Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | January 17, 2020

Phone Calls are an Answer to Helping Patients Arrive on Time

Martha Owen, an administrative assistant in the Cardiac Catherization Laboratory at Duke Raleigh Hospital is making sure patients can navigate their way through the campus’ growing construction and arrive on time. ​

Owen personally makes phone calls to every scheduled electrophysiology patient to talk them through all details of their upcoming appointment, including how to navigate the campus and find the lab amid the construction. 

It was a collaborative idea between Owen and management as patients navigate ever-changing campus construction. 

“Martha is the glue that keeps the cath lab together,” said James McCorry, RN, CNII, a clinical nurse in the lab. “She is progressive in her thoughts and actions and is always willing to help anyone she encounters.”

Owen makes the calls two days ahead of appointments. 

“I talk with them about their procedure, ask if they have any questions or concerns, and tell them where the parking garage is, which hospital entrance to use and how to find us.”

She also makes sure they know a transporter can assist them from the front entrance if they need help finding the department.

Since her efforts began, every patient she’s called has reached the lab without any trouble.

“My passion is helping people,” said Owen. “Many of these patients are scared and have never had a procedure like this. I enjoy speaking with them and answering any questions they have.”

She even gives patients her direct number so they can call her if they think of any additional questions later.

“People appreciate being communicated with on a personal level,” said Owen. “To our team, patients and visitors aren’t just names on a schedule—they are individuals who receive personal care.”

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | January 7, 2020

BSN Degree Helps Nurse Elevate Career

Teri Tasler

Oncology Nurse Auditor, BSN, RN, OCN

Unit where you work at Duke Raleigh Hospital:
Medical Auditing

Where did you pursue your BSN degree?

Chamberlain College of Nursing

How long did it take?

15 months

How has this education helped you in your role and the evolving healthcare environment?

Healthcare is always changing and it is important for every person to be aware of how that affects the patients and our institution. A higher education helped me to look at nursing much more broadly and understand the science and evidence base behind it. I look for ways to improve healthcare for our patients and the institution. For me, this degree has allowed me to think outside of the box and actually be a part of the change.

Has earning your BSN degree helped to elevate your career to a leadership position or pursue additional higher education? If so, how?

Yes. Now I work in medical auditing. Three years ago, I was unable to apply. As a nurse, it opens the door for many other opportunities within the organization.

What were some of your biggest takeaways from the BSN degree program?

As healthcare continues to change it is important for nurses to be aware and knowledgeable with these changes not just locally, but globally as well. This degree program has taught me to become comfortable using evidence-base practice and researching articles to promote the best practice not only for our patients, but the institution also.

What advice do you have for other nurses that are interested in pursuing this education?

Even though I thought I was too old to return to school, no one is too old to continue to learn! Nurses should return to school if they are interested in doing so. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to complete your higher education. Your pursuit of higher education not only benefits you, but also your patients and your institution. It definitely opened opportunities for me not only in nursing, but helped me to build my professional relationships and networking.

–By Erin McKenzie

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | December 20, 2019

Flu Restrictions in Place

If you are planning to visit a Duke hospital or clinic, please be aware that flu restrictions are in place beginning on Friday, December 20, 2019. These visitor restrictions are activated in response to an increase in flu-like activity across North Carolina and elsewhere and are part of our efforts to minimize the spread of the flu virus.

These Visitor Restrictions Are Now in Place

Only Two Visitors Per Patient at all Times
Limiting the number of visitors per patient will help control the spread of the illness.

Children Under 12 Not Allowed on Hospital Visits
Since children are more likely to get sick and spread the flu, our staff will only allow children under 12 to visit patients in special cases — or with prior approval from the patient’s healthcare team.

Visitor Restrictions at all Times

Please Refrain from Visiting When Sick
Visitors are always welcome and play an important role in your loved one’s recovery, but their health and well-being come first. If you have a cold, sore throat, or any contagious disease, please refrain from visiting. Likewise, please refrain from visiting our hospitals and clinics if you have flu-like symptoms except to seek care. Signs of the flu include fever, cough, sneezing, runny nose or a sore throat.

