Scholarly Dissemination

Asking why and how every day: Improving our nursing practices through research

Sentara Healthcare nurses made significant progress in publishing and presenting research findings locally, nationally and internationally in 2018. We increased the number of published manuscripts by 30 percent; IRB-approved studies by 27 percent; and the number of presented posters by 20 percent, compared to 2017. Your additional research and efforts to share your findings represent your dedication to continuous improvement in patient care.

Thank you to all of the nurses who took the time to develop an idea, study it and present their findings in hopes of helping not only Sentara deliver exceptional patient care, but other providers throughout the world as well. Your questioning “why” and exploring new “hows” for better success — often while continuing your regular, day-to-day work — pushes us forward to excel in value-focused care.

Quality Improvement Coordinator, Sentara RMH Medical Center

“The older I’ve gotten, the more I want to mentor new nurses and help them grow and enjoy the profession as much as I do. Nursing is just in my blood. It’s an art and a science. It has the art of giving compassion and care to patients, and it has the science of clinically healing people.”

Nursing research findings making a difference for our patients

“I was a staff nurse for 20 years and saw nurse-to-nurse incivility. It can take many forms — like a non-verbal innuendo such as raising an eyebrow when another nurse talks to you, a verbal affront like making a snide remark, or sabotaging someone by deliberately setting up a negative situation to hurt someone’s reputation. In all, there are 10 possible acts of nurse-to-nurse incivility, with gossiping being the most common form.

Incivility decreases nurses’ morale and the quality of their work — which has a negative effect on patients’ safety. Unfortunately, incivility can cause nurses to leave their jobs, so you have turnover. It’s costly for organizations to have to hire and train new nurses.

When I moved into management, I knew it was so important to make the best environment possible for our staff. In preparation for my doctorate research, I came across Dr. Martha Griffin’s work on incivility in which she taught nurses what it looks like in practice. She role-played ways to deal with incivility. In her study, she eliminated incivility, so I decided to test her method with a pilot group at my hospital.

I tailored the training with help from a manager, who shared situations her department’s nurses might face. After teaching Dr. Griffin’s 10 acts of incivility to the pilot group of 32 nurses, I presented those department-specific situations, and the group role-played. Everyone hates to role-play, but when you practice, it plants a seed in your brain as to how to handle a situation.

We did a pre-survey, an immediate post-survey and a six-week post-class survey with the group. Our results showed that awareness of incivility increased, and the incidence of incivility decreased.

There are so many demands on our nurses: patients are sicker than they’ve ever been, and we’re busier. We shouldn’t have to deal with a negative work environment caused by incivility. We own this as a profession, and if we own it, we can fix it.”

Sentara Nursing Report