Wednesday, September 15, 2010

An amazing first day

I want to catch you up on the first two days of our program. It has been so amazing to meeting with these nurse leaders and to discover there are so many similarities.

Yesterday we attended the Fortis Nursing Forum. Lead by Ms Thankam Gomez, BSN, Chief Nursing Officer Fortis Healthcare, each quarter the chief nursing officers of the Fortis Hospital System gather to share their experiences and create standardization throughout the system.

One of the first things asked was, “Is it destiny or is it coincidence?” Months ago our People-to-People dates were set. By chance, these dates corresponded with the Nursing Forum. And by chance that they were also opening their outpatient treatment center. It was a very auspicious day and it was decided that our meeting was destiny – as nothing happens without a purpose.

AONE president Pam Rudisill gave a presentation: “Where Nurses Spend their Time.” There are three challenges facing US nurses today: the future of care delivery, creating excellence in the work environment, and building leadership competences. AONE CEO Pam Thompson wrapped up the presentation with a few comments about the pending changes we will experience with health care reform in the United States and asked the question: “How do we make the major changes to health care while maintaining the high standard of care?” She paraphrased American Hospital Association CEO Rich Umbdenstock‘s description of health care reform. She said it is a beautiful map of where we need to go, but we haven’t built the road yet.

Ms. Gomez presented “Vibrant India”, which described the Fortis hospital system. Fortis is among the Asia’s largest private service providers. The system employs 5,420 nurses at almost 20 facilities. As it turns out, the challenges we face in the US are very very similar to the ones nurse leaders face in India. Workforce, specifically retention, and standardization of education are some of India’s pressing nursing issues. Copies of these presentations will be available on the AONE website in the next week or so.

The AONE delegation and members of the Forum had an open discussion on how we can recognize nurses and show our appreciation for them, with the hopes of improving nurse retention. At Fortis, they have developed a very interesting quarterly review called Nursing Quality Improvement Process. This is an individual review each quarter to evaluate the growth of the nurse, where they have improved from the prior quarter, where they still need improvement, and if any compensation changes need to be made based on the nurse’s progress. They also have Nurse of the Month, Nurse of the Unit, and a celebration of Nurses’ Week each year.

Both the AONE delegation and Fortis members agreed that the best recognition is most often not related to compensation. A personal thank you card or simply saying “nice job” can go very far. The most important thing is that the feedback happens immediately.

There were two more quotes from the day that have stuck with me and I think we can all relate to:

"Tell me and Iwill forget; show me and I will know ; involve me; and I will remember” – Chinese Proverb
  • Does this sound strikingly familiar to “See one, do one, teach one”?

“If you want to get something done, give it to the busiest person you know.” – Pam Rudisill

  • I know you can related to this – we are all busy!

We finished the afternoon with a visit to the India Gate and Humayun's tomb. Located in New Delhi, the India Gate is a memorial built by the British to honor the fallen India soldiers from World War One. This striking monument was based on the Arch de Triumph in Paris. The name of each of the fallen soldiers is carved into the stone.

Humayun's tomb is a great example of a Mughal garden tomb. It was build by the widow of Humayun and houses not only his remains, but the remains of 150 members of the royal court. As a footnote, there is also a tomb for Humayun ‘s barber. It is legend that Humayun said you must trust your barber with your life. He was so fond of his barber, a tomb was built for him just south of Humayun’s.

More pictures of our meeting with the Fortis Nursing Forum and our sightseeing will be posted shortly.

Best wishes from New Delhi!

Alyse Kittner
AONE membership manager

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