues to rise, the light will change to red.

The settings for the different units vary depending on competing noises. In the PICU and NICU, for example, the noise thresholds are higher due to the sounds from mechanical equipment.

At some of the nursing units, the traffic light has a smiley face whenever the noise level is kept down, but a frown appears as soon as the noise rises. This is a friendly reminder to staff that the unit needs to be kept quiet for healthy healing to take place.

Thanks to this simple innovation, Press Ganey patient satisfaction scores for these units have all gone up.

» Nursing Affiliation Program:
Reaching Out to International Nurses to Share Innovations in Nursing Practice

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Pictured (l. to r.): International Nursing Affiliation Coordinator Tao Liu, MSN, RN; Lili Duan, RN; Hongdi Du, RN; Chief Nursing Officer Margaret Jackson, MA, RN; and Xia Zhao, RN

Tao Liu, RN MSN, CLC, assistant director of nursing, Department of Nursing Education, Professional Practice, and Research, recently welcomed three registered nurses from Beijing, China, who will be living on campus for three months to observe how we provide nursing care.. As coordinator for UHB's International Nursing Affiliation Program, Ms. Liu has hosted five contingents of Chinese nurses since the program began in 2011.

"Our visitors from China are not licensed to practice here, but they can learn a great deal by shadowing our nurses as they make their daily rounds," stated Ms. Liu. "Nursing intervention and documentation requirements in China are very different than in the United States. In China, hospitals do not generally have nursing assistants, unit clerks, social workers, nutritionists, and rehabilitation therapists on staff, Their nurses handle such roles."

On April 11, 2013, Ms. Liu welcomed a second group of foreign observers from Holland. These observers, who all have advanced nursing degrees, were most interested in hearing about the level of autonomy and collaboration that exists between nurses and physicians in various specialty areas here, and about future trends in advanced nursing practice.

The International Nursing Affiliation Program offers experiences that equally benefit foreign observers and our nurses. "It's a terrific opportunity to share ideas, promote cross-cultural understanding, and gain a broader perspective on global healthcare needs," says Ms. Liu. "It's a win-win for everyone involved."



Improving Patient Care

» Sharing Our Best Practices in Acute Stroke with Nurses Abroad

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Donareen Denny RN, Assistant Director of Nursing, instructs nurses on stroke care at University Hospital of the West Indies

When Donareen Denny, BSN, MSN, RN-CCRN, registered to attend the 2013 Advancements in Medicine Conference in Jamaica, West Indies, in February, she had no idea that she would be teaching as well as learning. But once the conference coordinator saw Ms. Denny's credentials, she invited her to teach an ECG workshop and present at a meeting of the Cardiology/Neurology Section.

Knowing that cerebrovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in Jamaica, Ms. Denny chose to present on "Current Approaches in Stroke Care."

"Being asked to teach at the conference was a wonderful opportunity to share my experiences and knowledge with international nurses," says Ms. Denny. "But I was mindful that nursing practices in Jamaica may be different than our own. Would their nurses have the resources to implement all the steps in the stroke treatment and prevention protocols that we have developed at Downstate?"

SUNY Downstate has long been recognized as a leader in stroke research, treatment, and preventive care. This year, it received the coveted Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart/ American Stroke Association. However, certain treatments offered here, such as recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA), which greatly improves neurological recovery when administered within three hours of the onset of acute ischemic stroke, are very expensive. At a cost of nearly $3,800 for a 100 mg vial of rtPA.

She decided to focus her talk on best practices in stroke management that nurses in Jamaica can easily implement. Her lecture could not have been more timely, for Jamaica's University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) is now in the process of establishing a Primary Stroke Center—the first of its kind on the island.

Ms. Denny's presentation and the ECG workshop she co-conducted with a physician from the Mayo Clinic were so well received that she has been asked to return to Jamaica to continue teaching nurses at UHWI.


