Season 1, Episode 6 Transcript
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From the Association for Vascular Access, this is the ISAVE That Podcast.
Ramzy: Season 1, Episode 6 of the ISAVE That Podcast. This is Ramzy Nasrallah. I'm joined by JAVA Editor-In-Chief and AVA Director of Communications, Eric Seger as well as AVA's Director of Clinical Education, Judy Thompson. Judy, this is the leadership episode of the podcast. What does that mean?
Judy: That means that we're gonna be talking about how leadership affects Vascular Access and how Vascular Access affects leadership. We have 3 amazing speakers on this podcast. Dr. Lorelle Wuerz, Doctor Stacy Harrison, and Amy Bardin, who is working to finish up her doctorate, all speaking on different aspects of leadership and Vascular Access.
Eric: It sounds like we have quite a bit to get to and we'll go ahead and dive right in to that right after the break. Stay tuned.
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Eric: And we're happy to be joined by Dr. Lorelle Wuerz from New York Presbyterian Hospital and individual with years of experience in the Vascular Access specialty and recently she's taken on more of a leadership role at her institution. Lorelle, how are you?
Lorelle: I'm wonderful, Eric. Thank you. Thanks for having me.
Eric: Absolutely. We're happy you were able to join us today.
Ramzy: Hey, Lorelle!
Lorelle: Hi, this is great. I'm excited.
Judy: It's going to be fun. Lorelle this is Judy Thompson as well. So, we have Ramzy, myself, Eric, and you. But we're excited to have you on this. We are doing a bit of a series on leadership and how it relates to Vascular Access. And I know you've had a bevy of different jobs and been a specialist in Vascular Access, involved in AVA for many years, but, what's been going on with you of recent? Congratulations on your doctorate and your new position.
Lorelle: Thank you so much. Yes, so I've been in nursing for quite a while. A lot of those years in Vascular Access since 2005. And the large part of it is, has in Vascular Access, but on the leadership side of things and as well as managing Vascular access, different areas of nursing. So I've had a lot of, you know, kind of great experience on the inpatient side of nursing, as well as some of the outpatient arena. But just recently I had a really exciting opportunity in New York Presbyterian to join the corporate leadership team and really look more globally at the discipline of nursing and professionalism across our enterprise and how we can standardize and innovate and integrate nursing care across a really large academic medical teaching center in New York City. And so, I just started this role a couple of months ago and I'm kind of really immersed in the details and getting to know everybody, but it's been really, really fantastic. And giving me a different side of leadership and how senior leaders can really influence health care and patient outcomes.
Judy: That sounds so exciting and I think knowing you and your energy and enthusiasm, you're a perfect fit. It sounds wonderful.
Lorelle: Yeah, I'm excited.
Judy: That's great. So, we have a few questions for you. Now there's two questions that we're asking each of the participants that have been speaking on this. And then there's a couple that we've set up specifically for you. So, one of the questions that we've asked everyone is, how important is leadership engagement in regard to Vascular Access?
Lorelle: Gee, leadership engagement is important in all areas of healthcare, right? I'd say it extends beyond leadership engagement to an engagement of all healthcare providers regardless of your role or your title, right? Conceptually, I think, and I think we know that engagement is linked to empowerment and job satisfaction and how people are involved in their jobs. And there are organizational commitment. All of that is linked. And well-versed leaders know that. They understand that and staff who are engaged in their work exhibit passion and commitment and, and this willingness to invest in themselves that then translates to an organization's success and helps the organization overall succeed. And it's more important than ever, for frontline nurses be engaged in their work and committed to the organization's mission. They have to be capable of delivering like this world class high-quality care in a complex and constantly changing environment, right? And so Vascular Access, in my opinion, is one area that's often overlooked. Although if you think about it, it affects almost all patients admitted in the inpatient setting and nearly every single patient in your hospital and an inpatient bed has some type of vascular access device. Sometimes we don't think this topic is so important. It blows my mind. Vascular Access, it can be rather basic. Yet, it's critical for patient care in both the hospital and ambulatory patient settings. And so leadership engagement and Vascular Access are very much interconnected.
Judy: I couldn't agree more on that. Now, let's step it up one more step: How does executive leadership affect a Vascular Access team?
