February 3, 2011

VPH takes team approach to get ready for Magnet

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Virginia Potts, R.N., left, and Molly Wade, R.N., share a laugh during the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital’s weekly Magnet Committee Meeting. (photo by Anne Rayner)

VPH takes team approach to get ready for Magnet

Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital (VPH) is preparing for the Medical Center's second Magnet designation from the inside out thanks to a special committee developing activities in pursuit of the distinction.

The 15-person committee meets weekly to discuss ways to educate and motivate the staff, which totals more than 225.

“Magnet is about showcasing what we do well, and there are a lot of really good things going on here,” said VPH Chief Nursing Officer Avni Cirpili, M.S.N., R.N. “It's a nurse-led initiative, and so it's appropriate that our own Magnet committee is taking charge of educating and engaging our entire staff.”

The VPH Magnet Committee felt strongly that interdisciplinary collaboration would be vital in efforts to share messages about Magnet.

So each committee member has fanned out across the hospital to attend all staff meetings to make sure everyone at VPH understands Magnet's key elements, their individual roles, why VUMC is pursuing a second designation and what will likely unfold in the next few months. These staff meetings include doctors, residents, social workers, nurses and environmental services personnel.

“We were proud to capture some of the best examples of the VPH story with numerous contributions to the Magnet document. We have many proud moments and outcomes to share,” said Johnny Woodard, R.N., manager, who also participated in VUMC's first Magnet designation.

The committee members think so too, so they combed through the comprehensive Magnet document and distilled each of the VPH examples. Now, every staff member has a PowerPoint presentation and a one-page fact sheet that helps them better prepare for the potential site-visit with Magnet appraisers.

“To me, it's developing activities with a light-hearted approach that best celebrate what we do,” said Molly Wade, R.N., a VPH Magnet committee member, who is also a Magnet escort for the upcoming site visit.

The group has developed what they call “Timecard Treats” every other week and during all three shifts. As nurses clock in or out via Kronos, a member of the VPH Magnet committee asks them a question about transformational leadership, structural empowerment, new knowledge and innovations, exemplary professional practice or empirical outcomes. Correct answers are rewarded with a sweet treat like a cookie.

The next big activity is planned for Feb. 10, when the committee will transform the VPH gymnasium into its own version of the 'Ye Old Magnet Fair' held last fall in the Learning Center. The Medieval-themed fair will include games structured around Magnet's five key elements and offers the chance to win a variety of prizes. Committee members are trying to attract each of VPH's staff members to the all-day event.

The VPH Magnet committee plans to continue building momentum throughout the entire Magnet process.

“Our whole group will continue to generate ideas and try fun and effective activities so we will be in a constant state of readiness,” said Woodard.