The Department of Nursing operates under the capable leadership of Mrs. Ghada Khoury Hanna, Director of Nursing. She is aided by Ms Ghada Youssef, Assistant Director of Nursing, and Mrs. Claude Jalkh, Coordinator for Nursing Staff Development. The department employs over 250 nurses; 60% of them are professional registered nurses (RNs) and 40% are practical nurses (PNs). The nursing staff is supported by departmental secretaries and orderlies. The department also has a strong collaborative relationship with nurses working in the Radiology, Quality Assurance, Infection Control, and Occupational Health and Safety Departments.
The Nursing Department at UMC-RH is an integral component of the hospital and is dedicated to providing exceptional patient- and family-centered care in a safe and comfortable environment.
Our Mission is to provide comprehensive, compassionate, high quality nursing care based on our strong commitment to practice, education, research, innovation and inter-professional collaboration.
The organization of the hospital offers nurses a wide array of work opportunities, specialty practice areas, and several unique roles. UMC-RH's clinical units are organized into five nursing divisions, as shown in the Nursing Organizational Chart. Each division focuses on the care of a particular population or group of patients. Since our units are so varied, there is a wide array of employment opportunities for nurses, enabling them to match their personal interests and experience with their job assignment.
The Critical Care Division serves patients who are suffering from serious acute illnesses and surgeries in two units. The Cardiac Surgery Unit (CSU) provides care to adult and pediatric patients undergoing cardiac surgery. The Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and Coronary Care Unit (CCU) treat patients with all types of critical illness and patients with serious heart conditions. Nurses working in these two units care for patients who need close monitoring and must be ready to respond rapidly to changes in patient status. They also provide support and guidance to help ease the anxiety of families of critically ill patients.
The Perioperative Division serves patients from the pre-operative period through the immediate post-operative recovery period. It is comprised of three units. The Open Heart Operating Room is the place where all cardiac surgeries are performed. The General Operating Room and its associated Recovery Room are the locations for all other surgeries, including those performed on an outpatient basis. This division has a One-Day Surgery Unit where patients are prepared for ambulatory surgical procedures and then monitored after surgery until they are stable enough to be discharged to home. An important supportive service within the Perioperative Division is the Central Sterilization Room, where supplies and equipment for surgeries and other invasive procedures are sterilized. Employment in the Perioperative Division requires attention to safety through infection control, procedural precision, and patient and family support during stressful situations.
The Medical-Surgical Division contains four general medical and general surgical units. The staff of each unit provides inpatient care to patients with an array of medical and surgical conditions. The First Floor and Fifth Floor both care for surgical and medical patients as well as patients who are receiving inpatient chemotherapy. Patients with obstetrical and gynecological conditions are admitted to the Second Floor. The Third Floor has been designated primarily for patients who have had cardiac surgery, as well as patients who undergo invasive cardiac procedures. Clean surgical cases are also admitted to the Second and Third Floors. Each unit offers nurses the opportunity to apply and develop broad nursing knowledge and skills and to assist patients recovering from acute illness and adapting to chronic health conditions. Family support is a key component of nursing care on all units within the division.
The Maternal-Child Division focuses on the care of women, infants and children. It includes the Obstetrical Unit, which is designed and staffed to care for women during labor and delivery and houses the newborn nursery. Nurses on the Pediatric Unit care for children from infancy through age 15, including children in need of intensive care. The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit is designed for the care of premature newborns. An interest in family-centered care for the young family is a must for working on these units.
Four units are grouped into the Special Care Division:
Each clinical unit is managed by an experienced head nurse who oversees the unit's day-to-day operations, serves as a clinical resource to staff and functions as the primary liaison between nurses and physicians. Their responsibilities include mentoring and monitoring the nursing staff, evaluating resource needed (staffing, supplies and equipment) and providing input to nursing administration. The head nurse provides direct patient care as needed.
The Nursing Department has an active education and competency development program for both practical nurses and registered nurses. (review the 2010 education plan for registered nurses and practical nurses). The educational development program includes unit-based orientation programs that have been designed and are overseen by the head nurse of each unit. The length of orientation for a new nurse will vary depending on the nurse's years of experience and the specialty or unit to which he/she is hired. The head nurse works closely with the newly hired nurse to assess her/his learning needs, provide the orientation and determine accomplishment of the orientation program goals.
The Coordinator for Nursing Staff Development oversees a well-designed in-service education program. She develops an Annual Education Plan to address the staff development needs of all nurses. She also collaborates with the head nurses of specialty units to design in-services to meet specific educational needs of the staff on these units. At the beginning of each year, the Annual Plan is developed outlining the topics that will be covered each month, such as updates about new medical conditions, treatments, and related nursing care. To meet the Ministry of Public Health requirements, in-services on fire safety, lifting, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and nutrition are offered annually. Nurses may be supported by the department to attend educational conferences and programs away from the hospital that pertain to their work responsibilities. The nurses are encouraged to share their expertise by participating in the planning and presentation of in-services.
