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Johns Hopkins Nursing Fall/Winter 2010 Explores Collaborations in Healthcare

Posted: 11/22/2010

When it comes to healthcare, an innovative team approach is essential to providing excellent patient care, advancing research, and educating future healthcare providers.  The fall/winter 2010 issue of Johns Hopkins Nursing explores how today's nurses work to bridge disciplines and discover new collaborative opportunities.

Carol Glover, 68, is seeing first-hand the benefits of this collaboration.  It used to be difficult for the long-time Baltimore resident to move around her home.  Arthritis and scoliosis made it challenging to navigate stairways, reach the rods in her closet, or manage the 20+ medications in her cabinet.  "House Calls" tells how an unlikely trio--a nurse, an occupational therapist, and a handyman--can help Glover and other aging Baltimore residents like her discover a newfound independence.

Even the youngest patients can benefit from these interdisciplinary collaborations.  Post-doctoral fellow Shelly Eisbach, PhD, RN, is studying children with behavioral problems.  She needs to measure their stress hormone levels, but like all children, these preschoolers don't want to give blood samples for analysis.  The solution comes from the Center for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research, a new initiative led by Douglas Granger, PhD, at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.  "My focus is collaborate, collaborate, collaborate," says Granger in "Saliva Science."  His salivary analysis techniques can be used by researchers in a broad range of disciplines, from nursing and medicine to anthropology and economics.

New collaborative models are emerging in the area of nursing education as well.  In "An Interprofessional Education," nurse practitioner student Anthony Pho, RN, gives a first-hand account of a new program to bridge the divide between nurses and physicians.  "MDs and NPs are not familiar with the differences in educational training for each role," writes Pho.  "A solution, I believe, is to integrate collaboration earlier in the nursing and medicine curricula."

Even within the discipline of nursing, a new model of partnership for learning is showing promise.   "Group Think" describes a new Clinical Academic Partnership Preceptorship (CAPP) program in which nurse preceptors are paired with just one or two students for the duration of their clinical rotation.  Shadowing one nurse throughout the day for an entire course allows the students to see the full picture of nursing practice, and "there's no replacement for that level of attention students get in the CAPP program," says Pamela Jeffries, DNS, RN, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.

Also in this issue: 

  • "One September Day"--Though a doctor was shot in the hallways of The Johns Hopkins Hospital, staff remained calm, professional, and committed to patient care.  Nurses, nursing students, and patients tell the story of that day in their own words.
  • "Improving Healthcare, Together"--According to Johns Hopkins University President Ronald Daniels, collaborations are key to achieving equity and efficiency in care.
  • "Hard Roads Led Them Home"--When illness and tragedy stuck, three women found their calling in nursing care.