Senior driving classes offered

SAMC is offering four driver safety classes for older drivers in 2015 through its Senior Discovery 4303DrivingClasses310x153 program. Classes begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m. in the 7th Floor Conference Room of the Doctors Building on the SAMC campus. Classes are scheduled for Monday, February 23; Tuesday, May 12; Tuesday, August 11; and Tuesday, November 10.

The cost of the program is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members; the cost includes a light lunch. Free diabetes and vision screenings and blood pressure checks will be conducted. Registration is required. Call the Medical Center at (334) 712-3336 or 1-800-735-7998.

Nurses publish research in prestigious journal

Two Family Birth Center nurses have had their research published in The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing. 2814NursesPublished310x153 Brenda Maddox, clinical educator, and Renece Waller-Wise, clinical nurse specialist, co-wrote "Perinatal Nurses' Perceptions of Competency Assessments" with Diane Weed, PhD, RN, of Troy University. Their research article appears in the October issue of the international publication. It is the first SAMC nursing research to be published.

As members of the Nursing Research Team, Maddox said the two decided a revision of the nursing competency assessments might be appropriate. "We wanted to revitalize our program to ensure better patient outcomes and increase job satisfaction for nurses."

The team surveyed nurse perceptions on switching from a check-off system to a team approach that included hands-on drills. Participating nurses were surveyed on the new approach.

Key findings:

  • Competency assessments focusing on knowledge and technical skills only do not take into account the need to promote and assess critical thinking, teamwork and interpersonal communications.
  • Nurses' perceptions of assessment are important, as their views influence participation, outcome, etc.
  • Understanding nurses' perceptions of competency assessment is critical in improving the assessment process.

In the photo, Brenda Maddox, MSN/Ed, RNC-OB, C-EFM, and Renece Waller-Wise, MSN, RNC-OB, CNS, CLC, LCCE, CNL, pose with a copy of the publication carrying their research article on nurse perceptions of competency assessments.

Hand washing saves lives

Knowing that clean hands save lives, SAMC launched a new hand washing campaign. 2665RonCharlieHandwashingPledge310x153 Hospital employees signed pledges to make hand washing an essential part of their daily routine. This includes departments not involved in direct patient care. All SAMC employees touch items daily which may be touched by patients, visitors and employees involved in direct patient care.

Hand washing is the single most powerful defense against acquiring or spreading infections. Although germs are spread through the air, they are most easily spread through hand contact. Hospital policy is to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers going in and out of every patient's room.

When your hands do not appear dirty, use hand sanitizer. How should you use alcohol based hand sanitizer?

  • Apply product to palm of hand.
  • Rub hands together. Completely cover all surfaces of hands and fingers and rub until dry.
  • Remember, do NOT use a paper towel to dry hands when using an alcohol based sanitizer.

When your hands are visibly dirty, use soap and water. How should you wash with soap and water?

  • Wet hands using warm water.
  • Apply soap, then lather and scrub for 20 seconds, especially between fingers and around knuckles and nails.
  • Rinse hands under running water.
  • Dry hands using paper towels.
  • Remember to use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and to open door handles to exit.

In the photo, Chief Executive Officer Ronald S. Owen, left, and Chief Operating Officer Charlie Brannen trace their hands during a hospital wide hand washing initiative. The two administrators joined hundreds of fellow employees in pledging to be more diligent in hand washing. The pledge forms are on display outside the hospital's Terrace Cafeteria.