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Monday, May 2, 2022 - Kelly Pollard, Brett Jacobs receive highest SC Emergency Nurses Association honors
Two Roper St. Francis Healthcare Emergency Department teammates have won top awards from the South Carolina Emergency Nurses Association.

Brett Jacobs, BSN, RN, was honored as the association’s Nurse of the Year for his hard work with the Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital-wide Throughput Committee. Brett is a nurse with the Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital Emergency Department

Kelly Pollard, MHA, BSN, CEN, was recognized with the Nurse Leader of the Year Award for her amazing work with the Workplace Violence Committee. Pollard is the clinical manager at the Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital Emergency Department.

“Within Emergency Services, we have a lot of highly engaged nursing leaders and frontline teammates, many of whom were nominated for the state-wide award,” said Marcela McGeorge, director of emergency services for Roper St. Francis Healthcare. “Kelly and Brett’s applications were selected because their work stood out to the selection committee as key areas of interest for Emergency Nursing not only locally, but also nationally. I couldn’t be prouder of Kelly and Brett – both are deserving of this recognition.”

Jacobs’ nomination letter highlighted his efforts to implement best practices across Roper St. Francis Healthcare on throughput of admitted ED patients. The healthcare system has supported the formation of interdisciplinary councils lead by frontline nursing to help tackle throughput bottlenecks.

Jacobs helped institute guidelines for ED, inpatient and PACU nurses to facilitate safe and efficient patient hand-off.

He led the council to agree on hand-off procedures to include the use of internal paging technology to alert receiving units of admissions to help them better prepare for patients’ arrival. These handoffs also include both sending and receiving RNs reviewing the patient’s record and assessing the patient together.

The committee also agreed on “Tuck & Fluff” orders for handoffs that occur during change of shift, thus reducing resistance to throughput bottlenecks at certain times of day. He successfully presented the plan to nursing leadership, and the plan is live.

“Brett’s approach really promoted teamwork and collaboration among many units and put the patient’s needs and safety at the forefront,” McGeorge said.

Pollard became passionate about workplace violence after a behavioral health patient assaulted a group of Emergency Department nurses, providers and techs. She’s worked diligently to remove the stigma of workplace violence “being part of the job” not only for ED but elsewhere in the healthcare system, McGeorge said.

As co-facilitator of the systemwide Workplace Violence Committee, Pollard has worked to increase reporting across the organization. The committee co-authored a Zero Tolerance for Violence policy and worked collaboratively with the IT team on creating an “at risk of violence” and “criminal trespass” alert to fire automatically in the EMR when certain patients who pose a violence risk to staff present for treatment to the Emergency Departments.

Pollard is working to replicate the same alert for the inpatient units. She also has introduced de-escalating training alternatives, such as Krav Maga self-defense classes, to empower teammates and give them tools to better defend themselves when violent situations arise.

“Kelly’s work has really helped to bring awareness to the prevalence of workplace violence to the Leadership & Executive teams, and most importantly has helped to protect, prevent and support teammates from being victimized,” McGeorge said.
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