news views Spring 2013 A Publication of the Department of Nursing and Patient Care Services University of Maryland Medical Center I Am a Boston Marathon Nurse Alexander E. Halstead, BSN, RN, CCRN, Clinical Nurse II, Surgical Intensive Care Unit Editor’s Note: There are no words to accurately describe the personal and physical devastations that resulted from the bombings at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Several Medical Center staff participated as runners and miraculously avoided physical trauma, although the emotional scars will remain for a life time. In addition, UMMC was honored that one of our nurses from the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Alexander E. Halstead, BSN, RN, CCRN, Clinical Nurse II, acted as a medical volunteer for the marathon. Halstead has received local and state recognition for his heroic involvement on the UMM.edu website and on WBAL-TV, an NBC-affiliated Maryland television station. The account of this tragic day is provided in the following story. On April 14, 2013, I hopped onto a northbound plane to return home to Boston to see family and again volunteer my services for one of the biggest events of the year. I am a marathon nurse. That doesn’t mean I run the marathon. I volunteer to provide medical care to runners after they finish the race. This was my fourth consecutive year with the Boston Marathon. I grew up in Framingham, MA, so the Boston Marathon has always been part of my life. I started volunteering while still in nursing school at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. I also worked as an EMT on campus, and in the ER at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. Soon after graduating, I moved to Baltimore to embrace an opportunity to work in the Surgical ICU at the University of Maryland Medical Center. However, I always go back to volunteer for the Boston Marathon. On Sunday, April 14, the day before this year’s marathon, I went out to breakfast with my family, caught up with old friends, and rested up for the exhausting day that was to follow. Marathon Monday! I arrived in downtown Boston to prepare for my day. As in previous years, I spent the morning with my fellow volunteers and some of Boston’s leading sports medicine physicians, who gave us valuable information for treating runners. They explained the treatment protocols and some of the ailments we might come across. We picked up our marathon jackets and we were dismissed to get lunch. Boston does marathon medicine right! The medical tents are massive air-conditioned structures with televisions, hundreds of cots, a laboratory section, and multiple other resources. We prepared our respective sections of the tent to receive runners. Each section was made up of a physician, a few nurses, a physical therapist, and a few podiatrists – a truly well-rounded medical team. The cheering began as the wheelchair winners were the first to cross the finish line, and some of them passed through our tent on their way to the Copley Square Hotel. Soon after, the men and women elite runners walked through the tent after their amazing feat – usually needing minimal care because they train so well. At 12:30 p.m., the runners started trickling in as patients. The high predicted temperature was 54 degrees, so we expected a slow day in the tent. In my section, we saw runners for a continued on page 15. Lisa Rowen’s Rounds: Vascular Surgery Progressive Care Unit Lisa Rowen, DNSc, RN, FAAN, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer, Nursing and Patient Care Services The Vascular Surgery Progressive Care Unit is aptly named – it is, indeed, progressive. Whether it is a new initiative to increase hand hygiene, increase staff ownership or decrease patient falls, or simply approaching any challenge with a can-do attitude, this unit is innovative and engaged. The staff members’ enthusiasm and positivity are infectious. Their desire and efforts to continuously improve patient care extend well beyond the walls of their unit. Please read on to understand why I have chosen the Vascular Surgery Progressive Care Unit, also known as Gudelsky 5 East (C5E), to receive the annual CNO Team Award for Extraordinary Care. I arrived on C5E during Quiet Hour, which occurs daily from 1 to 2 pm and 1 to 2 am. The lights were dimmed and the voices were hushed. Virginia Nganga, BSN, RN, Senior Clinical Nurse I, explained Quiet Hour was initiated in January to address patient complaints of noise on the unit interfering with their rest. Breaking the silence, a bed alarm rang. Every single staff member, including the nurse manager, Simone Odwin-Jenkins, MBA, BSN, RN, started sprinting to the room where the alarm was sounding. The reason was not continued on page 6.