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Jackeline Iseler: How the 80s are Helping Prevent Infection

Nov. 4, 2015

Jackeline Iseler is a nurse and a student in MSU’s Doctor of Nursing Practice program.

Years ago when I was a teenager, I dreamed of being on television.  My friend and I reenacted “Saturday Night Live” skits after school. We wrote our lines, rolled our hair in bendy rollers and performed “live” to my parents. We enjoyed the whole process — writing the skit, preparing for our show and performing in front of a bulky, 80s video camera, in our tight rolled jeans. Although those days are long past, I have found a way to incorporate video recording to aid patients in preventing infection.

One of my roles as a clinical nurse specialist at the Richard DeVos Heart and Lung Transplant Program, is to insure that our patients receive the best care possible. I partner with an amazing team. My job is to provide the team with resources to do their job right. One of the Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) clinical nurse coordinators alerted me to an issue with dressing kits for our VAD patients.

It is critical that the dressing changes be completed sterilely and exactly as instructed to prevent infections. Much time had gone into creating a policy on how the dressing changes should be done. To be sure that this information was understood we educated the nurses and the patients’ families on how the dressing changes should be done. Bewildered, we still encountered the same issues — the dressing changes were not being done correctly.

Some investigative work turned up the reason.

Once patients were home, their dressing supplies were different than what was used in the hospital. The supply list that was sent home with the patients did not match the supplies they received. Patients and their families did their best with what supplies they had available to them. This was not acceptable. This was not setting our patients up for success.

I assembled a team of experts. Infection preventionist, VAD clinical nurse coordinator, VAD surgeon, nurse educator, sales representative from a medical supply company, financial business manager, program manager, quality manager and I were on the VAD dressing kit team. We had an idea of what we were looking for in a dressing change kit and we asked the sales representative if his company was able to build it.

We wanted to keep the kits easy to use by anyone, and reasonably priced by keeping only what was absolutely necessary to do the dressing change sterile. After various prototypes, we ended up with two kits to serve different purposes. Great! We had our kits.

But how do we make sure that everyone is shown how to do the dressing changes the same way every time? And the answer is…YouTube. 

This is where my previous passion for television comes into play. I had a blast writing the script! No longer was I reenacting other people’s work for a laugh.  Now I was working to improve the lives of patients. I had our VAD clinical nurse coordinator play the part of the VAD clinical nurse coordinator, one of our VAD patients played the part of the VAD patient and I narrated. Instead of a bulky, 1980s video camera, we had a much smaller digital camera to record our videos. The medical supply company produced the videos and Spectrum Health put the videos on YouTube.

We were able to create a product to help out patients, decrease infection rates, and I am finally on “television.”

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