Nursing Services

Nursing Services constitute a distinct hospital directorship, with a Director in charge.

 

Nursing Services Director Ioanna Voutoufianaki
Deputy Director in charge of the 1st Nursing division Panagiota Magaliou
Deputy Director in charge of the 2nd Nursing division Evaggelia Papadopoulou

 

Nursing Services Organizational Structure

Nursing Services are structured in two separate divisions, as such:

The 1st Nursing Division pertains to:

  • Cardio-surgical department (beds)
  • Cardiology department [Nursing wards] (beds)
  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Outpatient Unit
  • Emergency Room

The 2nd Nursing Division pertains to:

  • Theatres (operating rooms)
  • Anesthesiology nurses unit
  • Catheterization Laboratory
  • Hematology
  • Central Sterilization Services Unit

Nursing Services also include the Office of Infection Control.

 

Nursing Services’ operational principles

  • To provide nursing care to patients according to the rules and teachings of nursing science and the code of nursing conduct
  • To promote nursing science, continuing education, training and research in this field
  • To abide by hospital rules of operation as defined by laws, presidential decrees, decisions by the Board of Directors and the Managing Director
  • To cooperate with other hospital departments.

Nursing Services’ objectives

  • Ensuring quality of care for patients
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Continuous nursing education
  • Nursing staff satisfaction

Providing daily high-quality healthcare services is ensured by standardizing provided hospital care through procedures and protocols based on current nursing science data and continuously evaluated regarding their effectiveness.

For the optimal operation of Nursing Services new clinical roles-positions were introduced, such as the liaison nurse, clinical nurse, infection control liaison nurse and transplant coordinator (links – see below).

The office of nursing education has played a decisive role in orientation programmes for new members of staff, crash-course programmes for problem solving or the introduction of innovative interventions and a year-round programme of continuous education.

A defining factor of success for the whole structure is the support of all activities by hospital IT.

Nursing Services collaborate with nursing education schools and institutions in the country to educate and train students -both pre- and postgraduate- in cardiac and cardio-surgical nursing. This is done in order to complete their training in an organised environment of advanced practice, broadening their horizons regarding the scientific and professional future of tomorrow’s nurses. Additionally, nurses from hospitals across the country are being accepted for training in specialized nursing interventions or specific unit’s operation.

Clinical roles - positions

Clinical nurse is a professional nurse who will apply theoretical knowledge and teach nursing skills to individuals or small groups of nurses. By applying proper teaching methods they make sure that theory and practice complement each other. Acquired experience contributes significantly to the scientific and practical body of knowledge for the nurse-in-training and the acquisition of professional identity and confidence.

A clinical nurse ought to have a combination of a wide variety of knowledge and skills and be distinguished for creativity, readiness, dexterity and social skills. Their role is to support patients and nurses-in-training in nursing units. There are about 30 clinical nurses in all hospital departments in the OCSC.

  • Nurse liaison is a member of the cardiology or cardio-surgical team and acts as the principal communication link between hospital services and patients
  • They inform patients and their families before they are admitted to the OCSC for all matters pertaining to their admission, including the hospital’s Code of Conduct.
  • They keep a record of personal data and necessary tests regarding planning for surgical or cardiac procedures
  • They document patients’ nursing history (both written and electronic forms) during their admission to the OCSC and also before discharge
  • They participate in patient examination by hospital doctors in the Outpatient Unit
  • The participate in daily hospital rounds
  • They follow patient progress during their hospitalization according to protocols of nursing care
  • They are informed and collaborate with clinical nurses regarding patient problems and jointly they plan nursing care
  • They inform patients on planning for medical and nursing interventions, with permission by a member of the medical team
  • They inform patients of their clinical status
  • They organize communications between attending doctors and patients
  • They organize communications with consulting doctors
  • On the day of discharge they provide patients with clear instructions on activities, diet, medication and physical activity
  • They programme patients’ appointments with doctors after discharge
  • They maintain phone communication with patients during recovery to address medical problems
  • They collect data for research purposes
  • They participate in the development of medical-nursing research protocols
  • They are responsible for keeping and presenting a monthly record of clinical complications and patient mortality
  • They participate in the continuous programme of education in the OCSC
  • They perform all other related actions according to their post, knowledge and current legislation
  • They are responsible for the implementation of practices and the enforcement of rules regarding universal precautions as defined by the Infection Control Committee
  • They are promptly informed by the Infection Control Head Nurse regarding measures of disinfection and they subsequently inform nursing staff
  • They are responsible for the application of programmed education in matters regarding hospital infections.
  • They are accountable for the results of applied measures of policy and prevention of nosocomial infections.
  • They evaluate and report in writing the quality and performance of all single-use materials after discussing it with nursing staff, in collaboration with unit manager or head nurse
  • They review daily the implementation of correct practices regarding proper management of sharps, contaminated linen and rubbish as described in nursing procedures, and report problems and technical difficulties to the unit manager or head nurse
  • They review and report in a separate dossier patients with indications of an infection (fever, intravenous lines, etc.)
  • They report and anticipate shortage of materials regarding prevention of hospital infections
  • They make note of the correct decontamination of oxygen appliances and decontamination of tools in separate auxiliary rooms, as well as proper use of disinfectants
  • They check the application of protective measures during disinfectant dialysis.
  • They check use-by dates for sterilized sets and promptly notify when they should be sent to CSSU.
  • They daily review all intravenous lines for unit patients
  • They follow patients with Folley catheters for compliance with urinary infection prevention measures
  • They make note of the correct application of nursing skills and discusses omissions with the unit manager or head nurse.

