Medical intensive care unit recognized for nursing excellence

Published: June 8, 2017

The UF Health Jacksonville medical intensive care unit earns a Silver Beacon Award for improved patient outcomes.

They are the frontline of medicine and play a key role in the recovery of some of UF Health Jacksonville’s sickest patients. Yet most Medical Intensive Care Unit patients don’t remember the names or faces of the nurses who treated them.

“We care for adult patients with complex medical conditions requiring advanced treatment modalities, so we see some of the worst cases,” said Jackqulynne Stratton, RN, nurse manager of the MICU. “Patients admitted to our unit often require complex assessment, high-intensity therapies and interventions, and continuous supervision.”

There are 28 beds in the MICU, and patients are transferred there from the Emergency Department and Post Anesthesia Care Unit after surgery. The unit also regularly attends to patients who are transferred there from other areas of the hospital.

“We typically work 12-hour shifts three days a week and an on-call shift once a month,” Stratton said. “In addition, we have to complete mandatory continuing education courses and rely heavily on our specialized knowledge, skills and experience. We also work hard to provide a nurturing and healing environment for our patients and their families.”

The unit’s high-quality standards were recognized by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses on May 22 at the National Teaching Institute and Critical Care Exposition. The association awarded the MICU a 2017 Silver Beacon Award for Excellence — the first unit at UF Health Jacksonville to ever receive this award. The honor is given to the country’s top nursing units that improve patient outcomes and align their practices with the AACN’s six Healthy Work Environment standards. This recognition lasts for three years.

“This is quite an accomplishment for our unit,” Stratton said. “We have worked hard to integrate and implement evidence-based practices and interdisciplinary collaboration to improve patient outcomes in our unit. The nurses are very proud of the autonomy granted within this organization to make a difference for the population we serve through lifelong learning, innovations and nursing research.”

The 18-month application process began immediately after UF Health Jacksonville completed the Magnet® renewal process. A committee was formed to collect data and sort the information into five categories:

  • Appropriate staffing and staff engagement

  • Effective communication, knowledge management, learning and development, and best practices

  • Evidence-based practices and processes

  • Leadership structures and systems

  • Outcome measurement

“The AACN Beacon Award for Excellence shows us that we are on the right pathway to keeping patient safety as our No. 1 goal within our unit, as well as the organization,” Stratton said. “We have raised the bar, and we are excited about the prospects and further challenges this honor brings us.”

Day in and day out, nurses in the MICU provide the focus and stamina required to monitor and treat the critically ill patients who are admitted to the unit. Each nurse in the unit knows their expertise and vigilance are vital for patients recuperating from life-threatening conditions. The 2017 Silver Beacon Award confirms their quality care successfully promotes healing.

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UF Health Media Relations