Lorelle: Executive leadership is, you know, I'll answer this as a nurse leader in healthcare institutions. So this is my lens of, you know, the professional discipline of nursing and nurses in general, right? And we all say this, I'm almost sick of hearing myself say it, but it's true: Healthcare is rapidly changing and it's growing in complexity, right? I mean, I hear it every day. But it's so true. And this necessitates that all care providers collaborate in this interdisciplinary type of fashion and they're maximizing their efficiency and who understands that better than nurses? Nurses are the largest group of healthcare professionals in the hospital and they're the leaders on the front lines. They're the ones doing the patient care all day long. System executive nurse leaders, bring a unique perspective and increasingly valuable perspective to champion the efforts of these bedside nurses from various areas including vascular access. And that'll translate from the bedside to the top of the leadership ladder. The role of the nurse executive, interestingly enough I think has evolved and it used to be focused all on nurse services and now it's a broader accountability of patient care services across the healthcare continuum. And the expansion of that role and responsibilities positions a nurse executive as a member of the senior leadership team more so now than it ever did.
Judy: I agree. I agree. Now, let's flip that around a little bit. What can the Vascular Access Specialist provide to the executive team to help that leadership make decisions that support best patient care and the Vascular Access Specialists itself?
Lorelle: So, the Vascular Access Specialist is going to provide something to the executive team. I think whenever a staff nurse is going to go to a leader or an executive leader, even more so, you gotta be prepared. You got to do your homework. It's all about the data and the research and so Vascular Access to clinicians should do their homework and come prepared, but they got to share the evidence available on a topic of interest that supports their creative ideas and their passions, right? If there's no evidence, then you need to do your own homework first. Do you need to do your own research, present preliminary outcomes of data that you collected or trials that you've done on a smaller level, presenting that in a factual manner to senior leadership will gain their support. So, what you don't want to do, do not go to nursing leadership or senior leaders with vague ideas or opinions or ideas generated off of like 'the way we like to do it' or 'the way we've done it for years.' That will go nowhere. Nursing needs to bolster their professionalism and professional behaviors. And you know what that includes? That includes the development use and evaluation of research as well as theory in your practice. So, I'm going to say if a Vascular Access Specialist wants to be heard, be succinct, prepared, do your homework, have the data and research to support your point of view.
Judy: Absolutely. In fact, to make your point, I did something similar back in the day. I came in with a problem. I came in with data. I came in with a solution, a possible solution which took about three minutes. Very succinct. And coming in with that kind of information exactly the way that you mentioned it is really effective and understandable. But data: data is really important, as well. Like you said, don't come in with your theory. Or just a problem I believe. I think we need more than just the problem.
Lorelle: Right. You said the keyword: Solutions. Possible solutions. That's the key.
Judy: Exactly. Exactly. So, what steps, if you had a Vascular Access Specialist that is practicing right now, what steps would you recommend that they take to possibly advance their career?
Lorelle: For me, I think always it's all about investing in your education. Be a lifelong learner, right? Education can be done lots of different ways. Some are formal, some are less formal, like you know, degree programs. Even get certified in a specialized nursing program and you have to pick which option is best for you at whatever point in your career and personal life. Like we have to have work-life balance, right? Your personal and work life need to be married together well at the same time. But, you know, formal education is definitely one way to keep that education rolling. Another is seeking certification. So, certification is super important to your professionalism in the discipline of nursing. Professional nurses demonstrate their commitment to nursing and their career in the certification process. The American Nurses Credentialing Center supports lots of different nursing related certification programs that can help you advance in your career.
And it's your choice. It's the nurse's choice to advance their career and that can potentially prove your ability to provide the best possible patient care. That's why you want to increase your knowledge base and your education, right? So you can apply it to your practice. And specifically a Vascular Access clinician should look into the Vascular Access Board Certification™, I'm Vascular Access Board Certified. I think anybody who's in the Vascular Access arena, this is invaluable. The certification exams, it's the standard, right for our basic knowledge skills and the abilities, the things that we're expected to know as professionals working in Vascular Access. And it's offered through AVA, through our organization, through the Association for Vascular Access through VACC, the Vascular Access Credentialing Center.
So, I think formal education is one. I think certification is another. You know, what else I think? I don't think that we use mentors enough. I think, I highly recommend having a formal mentor. Throughout my career I've always had a mentor and it's not that difficult to find one. Nurses should just take a look, identify someone who they feel comfortable with or who they consider a role model and start developing that mentor-mentee relationship. There's formal mentoring programs, but there's also informal ways to do it. You could join like a research group or journal club or volunteer on a special project and that's a great avenue to meet people who could mentor you. Just pick a date, talk to them, ask if you could meet on a regular basis to start that mentoring relationship. Let's see. Advancing yourself as a clinician, you know, what else is key to your professionalism? Is participation in a professional organization. One like AVA, right? I highly recommend Vascular Access Specialist. Again, not only to have certification, but be involved with AVA because of all the benefits of being a member. Then we have our scientific meeting year. We have a network of people who are other experts. You could meet other Vascular Access clinicians. You get the journal, the Journal of the Association for Vascular Access. I read that, every journal that comes out, I still read it. Access to other industry experts. The Intravascular Quarterly – love that, that publication just got freshened up and I love it. They're all invaluable.
