By Teresa Graham, CGRN
Every year, "Nurses Week" is a fun-filled time at the Minneapolis-based Veterans Administration. For instance, the Nurse Workplace Improvement Council sponsors a spa day, which includes a five-minute chair massage, aromatherapy, and videos to provide visual and audio relaxation.
Hand massages are also offered, and remind us of the importance of touch and how this can apply to our patients. Other events include poster presentations based on evidence-based practices, a presentation by Jean Watson, a well-known nurse theorist, and root-beer floats for an afternoon break.
The week also includes an annual cake-decorating contest, and in May 2011, we came up with a very creative idea that was also educational.
The idea started with the fact that the gastroenterology department has been struggling for the last couple of years to attain adequate preps for procedures. We changed our instruction and appointment letter to be more reader friendly, started pre-procedure telephone calls (we tried automated and non-automated versions), doing split preps on patients that traveled less than 100 miles, poster presentations to educate the public during colon cancer month and five-minute teaching series to educate the nursing staff at the Veterans Administration. All of these measures helped a little, but we still struggle to get adequately cleansed colons.
We’re very proud of Dr. Levitt, a staff gastroenterologist at the Minneapolis Veterans Administration, who assisted in the development of the Golytely Prep, which we use as part of our prep.