On Thursday, March 6th, leaders in nursing came together to share provocative ideas and bold approaches for enhancing health care in Calling Forth the Courage: Making a Difference in Health and Health Care. The daylong symposium featured five speakers and an opportunity to reflect on the talks in an afternoon discussion moderated by Dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor Kristen M. Swanson, PhD, RN, FAAN.
Keynote speaker Doug Shackelford, PhD, Dean and Meade H. Willis Distinguished Professor of Taxation of the UNC-Kenan Flagler Business School, began the symposium with a big-picture talk about the different perspectives experts within a discipline can bring to the table. For example, Dean Shackelford said, taxation is important both for the professionals who write tax policy and those who want to assure clients won’t pay any more taxes than required. Both groups care about taxation, but they approach it differently.
These different perspectives can make collaboration between groups difficult, Dean Shackelford shared some strategies he has employed at when bringing multiple people with perspectives together. Setting clear expectations, and asking participants to avoid jargon, he said, helps encourage experts to listen to each other better. “I almost always start our conferences by saying that if you feel comfortable about everything that’s on today’s agenda, you’re probably in the wrong place,” said Dean Shackelford.
Following the keynote, Dr. Chris Tanner, PhD, RN, FAAN, from Oregon Health and Science University, brought nursing education to the forefront. Nursing curriculums, she said, have to adapt to changes in health care (such as reduced hospital stays and increased home care) that are changing how nurses work. “There are some great opportunities for nursing, but we need to have a workforce ready to assume these responsibilities,” Dr. Tanner said.
Lieutenant Colonel Angelo Moore, PhD ’10, from the United States Army, presented a talk on military healthcare as the 2013-14 Ethnic Minority Visiting Scholar. Through research LTC Moore and his colleagues have found that soldiers receive an average of 12 appointments a year. “That’s a lot of appointments,” said LTC Moore. He shared some recent models the military has implemented to better meet the primary and preventative health care needs of those who serve and their families. LTC Moore noted that the impact of the military’s focus on wellness limited when it comes to utilization of health care services. “We [soldiers] cannot call in sick,” he said. “The system forces us to be seen and that’s part of the problem.”
Dr. Amy Barton, PhD, RN, FAAN, from University of Colorado explored clinical collaboration in her talk. “To get it [practice] right is really going to take working together,” she said. “So I investigated frameworks we can use to talk about how we can come together in new and different ways.” Dr. Barton discussed different aspects of a collaboration “continuum” and how it could be applied to health care. She shared insights as well from the collaborative effort behind the creation of a nurse-managed clinic called Sheridan Health Services for low-income individuals. Dr. Barton serves as the clinic’s director.
In the final presentation of the day, Dr. Loretta Sweet-Jemmott, PhD, RN, FAAN, from the University of Pennsylvania talked about lessons she has learned from research and implementing interventions for HIV/AIDs. To be effective, she said, it is critical that researchers form a bond with people in the community and empower them. “If you want to change the behavior of a given population, you must take time to understand why they do what they do, “ Dr. Sweet-Jemmott said. “This approach requires reflection, persistence, great communication, and above all, commitment.”
For more pictures from the symposium, click through the slideshow below.