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AACN's Clinical Scene Investigator Academy: Empowering Nurses and Transforming Healthcare

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Medriva Correspondents
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AACN's Clinical Scene Investigator Academy: Empowering Nurses and Transforming Healthcare

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AACN's Initiative to Improve Hospital Work Environments

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The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) has launched a novel initiative intended to improve work environments in hospitals. The Clinical Scene Investigator Academy is a 12-month nursing leadership program that allows teams of nurses to identify key challenges within their workspaces and develop innovative projects to address them. The overarching goal is to align work environments with AACN's standards for a healthy workspace.

The program is currently underway in Los Angeles, with participating hospitals including Los Angeles General Medical Center and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Future cohorts are planned in hospitals across Ohio, Oregon, Delaware, Texas, and Washington, involving around 80 teams of three to four nurses each.

Impact on Nurses and Patient Outcomes

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According to AACN Chief Clinical Officer Vicki Good, the health and well-being of the work environment are crucial for nurse recruitment, satisfaction, and retention. A healthy work environment not only improves the morale of the nursing staff but also positively impacts patient, nurse, and hospital outcomes.

Examples of Projects Under the CSI Academy

The CSI Academy has already seen impactful projects come to fruition. At Methodist Hospital Metropolitan in San Antonio, Texas, a project focused on preventing unplanned extubations in adult patients in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) and Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU). The project developed tools such as an unplanned extubation prevention bundle and a risk assessment wheel, which were implemented to educate nurses and improve patient outcomes.

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Another CSI project at the same hospital aimed to decrease surgical site infections (SSIs) in Perioperative Services and the Medical Surgical Unit (Med-Surg). The project revised the existing bundle for colorectal SSI prevention and developed a new bundle for hysterectomy SSI prevention, resulting in a 44% decrease in SSIs and significant fiscal savings.

The Importance of a Supportive Team

A recent incident highlights the importance of a supportive team in a healthy work environment. A young nurse suffered a cardiac arrest during a training session on responding to cardiac arrest. Her colleagues, fellow nurses, immediately sprang into action to save her life. This incident not only strengthened the bond among the nurses but also emphasized the preciousness of life and the importance of cherishing it.

Conclusion

The AACN’s CSI Academy is a testament to the difference a healthy work environment can make. By empowering nurses to identify and tackle challenges within their workspace, the program is not only improving the working conditions for healthcare professionals but also enhancing patient care. The examples of successful projects and the life-saving response of a team of nurses underline the potential of such initiatives in transforming healthcare.

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