I’ve just spent the last several days in Orlando at the AONE conference. As always, I left the conference feeling inspired and somewhat awestruck by the depth and breadth of the work being done by nurse leaders in the industry. These are some of the most intelligent, compassionate, and committed professionals in healthcare.
What I found so exciting is the amount of innovation taking place. Nursing has a long, rich history in innovation mostly as a form of sheer resourcefulness. (Necessity is the mother of invention after all.) But when paired with the science of evidence-based practice, that innovation is being well documented and replicated. Their innovations are having a huge impact on quality, safety, and service.
My poster session on ethnography was met with curiosity and spurred lots of discussion. Many of the nurse leaders were not familiar with ethnography but were intrigued by anything that would help engage their nurses and help them understand the patient experience on a deeper level. Many had never considered placing trained mystery-shopping type researchers at the bedside to examine the patient experience. But after seeing the impact on the nurse communication dimension scores, they realize how much stories can engage the heart.
The reaction to the poster session has encouraged me to continue collecting data and further validating the impact of ethnography and the resulting stories on nurse engagement and the patient experience.