Medical Center shares and grows through international exchange program
Debbie Damazo, RN, CPAN, nurse manager of perianesthesia services, spent two months mentoring and learning from Qi “Rose” HaiOu, a visiting nurse from Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital in Hangzhou, China.
The office of international affairs, advanced practice nursing, nursing resources, interfacility transfer, and patient placement at Loma Linda University Medical Center allows the institution to share its mission with health care providers around the world.
Visiting nurses, physicians, and administrators from distant places such as Japan, China, Afghanistan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, Korea, India, Peru, the Philippines, and Trinidad are provided with a place to stay and custom learning programs ranging in length from one week to three months. Through the work of Jan Zumwalt, RN, MS, MBA, executive director, Bing Frazier, and Mo O’Reilly, these visitors get to experience the Medical Center’s constant goal of continuing the healing ministry of Jesus Christ, “to ma
Foreign guests visit the helipad. From left to right: Patrick Tan, MD, assistant vice president of medical administration, Penang Adventist Hospital; Margaret Pang, RN, infection control nurse, Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital in Hong Kong; Meryin Lee, RN, house supervisor, Penang Adventist Hospital; Paula Sehu, RN, director of performance improvement, Penang Adventist Hospital; and Andy Teh, MBBS, performance improvement coordinator, Penang Adventist Hospital.
ke man whole,” in a setting of advancing medical science and to provide a stimulating clinical and research environment for the education of physicians, nurses, and other health professionals. The first-hand knowledge the visitors gain often goes beyond the technical skills of their own professions.
Qi “Rose” HaiOu, RN, a visiting nurse from Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital (SRRSH) in Hangzhou, China, came for a two-month stay to learn about post-anesthesia care for patients. During her visit from April 27 to June 30, she learned a great deal about the process from Debbie Damazo, RN, BS, CPAN, nurse manager of perianesthesia services. But the largest impact her time at the Medical Center left her with was the atmosphere of friendliness between patients and staff.
“The high quality of customer service really impressed me,” said Ms. HaiOu. “I want to go back and improve our nurses’ attitudes toward patients.”
But that is not the only thing she will take back with her. She has worked as a staff nurse at SRRSH since 1992 and is looking forward to sharing with her colleagues. As the nurse manager for the perianesthesia care unit (PACU), she says there is a lot to know about patient care.
“There are some hospitals with no PACUs in China,” said Ms. HaiOu. “We are doing good at SRRS but we can still improve.
“I enjoyed the continuing education classes that helped with critical thinking skills,” Ms. HaiOu said, eager to pass those skills on to her nurses. “A lot of our nurses are young and inexperienced and I’m looking forward to sharing all I’ve learned here with them.”
The average age of nurses on her unit is 25—compared with LLUMC’s PACU, where the average age is 47.
Ms. Damazo was pleased that Ms. HaiOu participated in the bedside care of patients.
“At first I was not sure what she wanted to get out of her stay, but it became clear soon enough that she wanted to focus on the clinical care,” says Ms. Damazo.
“She was able to follow patients in the inpatient setting over several days, as well as the outpatient process through discharge,” says Ms. Damazo. Ms. HaiOu also learned management techniques and processes for evaluations along the way.
“She blended in very quickly,” remarks Ms. Damazo. “Since our staff is so diverse to begin with, they accepted her. It also helped that they knew what she was doing here, that she was here to learn.”
The staff is also accustomed to visitors because of the affiliation the unit has with the nursing schools in the area.
For Ms. Damazo and the staff on PACU, having Ms. HaiOu for the two months was a positive learning experience.
“I appreciate getting an international focus on our specialty,” says Ms. Damazo. “It is interesting to see how people end up with similar practices and goals even though they are worlds apart. It validates each others’ practice.
“I was impressed that the mission and vision were one of the foremost things she wants to bring back to her colleagues. It’s rewarding to hear that the mission is coming through the complexities of patient care.”
It is not only direct patient care professionals that the international affairs program provides access to, but also administrators. One such group from Penang Adventist Hospital in Pulau Pinang, Malaysia, spent the week of July 4 observing and learning about organization and the accreditation process. The group of four, consisting of two physicians and two nurses, all in administrative roles, spent the week with a very specific focus.
“Our main goal is to learn and observe if there is anything we can use when we go back to improve the standard of care and administrative structure,” states Paula Sehu, RN, director of performance improvement.
Some of the specific areas they wanted to learn more about included cancer treatments, hyperbaric oxygen treatments, and the International Heart Institute’s women’s heart clinic.
“Our heart program is doing very well,” says Ms. Sehu.
“But we’re looking for ways to make it better than ‘well,’” mentions Patrick Tan, MD, assistant vice president of medical administration.
The 216-bed Penang Adventist Hospital is facing a Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation program for hospitals in 2006. This was a driving factor for a lot of what the group wanted to learn.
“We are looking to find out about the quality improvement process and how that affects patient safety standards set by JCI,” says Andy Teh, MBBS, performance improvement
The hospital also is connected with a school of nursing. One of the areas being examined was the coordination of LLUMC and the University’s School of Nursing. Penang Adventist Hospital is moving toward
evidence/competency-based nursing and is looking for examples of this model.
After their week was over, the group shared their thoughts on the many sessions and different areas they observed.
“The nursing units we have been visiting really know their areas very well and gave us good information for the general practice of nursing and the accreditation process,” comments Ms. Sehu.
“We met with several staff members from quality resource improvement,” adds Dr. Teh. “We learned the scope of their job. It’s given us a new perspective on how a quality management department can be run.”
Dr. Tan, who is charged with starting a hyperbaric oxygen program at Penang Adventist Hospital, found meetings with Takkin Lo, MD, from LLUMC’s hyperbaric medicine department, to be very helpful.
The group felt grateful for the recommendations they received about JCI and how to prepare for the inspection. Scott Lee, MD, medical director of the Diabetes Treatment Center, gave particularly useful forms and checklists that they can adapt for Penang Adventist Hospital.
“I think you have a great team here,” says Dr. Tan. “We wish we could have stayed longer.”
“Absolutely fantastic,” agrees Dr. Teh.