Newsline - March 2011 - (Page 30)

continued from previous page A Nurse and Chaplain Connect By Ellen Martin, RN, MSN, CPHQ “Interdisciplinary collaboration is a key element of quality hospice care. And one of the best ways to foster better collaboration is to truly understand what your colleagues do,” says Ellen Martin, the director of performance improvement for Hospice Austin in Austin, TX. ”Not so much about their specific activities,” she notes “but more about how their work contributes to the overall patient and family experience of hospice care.” In this article, Ellen, who serves on the Steering Committee of the NCHPP Quality Assessment/ Performance Improvement Section, shares her observations and insights from shadowing a fellow member of the interdisciplinary team. M iranda Fontaine is the lead chaplain at Hospice Austin. As a frontline manager at the largest nonprofit hospice in central Texas, Miranda has responsibility for all aspects of spiritual care services, including chaplain assignments and coverage, hiring, training, meeting organizational and regulatory requirements, maintaining community relationships, and working with the chaplain team to improve care. Spending time with Miranda gave me a new appreciation for the complexity of her role, helped me understand the unique skills and educational background of chaplains, and made me think about my role differently—I am a nurse with responsibility for the quality program in our organization. We met on a Friday morning promptly at 8 a.m. Right away I could tell it was going to be a busy day. Miranda’s first step each day is to review incoming communications that are relevant to the spiritual care team. She started with the admissionlist email and then listened to voicemail to get updates on staffing and patient transfers to hospitals or to home, deaths, and discharges. As on most days, several new patients were admitted. Miranda looks up where each patient lives, current chaplain caseloads, and whether a readmitted patient has a previous relationship with a chaplain. She makes the assignment and posts it to a folder on the network so the chaplains can access it, and leaves a chaplain team voicemail so the assignments are also accessible by phone. One patient was transferred from home to the hospital and Miranda coordinated with the social worker who knew the patient and family needs and when a spiritual care visit would provide the most benefit. Hospitalizations are often the result of a sudden or unexpected change in the patient’s physical condition and a change in prognosis or shifting goals of care can intensify feelings of grief and loss in the patient and family. While I knew that hospice care is a service that responds to the ever-changing needs of patients and families, I was surprised by just how many changes there are to keep track 30 NewsLine

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Newsline - March 2011

Newsline - March 2011
NHPCO’s New Staffing Guidelines
A Message From Don
Recruiting Problems? HMR (display ad)
Hospice in the Continuum: PACE at Midland Care
Capitol Hill Day 2011
Short Takes
Feedback from NHPCO’s Education Needs Assessment
2011 Reaching Out Grant Recipients
National Healthcare Decisions Day Website
JPSM Call for Papers
CE/CME Training Through NHPCO Webinars
Social Work Resource Recommendations
New Volunteer Outreach Materials Now Online
Volunteer Recognition Gift Ideas (display ad)
The Voice of NCHPP
A Nurse and Chaplain Connect
NCHPP QAPI Section Monthly Chats
Replicate Excellence: MVI (display ad)
Education Opportunities through NFDA (display ad)
Members in the News
Hospice Executive Scholarship Program (display ad)
Upcoming Educational Offerings

Newsline - March 2011