Eric: Thanks, Lorelle! I appreciate that someone is reading those.
Lorelle: Yeah, Eric! Shoutout!
Ramzy: Always good to shout out the editor of the journal you're referring to.
Lorelle: Yeah. Right. Exactly.
Judy: You and I both belong to kind of a handful of professional organizations. Not just AVA – I love it. I love the Association for Vascular Access. Because, we just can't be in silos. We don't, Vascular Access doesn't live on an island. I belong to APIC, ONS, INS. There's many organizations that are part of my bevy of professional organizations that I need to understand and be with, so I agree with you on every point you made on that. I think that those are wonderful points on advancement for careers. So, thanks. Those are good.
Ramzy: Hey Lorelle, I have a question for you.
Ramzy: Your career has really taken off as you've worked your way up at Presby in New York City, in an environment that's filled with very strong personalities, not just a lot of people, but a lot of people who insist on being heard. And I'm just wondering how as a leader in an organization that complex and that visible, have you been able to manage and mediate when there have been times of crisis or disagreement and how you can advance your team, several teams to getting past what might be a significant bump in the road, to get back to your mission?
Lorelle: Yeah, I mean, I think it goes back to the basics. None of this is really like rocket science. For me as a leader, it's about listening, right? I mean truly listening, which is so hard to do. I practice it myself every day. I still don't think I'm a great listener yet. I tried to be better listener every day, but listening and when you've got different opinions and points of view, well, isn't that valuable though? That is super important in terms of coming to the best solution because the more people you have at the table and the more opinions you have, the better the possible solution. It's up to the leader, though, to take the emotion out of it, right? To really understand the vision, the goal, where you're headed and in healthcare that is also very simple. We all went the same thing. We want to do the best for our patients, right? Putting patients first, making patients centric to our care and offering the best possible quality care. Nobody wants to debate on that in healthcare. So, you could get a ton of people with difference of opinions, but when the end goal is the same and you can get everybody in the room to agree that that end goal is the same, having different opinions and heated discussions actually makes your solution better, in my opinion. It's up to the leader to mediate that, to filter out the emotion and make sure you're getting all the best information to come up with best solutions. That takes time and you build that over time and practice and stuff like that. But, that's in my opinion, it's not really that complex. It goes back to the simple stuff: Listening, having a goal and collaborating.
Judy: You make it sound so simple. It does! It sounds so simple. Because, in my brain, I'm thinking, 'OK, you come the table you have a complex concern and in your brain you might have something you think will work and someone comes up with another idea that you would pass as yours or it's a totally different idea. How do you personally draw your emotion back enough that you can listen and open it up?
Lorelle: No, that's up to leader to mediate that because as you know, and you set the tone before a meeting like that, that's going to be that strewn with emotion and opinion and kind of high stakes conversations. You set the tone in those meetings before you even get started by saying, hey, you know, one of the things that my organization really is strong on a respect, we have a respect credo. And before I would start a meeting like that, I would remind everybody about the respect credo, about the fact that we all want the same end goal, right? And, and that we're all really brilliant, you know, healthcare professionals and to remember that in our discussion. Sometimes as the leader when it gets heated you have to remind people. You validate their opinions and you make sure that everybody else understands the facts of what they've just said and then you keep moving on But you can't, you have to take out the nasty comments or the digs, or things like that. And you have to call people out on that as the mediator of a meeting. You can't condone that. And if you don't address it, you're condoning it.
Judy: Yeah. That's great advice. OK, I've got one final question for you before we wrap this up. I just want to be cognitive of your time. I know you're a very busy woman. Understanding the importance of reportable events to the C-Suites. What advice can you offer the executive to help them understand how the Vascular Access Specialist can help them actually achieve the organizational goals?
