West 3 Unit Council at UMass Memorial Medical Center

West 3 Unit Council

West 3 Unit Council at UMass Memorial Medical Center

UMass Memorial Medical Center
Worcester, Massachusetts
United States
Patricia Dresley, RN, CMSRN; Judy Best, RN, CMSRN; Kathryn Burstall, RN, CMSRN; Suzanne Frisch, RN, CMSRN; Kaitlyn Letourneau, RN

The West 3 Unit Council is made up of 5 members who represent all three shifts, Patricia Dresley, Judy Best, Kathryn Burstall, Suzanne Frisch, and Kaitlyn Letourneau. West 3 has consistency had an active Unit Council since Shared Leadership was reinvented at UMMHC. West 3 has consistently excelled in patient satisfaction and patient-centered care with the help of these informal leaders. We maintain bedside hand-off care, patient rounding and safety huddles due to the influence of these informal leaders. As council members, they have engaged, mentored and encouraged their peers to pursue Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification and to participate in the PACE Clinical Ladder program at Memorial.

They are team leaders who lead by example with integrity, accountability, and kindness. They lead huddles and incorporate information from the various Shared Leadership meetings: Quality and Patient Safety Council, Pharmacy Nursing Council, Clinical Practice Council, Falls, and Professional Practice Council. The information gained from these meetings is combined into a Fact Sheet that is posted monthly by the members. The Fact Sheet contains information about the current changes in policies/procedures and helps to keep staff updated. The information is also disseminated by the council members at staff meetings. Unit level information related to best practice is also shared with the respective Shared Leadership committees.

The council members have provided and presented information through poster presentations on West 3 (and elsewhere over the years). These posters promote education and raise awareness of the best evidence-based practices. Over the past year, they have presented education on The DAISY Award, Certified Medical Surgical Nursing, Activity Cart for patients and families, Lab Draws and the Bariatric diet to promote knowledge and engage staff. The council members worked on the Dietary Dept's A3 Project to help promote education to ensure the Bariatric patient's dietary needs were met. This prevented a delay in discharge due to the inability to advance these patient's diets. This project enabled the West 3 staff to work with dietary to provide a team approach and provide the best care for these patients, thus increasing patient satisfaction.

The West 3 Unit council "Walks the Walk" respecting one another, their peers, and promotes kindness. They are promoting attendance at the Standards of Respect class, thereby helping to meet an identified nit goal. They have bought forth this knowledge to their peers, engaging them in how to better interact with patients, families, and each other. They have promoted changed though teamwork and system thinking.

Currently, the West 3 Unit Council is engaged in another A3 project. They are working on "Increasing Staff Engagement and Satisfaction by Including, Informing and Educating Staff on Criteria Used to Make Out a Fair and Equitable Assignment". The focus of this project is the nursing assignment, providing continuity of care, as well as decreasing animosity between shifts and dissatisfaction. Their peers have been actively involved and their input in the project has been indispensable. A survey was created which encouraged staff to have a voice and have input related to this project. A binder was put together, readily available to the staff, that outlines the A3 project and its progress, which is continuing.

The Council members for years have been sponsoring a "Meet and Greet" to welcome the new Surgical residents to West 3, as well as saying goodbye to those leaving. The Meet and Greet is held during June which allows the residents to meet the staff before they start and to become familiar with the West 3 environment. The "Meet and Greet" was discussed at the Professional Practice Council which has led other units at the Medical Center to implement their own "Meet and Greet." The Unit Council has started a new tradition for "Resident Appreciation Day as well. The Residents are integral team members on West 3 and continue to come and support our team Multidisciplinary Rounds, another best practice.

The Unit Council instituted a "Chief Breakfast" and meets bi-monthly with the Chief Residents to discuss issues, concerns, solutions, and ideas. This has enabled the staff to promote a positive working relationship which then increases patient and staff satisfaction.

Yearly they think up fun and engaging activities for Nurses Week to acknowledge the work their coworkers have done over the year. In 2018 they had staff vote on superlatives, held games and recognized each staff with a gift and cute saying to show how much their contribution to the success of the floor is appreciated by all. They had food and activities every day of Nurses Week.

The council engages in many community projects to support the diverse community of Worcester. Recently school supplies (hand sanitizer, tissues, etc.) were collected and provided to the students at Chandler Street Magnet School. These supplies provided the tools needed to promote education. The staff and students at the school were very thankful and hearts were warmed with this kind gesture.

The council members were very active over the past year, sponsoring a fundraiser for Colorectal Awareness Week to aid in raising money for rectal cancer research. The Colorectal Team is one of the services on West 3 and represents many of the patients on the unit. This fundraiser promoted prevention, awareness, and supported this great cause. I can think of no greater honor for the hard-working West 3 Unit Council than to be honored as DAISY Nurses for their continued support of Excellence on West 3.