Bringing Best Practices to the Bedside

As a clinical nurse specialist at Columbus Regional Hospital, Kathy Jackson regularly makes the rounds to visit patients recovering from a wide range of medical conditions and surgical procedures. She works alongside other nurses to improve the quality of care and achieve the best possible outcomes.

“My job is to bridge any gaps between what the scientific literature says is the best way to do things and what’s practiced at the bedside,” she says. “I work with the other nurses to ensure they understand best-practice guidelines and identify any challenges they face in implementing them. We’re continually practicing state-of-the-art nursing care.”

Protecting Patients' Health

Clinical nurse specialists are registered nurses with advanced degrees in nursing and certifications in a specialized area of nursing. At CRH, Jackson is one of six clinical nurse specialists. You’ll find them in medical surgical, critical care, women’s and children’s services, oncology and perioperative care (the care given to patients before, during and after surgery).

Clinical nurse specialists play a huge role in patient safety — ensuring that patients don’t leave the hospital sicker than when they came in. Jackson, for example, collaborates with nurses in how to protect patients from falling or developing pressure ulcers and infections.

Following the Highest Standards

If you’re having a baby at CRH, your clinical nurse specialist will make sure you have the support to breastfeed. If you’re being treated for cancer, you can be confident our clinical nurse specialist has trained your nurse in the best ways to manage your care and control side effects. And if you’re having surgery, the clinical nurse specialists help ensure that your surgery is as safe, efficient and effective as possible.

“Clinical nurse specialists walk alongside the bedside nurse to assist them on their professional journey, serving as a mentor and ensuring that the highest standards are followed,” Jackson says. “But we also interact with professionals from all over the hospital to help set policy and make the changes that lead to better health.”

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