Lorelle: First, the Vascular Access Specialist needs to know what the organization's goals are, right? So, you gotta be familiar with what are the priorities for the organization. But it's safe to say if not most, all organization's goals include quality metrics and they're looking to improve patient care and outcomes. Right? I mean that's what we do. We want to do no harm, zero harm initiatives. These are paramount in healthcare right now. It's an obvious priority to save lives and this is aligned with so many national, initiatives. And I say that CLABSI – central line-associated blood stream infections, has one of the largest impacts on an organization right now. It has become a high priority for senior leaders. And that's because of its relationship not only to patient mortality, but also to reimbursement structures and how they're shifting now to outcome based or value-based purchasing models, as well as the impact on the organization's reputation.
It's kind of like a triple whammy here. CLABSI is going to hit you on all three areas and your data gets publicly reported. So, there's your reputation again. But Vascular Access clinicians can show their engagement, they've gotta be aligned with those goals and they got to know what their contributions are. That helps them, understand their value and be clear on the research and yes, to support best practices and present those ideas and solutions like you said before to collaborate with leaders. They can contribute to the organization's goals. That stems from the insertion of catheters all the way through to care and maintenance. So, the life cycle of a Vascular Access Device. But I think that's really where it's at and being aligned and engaged and contributing toward organization goals.
Judy: Well said. Thank you so much. You've been wonderful, Dr. Wuerz. Thank you so much for your time.
Lorelle: Thank you so much for having me!
Eric: Thank you, Lorelle!
Judy: Have a great day! And we'll see you in about 2 weeks.
Lorelle: Yes, love it. Can't wait.
Eric: It is our honor to be joined by Dr. Staci Harrison, the Clinical Regional Director of MedSurge and Critical Care of her healtcare system to continue our discussion on leadership and Vascular Access. Staci, thanks for joining us. How are you?
Staci: I'm wonderful. How are you?
Eric: Great. I'm here with Judy Thompson, AVA's Director of Clinical Education as well as AVA CEO Ramzy Nasrallah, who I know you know well.
Ramzy: Hi, Staci.
Staci: Hi, Ramzy. Hi, Judy.
Judy: Hi, guys. Great to have you on. Thank you so much for agreeing to talk with us and be on our podcast on leadership today.
Staci: I'm excited to be here.
Judy: Well, we're excited to have you. Before we get into our interview questions, wanted to talk to you a little bit about your engagement with AVA and what it's like to be a part of AVA now, because I know you came to your first AVA conference last year? And presented – not only your first conference, but you also presented at your first conference. Tell us your viewpoint, if you would.
Staci: I was actually really nervous about just presenting at an international conference and a conference such as AVA. And honestly, I was so excited and overwhelmed by all the wealth of information and knowledge that I gained while I was there. By trade, I am not a Vascular Access nurse, but have a lot of knowledge about it. The conference last year in Arizona was phenomenal. One of the best conferences that I've attended in my career.
Judy: Wow. That's high praise
Staci: Yes. I specifically, I brought back to the organization, Michelle DeVries, did I pronounce that right?
Judy: Chellie DeVries? You're really close.
Staci: I always, always mess it up. Chellie DeVries – and she was phenomenal just to talking about the quality and data. It was just absolutely phenomenal. There were so many good speakers. I wish I could have gone to all of the sessions, but that's just not possible.
Judy: No, it's not. It's really hard. I have the same problem. I see the three things at a time period and I want to go play and I want to go listen to everyone. But, fortunately, we record every session and we videotape almost every session, even the breakouts. So, you can always go to the AVA Learning Center post-conference and check out what you missed. So that's good.
Staci: One thing that I want it to say, Judy, about the conference, that I think I was most impressed with was that it was like multidisciplinary. So, it wasn't just about being a Vascular Access nurse, it had to do with physicians and surgeons and Pediatrics. You have a whole session on Pediatrics, Interventional Radiology. There's so many different specialties that covers, and that's what I really liked about it. It was just total, it was encompassing of different specialties.
Judy: I agree with you. Thanks. So that's kind of what grabs my attention as well.
Ramzy: Hey, rolling into our mission!
Judy: That multidisciplinary thing we claim we are. And it's exciting. It's really nice to be shoulder to shoulder with my favorite radiologists and my favorite internist and then and surgeons and respiratory therapists. So, it's wonderful for me too. I'm a long time AVA advocate and it's really nice to hear a perspective from a new AVA advocate. So, we welcome you into our group. And knowing that Vascular Access is not your specialty, can you tell us a little bit about what brought you in?
