Whidbey General recognizes National Nurses Week

Melanie Hansen, a registered nurse at Whidbey General Hospital, checks on 1-day-old Ella Houlroyd, the child of Melissa Stewart and Conan Houlroyd. Hansen and nurses across the country are being recognized during National Nurses Week. - Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times
Melanie Hansen, a registered nurse at Whidbey General Hospital, checks on 1-day-old Ella Houlroyd, the child of Melissa Stewart and Conan Houlroyd. Hansen and nurses across the country are being recognized during National Nurses Week.
— image credit: Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times

Whidbey General Hospital is joining medical facilities and doctors’ offices across the nation in celebrating National Nurses Week May 6-12.

This year’s theme is “delivering quality and innovation in patient care.”

Nursing continues to be the most trusted profession in the United States.

Linda Gipson, the chief nursing officer at Whidbey General Hospital, said an annual survey results shows that the “trust level” for nurses actually went up this year.

“People have confidence that we want the best for them and we have the skills necessary to meet their needs,” she said.

“We are trying our darnedest for the patients at Whidbey General Hospital to ensure the best experience possible,” she said.

The 200 nurses, certified nursing assistants, emergency department technicians and health unit coordinators at Whidbey General Hospital are working hard to keep that trust.

Coupeville resident Bob Engle was at the hospital this week and had nothing but praise for the nurses.

“There are two in particular who really spoiled me, got me everything I want,” he said.

The nurses are committed to “technically excellent care” that respects individual needs and preferences, according to the hospital. They are motivated by their mission: “To heal our community, one patient and one family at a time.”

“Whidbey Island Public Hospital District salutes this team, which cares for patients in the hospital, community clinics, physician practices, and private homes around the island,” a hospital  press release states. “Clinical outcomes at Whidbey General are outstanding, even when compared to industry best.”

During National Nurses Week, the hospital administration recognizes that the nurses’ passion for quality and innovation extends into the greater community.

Nurses from Whidbey General Hospital participate in events promoting health and raise awareness, such as the Red Dress Ball, March for Babies and Relay for Life.

These events provide funds for those in need and educate countless community members about important health issues.

Nurses are committed not only to healing injuries and illness, but also to promoting health. They participate in lectures and community support groups on topics such as injury prevention, grief and loss, cancer and heart disease.

They conduct blood pressure and cholesterol screenings at many events, such as the Island County Fair and Whidbey Island Marathon.

“They will help you stay healthy and well, but are also here for you when you need them,” the press release states.

The following is a list of “nurse-sensitive quality and outcome measures” provided by Whidbey General Hospital:

  • More efficient processes in the emergency department have resulted in a “door to doctor” time that is among the best in the state for the 18,000 patients served annually. Patient satisfaction scores are now in the 95th percentile when compared with nearly 2,000 other hospitals in the United States.
  • The Whidbey General Cancer Program received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Commission on Cancer for 2012. All registered nurses in the Medical Ambulatory Clinic are now oncology certified, providing proficient and empathetic care to our cancer patients.
  • Nursing care models and staffing plans have been updated and streamlined to provide continuity of care and improved patient flow through the hospital system. Certified nursing assistants and emergency department technicians have been added to the team as “nurse extenders” to respond to patient needs.
  • The hospital uses a state-of-the-art electronic record for documenting important information. The hospital now subscribes to a national nursing procedure database for bedside access to evidence-based policies and procedures for nursing care.
  • People with diabetes who attended the Diabetes Education Program Class series on average reduced their A1C — a measure of control of diabetes — by 2.3 percent.
  • A total of 86 percent of those who attended the Pulmonary Wellness program did not need to visit the ER and were not hospitalized with any pulmonary issues within the year of attendance.
  • Since 2010, no Whidbey General patient has developed ventilator-associated pneumonia or central-line-associated bloodstream infections, which are the cause of serious complications for intensive care patients.
  • Less than 1 percent of chronically ill patients admitted to Whidbey General experience a pressure ulcer. The average pressure ulcer rate for other acute care hospitals across the country is 7 percent.


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