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Employees August 17, 2009

New psychiatric nurse role targets admissions

New psychiatric nurse role targets admissions

Many acute inpatient psychiatric facilities are exploring new ways to handle admissions in a safe and timely manner to meet the challenges of compressed lengths of stay. Last year, the Dual Diagnosis Unit at Yale-New Haven Psychiatric Hospital (YNHPH) found one successful solution with the creation of the new role of admission nurse.

The Dual Diagnosis Unit averages seven to eight discharges and admissions daily, maintaining a full census of 25. "We needed a way to provide safe, quality care to our current patients, while facilitating discharges by 11 a.m. and coordinating admissions by 5 p.m. without becoming overwhelmed," said Leslie O’Connor, APRN, director of nursing, Psychiatry.

Caregivers on the unit have noticed a number of benefits since the new role was created. The admission nurse is able to take time to greet new patients and engage them in completing the admission process. Because the admissions nurse receives clinical information on scheduled admissions in advance, he or she is able to collaborate with the physician assistant, unit charge nurse and others to address clinical issues, identify bed assignment, plan treatment, and address any risks or special needs the patients may have. These efforts are enhancing the hospital’s overall patient satisfaction.

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