Staci: My organization had a work group that was very region specific and the director of infection control and quality at the time had this group and she invited me to the group and I had no clue I was coming to the group. I went to the group one time and by the next time we had a meeting I was running the group and she retired. I don't, I don't know if it was just, you know how the chips fall, but I am so thankful that I lead this group because they are a wonderful group of Vascular Access specialists and we have expanded the group not just to be in one region but to multiple regions within our healthcare organization.
Judy: Oh, that's wonderful. We always talk about breaking silos and improving patient care and I think that's just a wonderful way to do it, to bring everybody together and get on the same book.
Staci: I totally agree with you.
Judy: I love it when people say. You just made my day. OK, we're done. No, we're not done. So, I have a set of questions I'd love to ask you – a couple of them, we've asked each of the speakers, so I'm going to go over the first one that is common to the group of speakers we've had for this leadership talk today. So, the first one, let's go with how important is the leadership engagement regarding Vascular Access?
Staci: Well, that's a very interesting question because as a nurse leader, whether you're in the C Suite or you're managing Vascular Access, you have to know how to lead this particular group because they are definitely the subject matter experts. You might not have all the expertise or knowledge in that area and you really depend on them to know what they're doing. So I think what really comes into play is you do your basic things, you know, checking license competencies, A, B, C, D, E, F, G, but then to really just sit down and talk to them and get to understand where their challenges are, if it's patient-related, if its physician-related, what is it related to? That's really important. So I think it's important that Vascular Access nurses really, they're a special carve out, similar to wound care nurses. And it would be nice to see them have their own, even though they have their own specialty, but throughout the nation, they're seen as their own specialty as Vascular Access specialists in a separate like job category and job code. And just seen not just as an RN who places PICC lines.
Judy: Oh, great point. And it's a great segue way to something that's coming to AVA, so you've got to hold tight on that one a little bit. But, now a little bit different slant on that. Now you mentioned the work group that you lead, that is across the region/nation. Now, that's a Vascular Access specialist. Is there a similar type group or is there collaboration amongst the leaders of those specialists?
Staci: Absolutely. So, in the region that I'm in, which is Southern California, we have multiple leaders and we are all standardized on the same page. Actually, we're trying to get our other regions who have now joined this work group or peer group, whatever you want to call it. And we meet quarterly and they're now taking our standards and implementing them in their regions. So, it is working out to become a more national group more so than like a regional group.
Judy: That's impressive. Now could you tell us a little bit of what the mission of this team is?
Staci: Absolutely. Our mission initially was to improve patient outcomes by promoting and implementing the best practices through evidence based research and collaborating throughout the organization. And that is our Vascular Access Device group's mission. However, it is directly in line with our organizations nursing mission, which is as leaders, clinicians and researchers, innovators and scientists, we will, nurses will advance the delivery of excellent, compassionate care for our members across the continuum.
Judy: Very nice. Very nice. I liked the way they dovetail to one another. I'm going to switch gears just a little bit. Talking about leadership styles – how do, how do you think they affect team dynamics?
Staci: It affects it dramatically. I mean, you can't have, well you can't have an autocratic leadership style and really make things move and shake them up, right? So, you have to have more of an eye. My leadership style is more like a servant leadership style and which really has characteristics like listening and awareness. Foresight, building community within the organization, commitment to growth of others, acceptance. Which leads into transformational leadership style. Transformational leadership style, as we all know, maybe similar, it's really about motivating the members through like a shared mission or vision. So that's what I think this is needed for to lead a group like this. I think it's very important, yes, you always have tasks and deadlines and different things that you need to accomplish. But really listening to other people and hearing their voice in their opinion is really important to making the group work together and making it function and move towards one goal.
Judy: Very nice. Now you mentioned elevating others and helping clinicians grow. Do you have suggestions for those clinicians that might be striving to go upward into leadership?
Staci: I think education is the most important thing. If you do not have your BSN or your masters, then please go back to school and start working on it. There are so many programs out there that can help you. They're not expensive now. A lot of them are very flexible. Some are online, some are on ground, but it is really important to have the education behind your name. If you've been a nurse 25, 30 years, it's still really important to have that education. So, I would suggest that, you know, any nurse or in any profession elevate in education to your highest level in your profession.
Ramzy: Is this a good time to mention that AVA members get 10% off their tuition at Grand Canyon University?
Judy: It could be. It could be.
Ramzy: I just wanted to check. I'm not going to say it, I just wanted to ...
Judy: I think it's a great time to mention it. Yeah, it could be. It could be. Yeah, we do. We do have a partnership with Grand Canyon University for 10% off tuition. So that doesn't hurt. Especially because tuition can be costly.
