Free Webinar for Health Professionals Focuses on Assessing Workplace Environment

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To help hospital units and other workplaces to become safer and healthier for patients and staff alike, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), in partnership with VitalSmarts, invites nurses and other health professionals to attend a free 60-minute webinar March 9, titled “Assessing the Health of Your Work Environment.”

With the goal of enabling hospital units and other workplaces to become safer and healthier for patients and staff, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) invites nurses and other health professionals to attend a free webinar Tuesday, March 9, from 11 a.m. to noon MST.

AACN in collaboration with VitalSmarts — a provider of corporate training and organizational performance products and services in Provo, Utah — will host “Assessing the Health of Your Work Environment.” To register for the webinar, call VitalSmarts toll free at (800) 449-5989 or visit its Web site (http://www.vitalsmarts.com).

Mary Bylone, assistant vice president of nursing operations, The William W. Backus Hospital, Norwich, Conn., and David Maxfield, VitalSmarts’ vice president of research and development, will lead the free 60-minute webinar. It outlines use of the new AACN Healthy Work Environment Team Assessment (http://www.hweteamtool.org), a Web-based tool recently launched with VitalSmarts, to help health professionals align quality and safety improvement efforts with the following six AACN Healthy Work Environment Standards:

  • Skilled Communication – equal proficiency in communication and clinical skills.
  • True Collaboration – relentless pursuit and fostering of true collaboration.
  • Effective Decision Making – valued and committed partners in making policy, directing and evaluating clinical care and leading organizational operations.
  • Appropriate Staffing – an effective match between patient needs and nurse competencies.
  • Meaningful Recognition – for the value of work brought to the organization by oneself and others.
  • Authentic Leadership – fully embrace the HWE imperative and engage others to achieve it.

Health professionals can use the free online tool to survey staff, compare their results with industry standards and develop step-by-step strategies to improve poor performance, patient safety, staff recruitment and retention, and healthy workplace cultures.

Healthy work environments reduce medical errors and stress for nurses. Bylone, an advocate of staff nurse involvement in decision making, urges clinicians to speak up about systemic failures that contribute to unhealthy workplaces.

“I strongly discourage nurses from accepting unhealthy work environments as inevitable. When we role model professionalism and put our patients at the center of everything we do, we help to create healthy work environments that optimize delivery of care,” she says.

AACN’s Healthy Work Environment Team Assessment helps to improve any clinical setting from a single hospital unit to entire healthcare organizations. Maxfield, co-author of The New York Times best seller “Influencer: The Power to Change Anything,” notes the importance of measurement and tracking to maintaining a healthy work environment.

“VitalSmarts helped to create the AACN Healthy Work Environment Team Assessment to help nurse leaders focus on workplace issues of greatest need. It can move quality improvement efforts forward by giving practical tips that units can employ immediately,” he explains.

About the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
Founded in 1969 and based in Aliso Viejo, Calif., the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world. AACN joins together the interests of more than 500,000 acute and critical care nurses with more than 230 chapters worldwide. The organization’s vision is to create a healthcare system driven by the needs of patients and their families in which acute and critical care nurses make their optimal contribution. To learn more about AACN, visit http://www.aacn.org.

About VitalSmarts
An innovator in corporate training and organizational performance, VitalSmarts is home to award-winning training products that deliver powerful tools for enriching relationships and improving end results. The company also has three New York Times best-selling books, “Crucial Conversations,” “Crucial Confrontations” and “Influencer.” VitalSmarts has been listed five times on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies and has taught more than two million people worldwide. http://www.vitalsmarts.com.

American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, 101 Columbia, Aliso Viejo, CA. 92656-4109; Phone: 949-362-2000; Fax: 949-362-2020; http://www.aacn.org.

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