The kick-off event was just the first step. Seeing the real results of the program—included enthusiasm from patients and families—helped motivate the nurses, too. "They were very proud," says Mimi Matthys, RN, MSN, clinical team lead in the ICU. "They saw their patient get better and that's all they needed."
Elements of the initiative included:
- Screening patients every 12 hours for whether it was safe for them to be part of the program
- Conducting regular audits to see whether the screenings were happening; tracking which patients sat at the edge of the bed, sat in a chair, ambulated
- Creating a brochure about the program that's given to families at admission
- Posting "mile markers" around the unit so patients could see how far they'd walked
- Awarding gold medals to patients who walked the entire unit; and
posting staff reward boards with prizes
Matthys says having the entire unit involved in the initiative showed that there is strength in numbers.