We’re discovering new directions to help put our patients on the road to recovery

At Zucker Hillside Hospital, we’re applying best practices as well as our own innovative solutions to helping those suffering from a wide range of behavioral conditions and addictions. We’ll be sharing some of these unique approaches to behavioral health at the upcoming American Psychiatric Nurses Association’s 31st Annual Conference. Here is a preview of some of the topics we’re presenting:

I Am Unique – Olesya Gavrylyuk, Nurse Manager

We focus on our patients as unique individuals, not as a symptom, a discharge or an admission. That’s the spirit behind the “I Am Unique” presentation. From the beginning of their time with us, we become immersed in our patients’ unique story. When treated like an individual, we can empower and motivate them to find hope, take medication, move on with their treatment and eventually go into the community. We’ve had great success with this approach and have received positive feedback from our patients. Everyone on the Zucker Hillside team works together to make it a success – from the doctors to the housekeepers. It is now being applied in all of our units.

Elevated Family-Centered ECT – Marie Horowitz RN, Nurse Manager

There are many misconceptions about electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) which have interfered with patient compliance with treatment and their return to optimal health. The ECT team wanted to dispel the myths by embracing transparency with patients and their families. New initiatives include more in-depth education, purposeful rounding in our waiting room, as well as inviting family members to view a treatment. We looked at evidence based practices at other ECT units and explored additional ways where we could elevate our practice. We’ve expanded our hours from early morning to late evening. We provide designated parking, and developed more reasonable ECT fasting guidelines. We have improved our patient and family satisfaction by providing comfort in our waiting room with visits from service dogs, activities such as tablets, coloring books, puzzles and games. We’ve received very positive feedback on our new initiatives and continue to welcome suggestions from our patients and families.

Striving for the S.T.A.R.S. – Paul Panakal, Director of Patient Care Services

Patient discharge can be one of the most rewarding aspects of our work. Yet, our patient satisfaction scores showed there was room for improvement in prepping a patient for discharge. In response, we created S.T.A.R.S. – Strategy Toward Achieving Recovery. Each discipline had a part to play. Nursing provided one-to-one patient education sessions and general education medication groups. Psychologists and social workers offered a coping skills group as well as a handout with discharge instructions. Together, we improved patient understanding of instructions, discharge medications and where they can find help if relapsing. This presentation will show the power of interdisciplinary collaboration to solve common problems and improve the patient experience.

Our nurses are focused on treating each patient like a person, recognizing their very individualized needs. Presentations like those of Olesya, Marie and Paul show the exciting results of this commitment.

“It’s all about caring, paying attention, being present and listening. A patient is not only a diagnosis. Every patient’s story and experience is unique.”

–Olesya Gavrylyuk, Nurse Manager