Get the Flu Vaccine
While it won’t completely prevent the flu, the annual vaccine has been shown to lessen its severity. It can also reduce the likelihood of colds and other illnesses, and protect the very young and the very old from the very serious complications that can result. Getting the flu vaccine early will give your body adequate time to build up resistance.

Clean Your Hands Frequently
Look for hygiene stations and use them often. Please make sure to clean your hands when entering and leaving our facilities. Washing your hands with soap and water often prevents the spread of germs, and can help prevent the flu. If soap and water aren’t accessible, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is effective too.

We’re Doing Our Part Too

Duke University Health System protects our patients, their loved ones, our staff, and our community by requiring that our employees and providers are vaccinated annually against the flu or are approved for a medical or religious exemption from vaccination. We are proud to report that the vaccination rate among our staff and providers exceeds 98 percent.

Learn More

View our Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Flu and Flu-Related Visitor Restrictions.

If you’re looking for more information, the Centers for Disease Control has a wealth of useful articles about flu prevention and symptoms.

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | December 19, 2019

New Program Allows Patients to Show Appreciation for Care

Derrick Thornton and Savannah Boardman alongside Laura Allen

A program championed by Duke Raleigh Hospital’s Patient Experience team has created a new way for patients to show their appreciation to hospital team members with something sweet.

“I have an acronym for CARE, C is for compassion, A is for active listening, R is for responsiveness, and E is for empathy,” said Derrick Thornton, a patient experience ambassador. “I don’t necessary let the patient know that’s what I’m looking for, but as I’m listening to their stories, a lot of the time, it fits. So, if the patient wishes to, I take a small sentence or paragraph from their story and put it in a candygram.”

Duke Raleigh Hospital has held events around holidays like Valentine’s Day or Halloween that allow team members to send candygrams to each other, but it was Thornton who seized the opportunity as a way for patients to show their gratitude.

Duke Raleigh Hospital team members sent candygrams to each other for Halloween.

“The whole point of me putting this program into place was, first, to make sure team members get acknowledged, and second, to help reinforce those CARE characteristics,” said Thornton.

On the Fourth Floor, Duke Raleigh Hospital patient Laura Allen was receiving such good care, she decided to give out two candygrams, one to nursing assistant Savannah Boardman and another to nurse Beverley Gooden-Louden, RN, BSN, CN II.  

“I’ve never gone out of my way to give praise for any staff member at any hospital anywhere,” said Allen. “But, this hospital is just top notch to me. The people here, they care about you. They don’t just do their work, they care about you, they really do. It feels great for me to let them know someone thinks they are wonderful.”

Allen says it was Boardman’s commitment to keeping her word that really stuck out.

“If you asked for something, she would go and get it and bring it right back. If you needed assistance, she’d stay right there and help you right then,” said Allen. “It’s the little things that matter the most.”

“[Boardman] doesn’t put anything ahead of the patients,” she added. “The patients are the most important thing and she always makes certain the patients are taken care of.”

Allen feels the same about Gooden-Louden.

“Her compassion here, not just to the patients, but to the staff as well, stood out to me,” said Allen. “She’ll help anybody, she’s there for everybody. If she can help you she will.”

For team members Gooden-Louden and Boardman, it’s nice to be recognized.

“Even though nurses and other team members say thank you, when you have a patient that recognizes you and they know that you actually care, that’s different,” said Boardman. “That’s real and special.”

Posted by: Duke Raleigh Hospital | December 19, 2019

Holiday Hours

Visitors to Duke Raleigh Hospital should be aware of our holiday closures and operating hours.

  • Cafe: 7:30-10 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. and 5-6:30 p.m. on December 25 and January 1.
  • Coffee Shop: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 25 and January 1.
  • Guilded Lily Gift Shop: Closes at 3 p.m. December 24 and will reopen on December 27. Closed on January 1.
  • Duke Women’s Cancer Care Raleigh Boutique: Closed December 24-25 and December 31-January 1.

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