Brenda Evans



Going Above and Beyond in Critical Care

Critical care providers must have the clinical expertise to address a wide range of acute illnesses. They also must have the warmth and intuition to assess the holistic needs of patients and families.

Brenda Evans, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNML, director of critical care and dialysis for Midland Health says she is privileged to see these skills in action every day in her critical care unit.

She shares the story of a mother admitted to Midland Health for heart surgery. The mother’s team of critical care providers recognized the mother’s worry for her children, but also knew she needed time to focus on her own healing—so the care team cared for her children while she recovered. Taking personal time after work hours, Evans’ staff purchased school supplies to help the children begin the school year. They also created sleeping arrangements for a “sleep-over” so the children could stay with their mother. As a result of this support and excellent patient care, the mother felt comfortable enough to focus on her own wellness and made a full recovery.

“Each patient has special needs to help them recover,” Evans says. “This special attention could be family support or even just taking the time to listen to a patient’s wants and needs for the direction of care they desire.”

COMMUNICATION AT A HIGHER LEVEL

Evans believes solid team communication is key to providing highly coordinated patient care. She sees this among her staff through:
  
  • interactive daily huddles to brief on practice updates and to share the daily promise to instill a hospital-wide Culture of Ownership,   
  • patient journals providers update to help family members track the care their loved one is receiving,  
  • face-to-face hand-offs at the bedside in collaboration with patients to ensure   
  • rounding by clinical leadership to ensure consistent communication with patients.

HANDS-ON LEADERSHIP

With her servant and transformational leadership approach, Evans is often there at the bedside right next to her providers to step in where needed. Her background in every level of care—from staff nurse, to manager, to director (all within her 20+ year tenure at Midland Health)—helps her understand the unique needs of every staff member she leads.

Evans expects 360-degree accountability from each provider as part of Midland Health’s Culture of Ownership, which she says drives mutual support and respect.

EMPOWERED PRACTICE THROUGH TECHNOLOGY, INNOVATION

Evans also encourages self-reliance. Several technologies are available to all critical care providers at Midland Health to support this autonomy, including:

  • Lifting devices for safe patient movement, including devices in rooms tailored for bariatric patients    
  • Computers and barcode scanners at the bedside    
  • Medication dispensers and computer stations between patient rooms to streamline care and electronic charting   
  • Electronic self-scheduling

A quarterly innovation challenge for frontline staff members allows them to create solutions to practice challenges. “I look for staff members who are not afraid to ask questions and are eager to always improve themselves because excellence today is not good enough tomorrow—you have to try for that continuous improvement for yourself and ultimately for every patient.”

    •Explore opportunities at Midland Health

    •Midland Health’s Culture of Ownership

    •View Evans’ profile on LinkedIn