Poster Presentation

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Diabetic Education specialists and Transplant Coordinator Wins Award for their poster presentation on Diabetes Self Management education program for Kidney Transplant patients at the DMC College of Nursing Research and Evidence Based Practice conference. The purpose of the study was to identify the educational and psychological challenges when teaching heterogenous groups diabetic management.


March was Women's History Month

In Association with the Employee Assistance Program, SUNY Downstate recognizes 2 Nurses as Extraordinary Women of Downstate for 2011

photo of Lorraine Blake-Reid

Lorraine A. Blake-Reid MA, RNC Director of Nursing Informatics in collaboration with Information Services, Pharmacy, and Nursing administration implemented the hospitalwide SUNY Healthbridge electronic medication administration record. Ms. Reid has served the Downstate community for thirty one years as an educator and nursing administrator. She is the recipient of the UUP Excellence award for outstanding service and dedication.


photo of Nelcia Trim

Nelcia Trim MA, RN, Assistant Director of Nursing of the Kidney Transplant unit has served the Downstate community for twenty five years. She is the recipient of the Nurse of Distinction Award for outstanding service and dedication and the November 2010 Employee of the month award for outstanding contributions to patient advocacy and commitment to the Downstate community.

Find out who else was honored by using the Employee Assistance Program Women's History Month Calendar »



International Year of the Nurse, December 10, 2010

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SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Department of Nursing celebrated he International Year of the Nurse. This program is endorsed by the United Nations Millennium Development program. This program recognizes the contributions of nurses around the world and fosters nurses' initiatives in the promotion of World Health. Left to Right: Maxine Alleyne BSN, RNII – Emergency Department, Cheryl Vincent BSN, RNIII – Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Patricia Harrison MA, RNIII – Cardiac Catherization Unit, Faith Coley BSN, RNII – Cardiac Catherization Unit & Mercedes Brown BSN, RN – Nurse Recruiter.



University Hospital Consortium/Association American Association of College of Nursing Nurse Residency Program, December 10, 2010

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SUNY Downstate Medical Center in collaboration with the College of Nursing recognized the contributions of staff nurses and faculty who participated in the University Hospital of Consortium Nurse Residency program. Twenty one staff nurses hired at Downstate Medical Center participated in the program. The goal of the program is to ensure safe transition of new graduate Registered Nurses into the clinical setting. A formal curriculum serves as the framework for the one year residency program. All state university hospitals and sixty four health care organizations in the United States participate in the program. Left to Right: Residency Program Coordinators: Luzviminda Casapao MA, EdM, RN – Director of the Accelerated BS Program, College of Nursing, Stephen Marrone EdD, RN-BC, CTN-A – Deputy Nursing Director, Institute of Continuous Learning & Donareen Denny MS, RN, CCRN – Assistant Director of Nursing, Institute of Continuous Learning.

Graduates of the Nurse Residency Program

Tolani Aiyeku BSN, RN – NS 33, Diana Baffoe, BSN, RN – NS 24, Whalynn Dominique BSN, RN – NS 62, Kiev gimpel-Tetra BSN, RN – NS 72, Vanessa Graves BSN, RN – Cardiac Cath Lab, Edward Levine BSN, RN – Emergency Dept., Johanna Ponce BSN, RN – NS 61, Stacey Bent RN – NS 81, Kathryn Finley BSN, RN – NS 42, Saonjie Hamilton – NS 31, Hannah Herzog RN – NS 35, Joanna Jimenez Mejia BSN, RN – Emergency Dept., Linden Kelly RN – Emergency Dept., Andre Mihnuk RN – NS 62, Charlene McBurnie BSN, RN – NS 35, Nichole Morain RN – NS 35, Pamela Reid-Gordon RN – NS 62, Felicia Shavers RN – NS 31



Philanthropic Event Raises funds for DMC Children's Hospital

Group photo at ribbon cutting

The Nursing staff participated in a walkathon to support the care of children at DMC. Through the efforts, they raised over $1000.00. Ms. Tanisha Anderson, RN and Ms. J. Thomas, RN presented the gift to Dr. Fisher, chairman of the Pediatric department.



