Why “going it alone” doesn’t work in health care!

By Irene Andress, Chief Nursing Executive
At Michael Garron Hospital, nurses play a key role in problem solving – applying their knowledge and skill at the frontlines and at the system level. Recently, I’ve been intrigued to revisit nursing theory in guiding our practice especially as it relates to the complex and ever changing needs of those we serve – our patients and families.
I encourage you to look at models like the AACN Synergy Model for Patient Care. Developed in 1990’s, refined by Hardin, 2005, and rooted in the critical care setting, the core concept suggests that “synergy” results when the needs or characteristics of the patient/their circumstance matches the nurses’ core competencies.
At its core, successful models of care connect the right care provider with the priority patient need which considers how family and community contribute to the nurse – patient caring relationship. In our hospital, given our patient acuity and need, the Synergy theory is foundational to our care delivery model.
As the largest body of health care providers at MGH, nurses are situated in the care setting in many diverse roles from the bedside to the boardroom, working within great teams and in partnership with other clinical and corporate professionals.
I’m incredibly proud of the accomplishments and achievements of many of MGH’s nurses: from Daisy Award winners to Nightingale nominees and recipients. Nursing is present in the details and when we get those details right, our patients and the broader health care system wins.
There’s an African proverb I know that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Let’s face it, in health care, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
And the truth is, no one person or professional – or category of nurse – has all the answers to solving all that ails the system. Our organization and broader health system works when we all work together, problem solving collaboratively with the interest of the patient and their family at the forefront.
As nurses, we must also remember we are one profession, many faces.
Yes. This is Nursing. And this is the MGH way.
I’d like to share a special video that highlights some of the important work that nurses – in partnership with other professionals – engage in that’s helping to improve the safety and quality of care we provide.

Happy Nursing Week!
Join me on Twitter @IreneAndress

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