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Interim Dean Donna Havens Receives HRSA Funding for Innovative Training in Rural Hospitals

Interim Dean Donna Havens received a $1.5 million award from the Health Resources and Services Administration—Division of Nursing to provide interprofessional collaborative practice training in the emergency departments of four rural North Carolina hospitals.

In the fast-paced environment of an emergency room, the opportunity for error is high. Decisions are made rapidly, and the quality of care a patient receives often depends on how well emergency care providers function as a team.

“In emergency rooms, it is essential that care is highly organized,” said Interim Dean and Professor Donna Havens, the primary investigator. Yet in a recent study of communication between nurses and other health professions, Dr. Havens and her colleagues found a significant number of nurses in emergency rooms reported less communication and collaboration between them and other health professionals. “If emergency personnel don’t feel they are collaborating or communicating well, that raises some red flags.”

Dr. Havens, PhD, RN, FAAN, and her colleagues plan to use the funding to implement a teamwork strategy called interprofessional collaborative practice. They’ll be working with teams of nurses, physicians and other providers from emergency departments in four partner hospitals, including Chatham Hospital, Pardee Hospital, Southeastern Regional Medical Center, and Transylvania Hospital. The teams will come together a few times a year to participate in discussions, role-playing exercises, simulations and other evidence-based activities designed to give them a sense of how they can learn from each other and their patients.

To learn more about Interim Dean Haven’s work, read the full story on the SON website.