No Two Days Alike
Spotlight on Elizabeth A. Boes, Assistant Head Nurse at M Health Fairview at the University of Minnesota
For National Nurses Week 2019, we wanted to highlight some of the amazing superhero nurses driving our healthcare systems. These healthcare professionals are the heartbeat of their respective hospitals and clinics, and we are proud and honored to work with them.
To be a nurse is to be constantly learning, says Elizabeth A. Boes, BSN, RN, assistant head nurse in the West Bank Emergency Department of M Health Fairview at the University of Minnesota. Despite learning something new every day, Liz knows no one nurse can ever know everything. While Qventus can’t fix that, our system can help her track and manage patient flow to keep staff, patients, and their families as happy as possible.
What are your main responsibilities and activities during an average shift?
My main responsibility is to be the charge nurse during my shift. I am responsible for the department running smoothly; staff, patients, and visitors remaining safe; staff getting their breaks; staff scheduling being appropriate; and patients being cared for appropriately based on acuity.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging part of my job is the juggling of all the responsibilities. As a charge nurse, you are pulled in many directions. Keeping the staff, physicians, and patients content, as well as handling the constant patient “ow,” is an ongoing task that is different every day.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is when I have assisted one of the staff in making their day better or a patient I have had is thankful for the care I have given them during their stay.
What is one common misconception about nursing that you wish could be clarified for everyone?
One common misconception about nursing that I wish could be clarified for everyone is that nurses do not know everything about every aspect of medicine. Each nurse has a special focus depending on what department you work in as a nurse. As nurses, we never stop learning, and we should always strive to learn. I learn something new every time I work and it is a benefit of my occupation.
What is your “superpower” that helps you succeed as a nurse?
I feel my “superpower” as a nurse is the ability to interact successfully with most people. I had a previous occupation that centered on customer service which assists me in dealing with patients and families. I also moved many times in my youth and was always the “new kid.” I learned early on how to approach people and find a common ground with people. All of these areas in my past help me succeed as a nurse and a communicator.
What “superpower” do you wish you had that would make your job easier?
The “superpower” I wish I had to make my job easier would be a psychic power for duration times. Many people ask when coming to the emergency department, “How long will this take?” My power would allow me to tell patients and their families an exact timeline for all their treatment, diagnostics, and time to discharge or admit. Patient satisfaction scores would soar!
How has new technology impacted your role in the past few years?
I think it is a really exciting time for the intersection of medical technology and healthcare. There is always something new to assist in making patient visits more efficient. We have added a number of areas of new technology in our department during the last few years and each addition is an improvement. The electronic health records (EHR’s) have assisted in making charting well-organized and there are always updates. We have a central video monitoring system that watches numerous patients all at once. Qventus being added has brought attention to the flow of patients and their length of stay in the department. All these examples help us take faster and improved care of patients.
How do you use Qventus in your daily routine? How has this made your life easier?
I use Qventus as basically a “second set of eyes” for my department’s patient flow. Qventus helps give me a reminder that patients are waiting too long for discharge or for admittance to another department. There are many times when I am being pulled in multiple directions and Qventus is a great tool for managing patient flow.
Why do you love what you do?
I love what I do because my job is never boring, I learn every day at my job, and I get to interact with my second family, the emergency department staff. The emergency department staff is unique and has team unity different than other hospital areas. We see the best and worst of humanity, but we have each other to assist in dealing with all the challenges.