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Department of Nursing Services

News & Events

How Our Nurses Implemented Changes In Their Practice To Improve Patient Care


Nursing Initiatives Improved Patient Care

» Pressure Ulcer Prevention


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


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


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."


Downstate nursing leaders Dianne Forbes Woods, Nellie Bailey, and Tao Liu (center) welcomed a large contingent of Dutch observers in April.

Upcoming Events

Save The Dates!
More Information to Follow

May 6-12 2014

National Nurses Week 2014

nurses week logo

May 9, 2014

7:30 AM - 4:00 PM

2nd Annual SUNY Downstate Dialysis Symposium
Emerging Trends In Dialysis Care:
Novel Concepts

SUNY Downstate Medical Center
395 Lenox Road


Improving Patient Care

» Sharing Our Best Practices in Acute Stroke with Nurses Abroad


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


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.

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