Staci: That is a great school and it does not hurt. They have, for nurses they go all the way from my bachelor's to a doctorate.
Judy: Absolutely. Absolutely. So Ramzy, I know you had a question for Staci.
Ramzy: I do. I wanted to ask you, Staci, about the role of being a leader in a crisis management situation, whether it's a clinical crisis or institutional or regarding personnel and people management is everyone has to deal with, you know, small and galactic drama on a daily basis. Is there a process you follow and what sort of guidance could you give our listeners? Because it's, it's really easy to be a leader when things are easy. People like having the title that like having the notoriety, but leaders are worth their mettle when the sea gets choppy. And I just wanted to hear your thoughts on that.
Staci: Oh, I think the sea is always choppy in healthcare because things are always changing. I love that. I would like to see a calm sea, but will we shall see about that. So, Ramzy, that's a really good question. I, you know, I think just walking the walk and I know that sounds really cliché and just talking the talk. You are seen as the leader, you are always on, you're always being watched. So, I think it's really important to just like take a step back, assess the situation, how urgent is it and then address it like you normally would address it. I always have a backup plan. That's one of my keys is always have a backup plan. If I make a decision, it may not be exactly what the right decision, but I have a backup plan in case that doesn't work. And I think it's really important to just like always be authentic and be yourself and have integrity.
Ramzy: Wise words.
Judy: Nicely said. Nicely said. Staci, I have one more question for you and this is another one I've asked a couple of the other speakers here. Understanding the importance of reportable events to C Suites, what advice can you offer to help executives understand how Vascular Access specialists can actually help them achieve their own organizational goals?
Staci: Great question. First of all, the C Suite needs to know that there is a Vascular Access team or specialist. That's the important thing and why they're so important. So, I think it's really important for, like maybe the CNE cause usually they fall under the CNEs to really, make sure that they're recognized and rewarded, you know, publicly and what's going on. It's usually you find out you have, when you're that much of a subject matter expert usually find out when something goes wrong but not when something is OK and goes right. Your CLABSI rates are down, the Vascular Access team and nurses never get credit for that. It's just the nurses on the floor. It's really important to really involve the people that need to be involved and recognize and reward them. So, I would say just, just making sure that they're aware how important Vascular Access specialists are to the organization.
Judy: I agree with you wholeheartedly, but I know I've spoken to many nurses specifically, but clinicians, even the respiratory therapist that don't feel they have a voice within C Suites They don't feel like there's a door to go open.
Staci: I think there is a voice. It just depends on what, what, what they're looking for. So, you always have to find, I'll use the term, a mentor or that you can ask the question, is this an appropriate question for me to ask the chief nursing officer? Is it appropriate? Is this a complaint or does it go into a different pile? So, when you really gather your data and come up with a good business case for what you and I, I'm using business case loosely, so not in terms of obtaining a product, but what are you trying to get accomplish? What are you asking them for? What is the ask and make it very clear and simple and concise to them. Then I think that's OK and they will hear you. It's not just, oh I need another nurse cause I'm tired. You've just can't go with the simple things, you know, it has to be, this is why we have so many cases. Our membership has grown dramatically over the last three years. So, you want to show them the data. They like evidence too and they like data also. So, when you show them data and evidence then it's like, oh OK. And then it gets things that get considered.
Judy: I like it. I like it a lot. Well Dr. Harrison, your time is very valuable. We appreciate you very much and I can't wait to see you in Columbus. It's going to be fun.
Staci: I am looking forward to it. I will be speaking yet another topic and we're talking about products this time, so please join me on Saturday at, I can't even think of the name of it but I'll be speaking with Craig Holmes!
Judy: I'll be there. I'll be there. Thanks so much.
Ramzy: And we now continue with our leadership in Vascular Access series. We are joined by the Director of Clinical and Medical Affairs for Vascular Unit at Teleflex Medical. Her name is Amy Bardin-Spencer. Amy, how are you doing?
Amy: Fantastic, thanks Ramzy.
Eric: Hi Amy, we're happy to have you on. This has been a great discussion already with our other invitees and our members of this podcast and looking forward to talking to you.
Judy: Amy Bardin it's so good to chat with you. I've missed seeing you all the time lately, but this is exciting. I'm so excited to have a leadership series for AVA. It's a very important topic. So we're going to jump right in, if that's OK with you.
Amy: OK by me.