Recipient of the HCPro 2009 Nursing Clinical Practice Image Award

Group photo of neonatal nurses

Neonatal Intensive Care Nurses received the HCPro 2009 Nursing Clinical Practice Image Award for their performance improvement project in the reduction of central line associated blood stream infections. An impressive 45% of ICU nursing staff are members of professional organizations and over 25% are certified in neonatal nursing.



Bedside Care

Congratulations! Medical Intensive Care Unit team achieves 100% compliance in preventing patients with ventilated associated pneumonia third year in a row!

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Coronary Care Unit, Cardio Thoracic Intensive care unit achieved 100% compliance in preventing patients with ventilated associated pneumonia for one year!


Parkside Dialysis Services

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Ms. Kathy Deconcilio, Senior Associate Administrator for Ambulatory and Dialysis services, Department of Nursing Services and the Hospital Dialysis Services celebrated the Dialysis Technicians achievement of certification by the Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology. They are: Josette Abraham, Charline Austin, Marie Bertrand, Sally Bull, Patricia Carnegie, Dormena Evans, Arnold Jean, Ruthine Joseph, Dianne McFarlane, Javier Monsalve, Mark Morgan, Jonathan Nedd, Margaret Price, Christian Peyton, Marie Pierre-Louis, Terrance Prince, Eunice Stanley, Argie Watson and Suzanna Williams.

All Parkside Dialysis technicians are certified in their specialty.


Frontline Nurse Leadership Project:

Sharmine Alleyne BSN, RN
Cardiac Catherization Lab

Project: Improving Patient Safety & Throughput by Educating Nurses

The purpose of the project was to improve patient safety by decreasing the time patients remained in the cardiac tract post procedure. Patients would remain in the cardiac tract for two to three hours after post procedure. Strategies implemented were educational sessions for nurses on the new trends in caring for patients with C clamps and TR Band post cardiac catherization in the Cath lab, PIRR and CCU units. Post tests revealed 100% improvement in nurses academic and clinical knowledge in caring for patient with internal and external devices. The results also showed a significant increase in patient satisfaction because there was no waiting time after the procedure.


Center for Frontline Nursing Leadership Initiative 2008

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Every Nurse is a Leader!

The Center for Frontline Nursing Leadership is a comprehensive leadership development program for nurse's at the front lines of patient care. The objective of the program is to help nurses enhance their skills to:

  • Prevent and manage conflict.
  • Tackle recurring problems on the clinical unit.
  • Prioritize their time more effectively.
  • Build teamwork on their clinical unit.
  • Act as a leader and role model for others.

Awards Ceremony

photo of Patricia Harrison

Advisory Board Academies Teleconference features Frontline Nursing Leadership Academy participant's project on reduction of door-to-balloon time for patients with elevated ACS. Ms. Patricia Harrison, RN III (pictured on the left) was awarded in 2008 honorable mention for her project. She was a featured participant in the Advisory Board Academies' teleconference and shared with over 200 listeners how the project was implemented.

Paulina Marfo Boateng (right)

Frontline Coaches


photo of Ray Cupid

Ray Cupid, RN, BSN, MPA, CEN Associate Director of Nursing, presented his nursing research findings on Reducing Obesity in Hispanic kindergarten children using a modified version of the Sports, Play and Recreation for Kids Physical Education (SPARKS) program at the Pediatric Nursing Conference held July 2010 in Philadelphia.



two women standing next to a poster

Ms. Mary Janes Torres BSN, RNIII, & Ms. Maria Campbell BSN, RN, presented their research findings on prevalence of documentation on Black patients' overweight status and follow up in the Coronary Care unit at New York University, Nursing Research Day conference in July 2010.



Coronary Care Units Nurses project on Obesity Documentation

The documentation will be featured at the Poster Presentation at the 50th Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention & Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism Conference by Ms. Mary Jane Torres, RN III and Maria Campbell, RN.



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