Transplant coordinators’ responsibilities in detail:

Outpatient Unit

Transplant coordinators monitor pre- and post-transplant patients and patients with mechanical support devices. In collaboration with cardiologists, lung specialists or heart transplant surgeons they adjust patients’ medical regime, plan tests and programme admissions for pre-transplant evaluation or post-transplant check-ups.

Pre-transplant evaluation

  • Transplant coordinators organize, plan, regulate and monitor pre-transplant evaluations
  • They invite consulting doctors
  • They collect test results and, in collaboration with a cardiologist or lung transplant specialist, make adjustments to patients’ medical regime
  • They fill in the Selection Committee Document (summary) with all relevant data and test results
  • They organize and prepare patients’ presentations to the Selection Committee
  • They inform patients of the Selection Committee’s results
  • They report to the Greek National Transplant Organization the list of names of patients who are potential recipients in documents signed by the program’s Director.

Heart transplant waiting list

  • Transplant coordinators have access to the list of potential recipients in collaboration with the program’s Director
  • They organize a follow-up plan of patients with whom they are in constant communication through the hospital’s switchboard, and if deemed necessary at the emergency room, outpatient unit or programmed admission
  • They confirm and plan tests and adjust patients’ medical regime (by phone) in collaboration with a transplant cardiologist.

For patients with a mechanical support device (mechanical heart):

  • Transplant coordinators organize, plan and monitor tests before surgery
  • They collect test results
  • They are in contact with consulting doctors
  • They organize a plan of care for patients and a once-a-year programmed admission

During the transplant procedure:

  • Transplant coordinators receive a call from the Greek National Transplant Organization regarding the availability of a potential donor and fill in papers concerning the donor (Donor Document)
  • They present donor data to the program’s Director
  • The Director selects the most qualified potential recipient who is then contacted by a transplant coordinator to arrive to the hospital
  • Transplant coordinators are in contact with all hospital departments and services dealing with the transplant recipient
  • They check supplies and medications to be used to the recipient’s surgery
  • They organize transportation for the medical team procuring the organs to the donor’s hospital
  • They actively take part in organ procurement
  • They are responsible for checking the donor’s blood type, consent forms and collect all necessary medical history data regarded as necessary for the recipient’s future medical status
  • They regulate cardioplegia flow timely and in the right temperature
  • They take measures of infection control for the recipient by taking donor blood cultures and blood tests for hepatitis B, C and HIV. They also obtain donor lymph nodes and part of their spleen for cross-matching purposes
  • They coordinate the team assigned to the donor and the team assigned to the recipient, and –together with the program’s Director- they decide on surgical timing
  • They are responsible for aborting the whole process if a donor is found to be unsuitable
  • They maintain good cooperation with other transplant teams and medical – nursing staff in donor hospitals
  • They represent the transplant team as well as the OCSC in all relevant matters
  • They enforce and insist on a strict adherence to hospital rules and regulations

Transplanted patients’ follow-up (life-long)

  • Transplant coordinators follow up on transplanted patients (through programmed admissions, emergency room, outpatient unit or by phone)
  • They organize and programme hospital admissions for each transplanted patient (according to protocols) for life
  • They are in contact with consulting doctors
  • They collect test results, supervise and adjust immunosuppressant medication as well as other medication in collaboration with a transplant cardiologist or lung specialist
  • They inform patients regarding their health status
  • They inform the program’s Director on changes in patients’ conditions
  • They coordinate organ rejection treatment and provide information regarding the right process (also in an outpatient capacity, in collaboration with the Emergency Room unit)

Transplant coordinators as instructors

  • Transplant coordinators educate medical and nursing staff (Transplant Unit seminar)
  • They inform and instruct pre-transplant patients (an informed patient is a cooperative patient)
  • They instruct transplanted patients and their families before hospital discharge (e.g. indications for organ rejection)

Other activities

  • Transplant coordinators visit hospitalized unit patients
  • They ensure proper nursing and medical care and precise application of medical instructions
  • They assist in prompt completion of clinical tests therefore reducing admission time for patients
  • They maintain a record of all procedures and collect statistical data
  • They draw medical certificates, departmental notes, etc.
  • They participate in the implementation of programmes by the Greek National Transplant Organization regarding donating organs for transplants
  • They collaborate with the OCSC’s Office of Public Relations regarding promotion of transplant work and activities.