Judy: Perfect. So, we've asked each participant two common questions. So we're going to start with this one: How important is leadership engagement within Vascular Access?
Amy: Wow, Judy, that's a great question. So leadership engagement in Vascular Access. So in the, in the world right now, Vascular Access and hospitals that are looking to reduce waste and time and cost because of either healthcare penalties or poor performance in other areas in the hospital. Leadership engagement in Vascular Access is the ultimate importance, meaning that leadership needs to know who you are. Leadership needs to know what you're responsible for, but probably most importantly, leadership needs to know how you help them make the hospital perform better. And I think that's where some of our Vascular Access teams, we could do better. We could show better, we could involve more and we could get to know our leadership as well as much as we want them to get to know us.
Judy: I agree entirely. Now how can teams share productivity with their leadership?
Amy: So, every team that does Vascular Access today and actually any procedural team in the hospital is required by several different associations, whether it be INS or SHEA, to track their metrics and benchmark their value and their worth. So first, just benchmarking what you're doing. You might not be expanding, you might not be doing something new or different than the hospital down the street. But understanding just specifically one, what your staffing needs to be because of your benchmarks, what your patient outcomes are because of your benchmarks, and when you bring in new equipment or product or even trial, the requirement to reestablish those benchmarks and to always be looking at yourself, your own team to see where and whether you should or need to improve. So, I guess the first place I would start is showing the hospital leadership and sharing the benchmarks.
Amy: So how are my benchmarks going to help you do your job more effectively? And how are these benchmarks, how can they be moved or changed based on what we decide to bring in as a team to the hospital to change patient outcome? And I'll say one thing: the leadership should never be surprised that your team is trying to positively impact patient outcome. You should share your value, show your worth and have them involved in all of those decisions. And sometimes you need them to help you, especially in purchasing and other areas in the hospital to bring in that better, more superior product for patient outcome.
Judy: I agree with you that sharing this information. Giving these teams to share their productivity. The importance cannot be overstated on that. I get called frequently about 'my team is being minimized now. We are cutting budget, we're cutting people were cutting the team.' So some of these things you're talking about right now play right into that point. They don't know who their Vascular team is and what they're doing for them.
Amy: Yeah. Judy, you know, on that, on that point I also get a lot of calls and I get a lot of calls where I talk through what teams can do and how to help for you to find themselves and the teams that are being cut, if I could summarize it and not to, not to minimize it, but to summarize it, they haven't been involved as much as they could be with administration and, and that messaging of showing their value. I have to just remind you of this like, a hospital acquired or hospital associated infection, that the hospital receives, the smaller the hospital one matters one, one one matters. So, if those little teams, cause that's who is being disbanded right now. It's not the great big teams that are working around the clock that are providing a lot of services.
Amy: It's the teams that are struggling to get two to three FTEs to establish a great practice. So, what they have to do is show the value that they do have, show the value of having an inside hospital team versus an external team because that's some of the direction and also show the value of the relationships that you have, the clinical team has with the vascular access team and what that might look like if that was to go away. I think that sometimes just having that dialogue and having it early before the decision's already been made is more effective than trying to have it way late in the game.
Judy: Well said. Let's talk a little bit about team recognition. So, why would it be important – I think this is kind of a slam dunk a little bit here, but – the recognition of a team plays right into what we just talked about. But talk more a little bit about why it's important for teams to be recognized within the hospital.
Amy: Yeah. I always say this little phrase right: There is no I in team, but there is one in silo. It is really hard for a team to get recognized when people don't realize you're established. So, I think recognition, reiterate, as healthcare providers, we're all trying to do the right thing. We're all there for the right reason and we go into segmented care such as vascular access because we have a true desire and passion to be in it. And I'm going to ask, I'm gonna challenge you to view that listens to this. I want you to recognize each other. I want you to tell one of your colleagues or peers how grateful you are to have them on your team. I also want you to recognize though, when you have a team that's really dynamic and going and going, going, how to identify the next you because one, you want to be recognized and you want to be a recognizer. Two, you want to work with leadership and make sure that they know you and you, that means that the person that you hire and bring on to your team is somebody that you would put in front of your leadership.
Amy: I mean, think of that when you, when you bring on your next team member, and we always say train for attitude, hire for success. I can't say that more because when we get recognized in the hospital, it's not a lot of the time, I would have to say it's under, we're under appreciated just a little bit. But when you help your leadership to the common goal and you create a true team environment and you're flexible and you attempt to say yes more than you attempt to say no, that recognition comes naturally and it comes naturally from several different layers of the hospital.