In conjunction with the in-service program, each head nurse conducts competency assessments for the staff he/she supervises. These assessments focus on requirements of the Ministry of Public Health and hospital or unit-specific educational needs. The head nurse evaluates each nurse's performance and when needed, provides re-instruction and retesting to assure that the competencies meet requirements. Competency assessments may be scheduled in advance or conducted when new techniques/care is introduced.
The Department of Nursing at UMC-RH serves as the primary clinical learning site for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at Lebanese American University (LAU). The hospital also has an affiliation agreement to serve as a clinical learning site for students from the Nursing Department and the Midwifery Department at Lebanese University.
Nurses who work at UMC-RH are part of an academic medical center that is small enough to feel like an extended family, yet at the same time large enough to offer a wide array of opportunities and professional challenges. The nursing units provide registered nurses and practical nurses a choice of working with a broad mix of patients (e.g. general medical or surgical) or with a specialty population (e.g. cardiac, pulmonary). In addition, Nurses can work with patients who are acutely ill (e.g. in the intensive care units) or chronically ill (e.g. hemodialysis). They can work with patients at any point in the life span (birth through end-of-life) and those receiving either inpatient or outpatient care. Some of our nursing positions are unique – For example, the anesthesia nurse role in the Operating Rooms and the inhalation nurse role. Few medical centers offer such a wide array of nursing opportunities as those available at UMC-RH.
At UMC-RH, the Director of Nursing and Assistant Director interact with the nursing staff on a regular basis. If you are a new graduate, we have experienced head nurses who will guide your professional development. If you are an experienced nurse, we have opportunities that will enable you to apply your experience in new ways, or move into a role that will extend your experience. The close work relationships and proximity of units to each other ensure support and collaboration among the hospital's nursing staff. Our active staff development department will help you enhance your knowledge and skills so you can function at your best and advance your career. For those interested in developing their leadership skills, we create opportunities for them to demonstrate their capabilities.
UMC-RH offers competitive salaries and benefits
Our affiliation with Lebanese American University in 2009 creates a stimulating environment and unique opportunities for professional growth. Over the coming months and years, the hospital and outpatient clinics will grow. Many of our current services will expand and many new services are planned. This will create additional nursing positions and new nursing roles, both clinical and leadership. We have established a strong relationship with LAU's Alice Ramez Chagoury School of Nursing. Together we will partner to educate the next generation of registered nurses and to provide a nursing work environment that promotes high quality, evidence-based nursing care and support for professional nursing practice. We will have many initiatives to strengthen our partnership with the School of Nursing. In addition, LAU's medical and pharmacy students and faculty will use the clinical facilities at UMC-RH for learning.
Nursing care delivery in the UMC-RH Department of Nursing follows the total patient care model. In this model, the RN staff nurses are responsible for planning nursing care, collaborating with the medical staff, administering medications and nursing treatments, and assuring accuracy and completeness of documentation for an assigned group of patients. The practical nurses assist the RNs with personal care for patients and assure safe and timely attention to patients' hygiene and other personal needs. They also help maintain a safe environment and assist in the timely delivery and receipt of patient documentation, medications, supplies, and equipment from support departments.
In the operating rooms, a functional care delivery model is used, with nurses functioning as circulating nurse, scrub nurse, anesthesia nurse, or recovery room nurse. PNs and orderlies assist with transfer and positioning of patients along with the preparation of rooms and equipment. In the central sterilization room, the PNs prepare instruments and supplies for sterilization and initiate and monitor all sterilization procedures. The nurses working in the Inhalation Unit also follow a functional care delivery model by providing specialized respiratory care to patients, especially to those admitted to the Critical Care Division.
The Department of Nursing is an active partner with other clinical divisions at UMC-RH in assuring the delivery of high quality patient care. We work closely with other hospital departments to monitor and measure quality of care and patient outcomes. Each head nurse develops annual Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) pertinent to her/his unit and regularly tracks these indicators. This enables early identification, analysis, and corrective action. Patient satisfaction is a quality indicator that is taken seriously at UMC-RH. Patient satisfaction data are collected routinely. UMC-RH values external evaluation and is certified in accordance with the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System. The hospital was accredited by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health in 2002 and 2005, seeks re-accreditation in 2011.
Two staffing patterns are used by the Nursing Department: 8.5 hour shifts and 12-hour shifts. All nursing staff rotates between day and night shifts except those who choose to work a permanent night shift. Registered Nurses work 42 hours/week and Practical Nurses work 48 hours/week.
Leadership and clinical support is always available to the nursing staff. Experienced night supervisors provide guidance, assistance and problem-solving support to the nursing staff during evening and night hours. The Assistant Director, Coordinator for Nursing Staff Development, and the head nurses rotate to provide in-house coverage and support to nursing staff on weekends and holidays.