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National Speaker shares Insight on optimizing patient outcomes

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The Beryl Institute's Tiffany Christensen combines her professional training with her experiences as a patient who has received a pair of double-lung transplants due to complications from cystic fibrosis in order to emphasize the importance of health care providers understanding the patient experience.


PCC News Service

Sunday, February 10, 2019

WINTERVILLE — The Beryl Institute’s Tiffany Christensen helped health sciences students and instructors at Pitt Community College get the spring semester off to a solid start with a presentation last month on optimizing patient outcomes.

Christensen, the Institute’s vice president of Experience Innovation, spoke as part of a two-day “Transition to Practice Seminar” that Pitt nursing faculty organize each January, according to PCC Nursing Director/Department Chair Elizabeth Toderick.

The training, she said, is based on TeamSTEPPS (Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety), which emphasizes improved communication and teamwork skills among health care professionals to improve patient safety.

“(We) heard Tiffany speak many years ago while we were completing our TeamSTEPPS training,” Toderick said. “We were extremely impressed with her life story and her unique patient perspective as related to patient safety.”

At PCC, Christensen stressed the importance of understanding the patient experience and explained the role TeamSTEPPS plays in the process. More than 100 second-year nursing and respiratory therapy students were joined by faculty from both programs to hear Christensen share insight that she has gained through professional training and her experiences as a patient who has twice received double-lung transplants, due to complications from cystic fibrosis.

“Tiffany was able to tell her personal patient story and incorporate TeamSTEPPS strategies that students can practice in their nursing careers to ensure patient safety,” said Kelli Jones, PCC Nursing Clinical Coordinator. “Her presentation was a perfect fit with our efforts to empower students to be change agents as well as caring nurses committed to patient safety and providing quality care.”

PCC Nursing Instructor Alison Knox said she felt Christensen’s presentation would prove beneficial to everyone who attended, and she pointed out the essential role that empathy plays in providing quality health care.

“(Empathy) is not something that can be taught, but it can be nurtured,” Knox said. “Allowing students to gain insight through a patient’s perspective can offer great insight.”

Toderick said having national speakers, like Christensen, share their expertise with students is part of the well-rounded education PCC offers. She noted that it was also important that students and faculty from multiple health sciences programs were able to participate in the training together.

“We are dedicated to interprofessional education as a methodology to transition our graduates to a culture of excellence that supports and demands patient safety at all levels,” she said.

Headquartered in Southlake, Texas, The Beryl Institute is a global community of practice dedicated to improving the patient experience through collaboration and shared knowledge.

PCC Foundation to hold Spring Fundraiser at Pitt-Greenville Airport

The PCC Foundation will hold its annual “Accelerating the Future” fundraiser at the Pitt-Greenville Airport (PGV) next month, and organizers are hoping the change in scenery will help the event reach new heights of success.

While each of the previous two “Accelerating the Future” fundraisers were held in automotive labs at the college, this year’s event at PGV will take place in privately-owned airplane hangars on March 15. The program is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

“We’re really excited about holding our spring fundraiser at the Pitt-Greenville Airport and feel it is sure to be a one-of-a-kind event,” said PCC Event Specialist Erin Greenleaf. “It’s always nice to host our supporters on the PCC campus, but the opportunity to hold this year’s event at the airport presented itself through a PCC alumna and we couldn’t pass it up.”

In addition to dinner and musical entertainment by “Lewis n Clark,” the event will give attendees an up-close look at a cold-air balloon and a display of planes, cars and helicopters. There will also be a silent auction with a variety of items up for bid, including jewelry, art, sporting event tickets, autographed sports memorabilia, handcrafted items and a wellness package.

Mobile bidding for the auction items opens on March 11 at 8 a.m. and runs until 8:45 p.m. the day of the fundraiser. Those in attendance will also have an opportunity to participate in a drawing to win a cruise.

“The bidding process is really simple and can be done through your phone from anywhere,” Greenleaf said.

Another item up for bid will be a ‘tiny house’ built by students from PCC’s Building Construction Technology program. The 228-square-foot, contemporary-style home features a vaulted ceiling with clerestory windows spanning the entire length of the structure to allow for plenty of natural light. In addition to storage built into every space, there is a kitchen, bathroom and master bedroom.

Tickets to next month’s fundraiser are $100 each, and sponsored tables of 8-10 individuals are $1,250. Both may be purchased online at www.bit.ly/pgv19tickets.

With approximately 67 percent of PCC’s student population receiving some form of financial assistance, proceeds from “Accelerating the Future” will go toward student scholarships and a variety of educational activities at the college. During the 2017-18 academic year, the PCC Foundation awarded nearly $300,000 in scholarships to recognize academic achievement and provide financial assistance for tuition and fees to students in need.

For more event details or sponsorship information, contact Greenleaf at 493-7496 or egreenleaf@email.pittcc.edu.