Judy: I want, I'd love for you to give out just an Amy Bardin-ism, a little nugget of personal advice to all the vascular folks out there.
Amy: So, I guess my nugget is, I know this might sound, this might sound a little different, but my nugget is to try to do more with less because doing more with less, will get you more. And I say that and I don't want you to think of a scenario. OK: So, you have a long clinical day. Every Vascular Access Device matters, and every single patient matters. And if you, it is an honor today as a Vascular Access specialist to be selected, to be put on a team, to place the device in a patient that could or could not cause them harm. Respect that, take that ownership like it's your own family member, which I know most of us all do, and try to get there sooner than you can. Try to say yes more often than not. Try to offer yourself to leadership to say, what else can we do to make you look better? What else can we do to make this hospital better? How can we stay a team within this organization?
Judy: I like that a lot, almost as much as I like, well I'd love your nugget, but the silo. The I in silo. I did like that one too. I've got another question for you.
Eric: Well, it sounds like, what you're mentioning Amy is being a leader in your own right. Obviously, we all look to the leaders in our life, but, in your own situations where situation or problems arise or crisis or anything like that, you sometimes have to be a leader in your own right. And to show what you were talking about before show your worth and the need to have you on this team and to have a team in general.
Amy: Yeah, yeah, for sure. I think that, I think that sometimes, we take having the job for granted, but it's having a purpose, right? You know, we say that a lot. Find your purpose and if your purpose is to be on a Vascular Access team, then your purpose is to help the better good of the healthcare organization. So, and I think that's where we, where we don't do that. You know, we think of it's just us. But in your own right, you're the leader. A lot of the time you make or break the patient's scenario or situation and with all the new device algorithms, you are the king leader now. You get to make the choice based on your assessment. That's you. That's you doing that.
Judy: Thank goodness. So, we're going to end on this. The final question here, and this is another question I'm asking all the panelists: So, understanding the importance of reportable events to our C Suite, what advice can you offer the C Suite help them understand how the Vascular Access specialist can help them achieve the organizational goals?
Amy: That's a great question, Judy. So, I think it's important that we understand as Vascular Access specialists, that not everybody understands what we do. And I think the best way to reiterate to leadership in a healthcare organization that's in the C Suite that has hospital acquired conditions as their No. 1 driving force that you take them by the hand and that you take them around with you and that you round together and that you grab infection prevention and you talked through what your goals are, what your ambitions for your team is and what you're doing to help the overall plan of the hospital. I think that when you show an interest in what they're doing and they have time to see and be interested in what you are doing, the collaboration comes together and I do believe that the best vascular access teams have the hand of the leadership, the ear of infection prevention, they have a phone call away from the pharmacy team and it's very much a team today is not just the team that you work with that has insures the cart and the ultrasound machine. You have a lot more team members within your hospital that you're impacting every day.
Judy: You make me smile when I talk to you. It's empowering. And I can't thank you enough for being on our podcast with us. You are a leader in this Vascular Access field. We're in. And before we let you go, I know you're coming to our national conference and you're speaking. Can you tell me a little bit about your session?
Amy: Yeah. So, this year I am focused on the pre-con sessions and we're having I believe it's our fourth year for the procedural cadaver lab. And I really put a lot of time and dedication into this session because there's some 'aha' moments that I think that as Vascular Access specialists we learn as we attend hands on simulation experiences. So, this year we've increased the ultrasound assessment station to where the attendees will really learn needling because that's one thing that when you're going for a large target area, don't realize that when you go for the peripheral space and the hand or in the lower part of the arm, that the skill that's required a little bit differently than maybe when we're placing a peripherally inserted central catheter or even an IJ catheter. And then we, having access to cadaveric tissue and really sharing and showing the anatomy is something that we don't have enough time always to do. Have a great group of faculty coming in and we really look forward to engaging with a new group of Vascular Access specialist we hope in Columbus. I hope to have a really great time and I'm looking to forward to attending sessions and learning this year from attendees as they've learned from me in the past years.
Judy: Me as well. Now I know I've been, I've been the cadaver lab. I've taught in a few cadaver labs, or procedure labs should say, most of the attendees that walk out walk out with starry eyes. One, about the respect that's shown who to the cadaveric tissue that's there.
Judy: But the learning experience that people get in that lab is bar none. So, I'm excited about having you guys back to the procedural lab, excited to see you and can't wait to see you in Columbus. Thank you so much.
Amy: Thank you for having me.