LSCDVAMCLouis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Case Western Reserve University)
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The CARES project, founded by VA central office and piloted at LSCDVAMC was aimed at: (1) increasing caregiver knowledge of providing complementary therapies, (2) increasing resources for veterans and their family members, and (3) creating a wellness center/library for complementary therapies.
A CARES comfort cart with select tapes and books was assembled by the project team and provided to each inpatient nursing unit at LSCDVAMC. Following the presentation of 19 workshops to 346 clinical caregivers, 97% reported that the information was useful for patient care.
The LSCDVAMC protocol was based on methods that had long been established in the fields of medicine and pharmacy (Brown & Dodek, 1997; Hollingsworth, Rowe, Brisebois, Thompson, & Fabris, 1995; Rasche, Reilly, Guidry, Fontana, & Srinivas, 1993).
The veterans often come to the hospital in pain, separated from family, job, and the comforts of home, thus keeping them comfortable is the essence of nursing practice at LSCDVAMC. Meade, Bursell, and Ketelsen (2006) found that a protocol that incorporates specific actions, such as nursing rounds conducted hourly or once every two hours, can positively impact the patient environment in the following manner: decreases frequency of patient call light use, increases patient satisfaction with nursing care, and reduces falls.
The educational program also identifies the initiatives and programs in place at LSCDVAMC to eradicate disruptive and intimidating behaviors.
Using a solid foundation built on education, the nursing process, EBP, collaboration, and research, LSCDVAMC nurses will continue to refine the nursing practice to achieve the VA values of integrity, excellence, advocacy, commitment, and respect for those who have served their country.