The Nurse Leader’s Clinical Toolbox: Urinary Incontinence

Urinary incontinence (UI), defined as any involuntary leakage of urine, affects over half the population living in post-acute long-term care (PALTC) and costs an estimated 5.5 billion annually, according to the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Physicians. Moreover, nurses care for residents who express embarrassment in losing control of …

How to Leverage Positive Peer Pressure to Improve Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene has always been a primary focus of infection prevention, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is under intense scrutiny. Even though the skill of hand hygiene is straightforward and easy to learn, consistent compliance has been difficult to achieve in healthcare settings, including post-acute long-term care (PALTC). …

Why Nurses Eat Their Young and How to Stop This Damaging Practice

There is a phenomenon of hostility among nurses and certified nursing assistants (CNAs), commonly referred to as “nurses eating their young.” This incivility is pervasive, often seen as a rite of passage, and directed at both peers and those at different levels in the organization. Those who demonstrate this hostility …

How to Thrive as a New Director of Nursing Services

Accepting a new position as the director of nursing services (DNS) often begins with excitement for the new challenges and many opportunities to make a positive difference. However, in the first few days and weeks, the feeling of elation may be replaced with confusion, frustration, and a general sense of …

Putting the Person First: Lessons in Caring for People with Dementia

In 1995, an artist named William Utermohlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He chronicled his experience living with dementia in self-portraits to express what was happening to him. As the disease progressed, his portraits became more abstract, and his final drawings were of distorted facial images with missing eyes. These …

Staff Competency in the Era of COVID-19

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the elderly are the population most vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19, and the risk of illness severity increases with age. Other conditions—including diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, neurological conditions such as dementia, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and obesity—also increase the …

Using COVID-19 Surveillance Data to Prepare for Future Outbreaks

Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are collecting a tremendous amount of data in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. When this data is translated into information, it becomes a powerful tool to evaluate performance, identify potential gaps in processes, and assist with root cause analyses, with the end result of decreasing the …

Safer Care: Improving Hand Hygiene Compliance

Almost 200 years ago, physicians discovered that deadly pathogens were transmitted from patient to patient via the hands of nurses and physicians, and that washing hands between appointments with patients would dramatically reduce the mortality rate (World Health Organization, 2009). While tremendous strides in hand hygiene compliance have been made …

3 Tips Every DNS Needs to Understand Data and Improve Their Facility’s Performance

Do five pressure injuries mean a facility has a problem? What about 10 pressure injuries? What if the number of pressure injuries increases in a week—is this a problem that requires the initiation of a performance improvement project (PIP) or action plan? Answering these questions requires more substantial data, which …

Census Development: Quality, Value, and Compassionate Care Converge

Directors of nursing services (DNS) may often feel like they are refereeing a boxing match, with the demands for census battling the need to ensure provision of quality care. But the boxing ring is transforming into an entirely different arena, one where quality of care must be the ultimate champion. …