Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas

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Your Houston VA Nurses Are Adding to the Science of Nursing

May 13, 2003

Your Houston VA Nurses Are Adding to the Science of Nursing

Members of the HVAMC nursing staff are tracking patient outcomes and implementing new nursing procedures using top-of-the line equipment to help our veterans have speedy recoveries, easier access to care, and improved quality of life.

Released: 2003/05/13

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HVAMC Medical Care Line staff nurse Bonita Drones, MSN, RN answers questions from veteran Bruce O'Boyle about his risks for skin cancer. Ms. Drones recently wrote a book chapter for the Dermatology Nurses Associations Core Curriculum textbook on "Benign Neoplasms and Hyperplasia." This publication will help other dermatology nurses become certified expert dermatology nurses by teaching them about non-cancerous "lumps and bumps" of the skin.

Photo by Shawn James, HVAMC Medical Media

HOUSTON, TX - While visiting the Houston VA Medical Center (HVAMC), you may have been told about or asked to participate in a research study that your physician or researcher was conducting. But did you know that your nursing staff is also conducting research?

Let me give you a few examples. The HVAMC Chief Nurse Executive Deloris Leftridge, MS, RN is conducting research to find out which leadership styles and management techniques assure the best communication among nurse administrators. In another study, she is looking at methods to improve retention of nurses and prevent a nursing shortage at the HVAMC.

Diana Rintala, PhD and Pam Willson, PhD, RN, recently asked Parkinson's patients to test out a questionnaire about their pain symptoms. This tool will be used in their national survey of patients enrolled in Parkinson's Disease Research, Education and Clinical Centers (PADRECCs) at the six VA centers across the United States.

Plans for future nursing studies includes one by Jane Anderson, MS, RN, FNP on predicting rehabilitation services after heart bypass surgery. A team of nurses including Pam Willson, PhD, RN; Veronica Magee, MSN, RN; Linda Fincher, BSN, RN; and Connie Ward, BSN, RN are going to compare veterans' outcomes when staff members use either the telephone or videophone to teach patients about their medications.

VA nurses are actively writing articles and book chapters, and making research presentations. A recent publication by Carla Click, MS, RN, GNP, an expert in wound care, follows her work on the Consortium for Spinal Cord Medicine, where she contributed to the development of clinical practice guidelines. Her latest publication is for patients. It is called, "Pressure Ulcers: What You Should Know" and is a guide to keeping persons with spinal cord injuries healthy.

Soon to be published is a book chapter for the Dermatology Nurses Associations Core Curriculum textbook on "Benign Neoplasms and Hyperplasia" by Bonita Drones, MSN, RN. This chapter, written in everyday language, will help other dermatology nurses become certified expert dermatology nurses by teaching them about non-cancerous "lumps and bumps" of the skin.

Anesia Okezie, MS, RN and Susan Dierker, MSN, RN are two of the VA nurses who presented posters at the Annual Texas Nurse Practitioner Conference. Okezie's presentation addressed the hydration status of older hospitalized patients who had psychiatric diagnoses. Dierker was part of a team of investigators who reported on veterans' attitudes about care delivered by their nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Last month, 210 nursing staff completed a "Research Nursing Query" about their research activities during 2002 and the direction they wanted nursing research to go in the future. Overwhelmingly, your VA nursing staff want to know how to best take care of you.

Many nurses have been using the 26 nursing journals in our library to deliver the most up-to-date nursing care possible. Others are reviewing the latest science on the Internet and reading full articles online. Nursing units and clinic staff are forming journal clubs, so that they can join together in reviewing the latest and best methods of providing nursing care.

HVAMC nurses are tracking patient outcomes and implementing new nursing procedures using top-of-the line equipment to help our veterans have speedy recoveries, easier access to care, and improved quality of life.

Nurses are taking an innovative lead in researching how to improve your care-be on the lookout for robots delivering medications to the unit.

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article by Pam Willson, PhD, RN, Associate Chief of Nursing Research, HVAMC Clinical Practice Office

Point of Contact: VHAHOU Public Affairs

04/21/04 08:25