The Journal of Nursing Excellence puts it best: ‘Because nursing is a knowledge-intensive profession, nurses have a deep understanding of clinical needs and can identify and communicate ideas and opportunities for improvement.1’ It is this information that makes our nurse employee base, which is at 120 and counting, valuable to our research and development.2 Nurses from across the company are called upon to assist teams with new product development projects. Learn how four nurses-turned-employees are using their former experience to innovate for caregivers.
“As a former orthopaedic surgery nurse, I was the customer. I have done the job. For 25 years, I experienced the highs and lows of caring for patients. There are experiences that we have as nurses that can assist our development teams in understanding the challenges that clinicians face. We have an in-depth understanding of the pressures placed on healthcare professionals while in the process of doing their job.
Nurses are problem solvers. They have the ability to assess unmet needs in the continuum of patient care. There are a lot of processes that haven’t changed in years because they work, but could they be better? That is the guiding principle that drives me every day. How can I make this better for the end-user? I still have friends at the bedside that need innovative and safe devices.
Nurses are there from first breath to last breath. It is exhausting, stressful, rewarding and exhilarating. Most importantly, it is essential. We need to honour and innovate to support our clinicians so they can support their patients.”
“I was a practicing nurse for three years in pediatric oncology and adult transplants before I decided I wanted to transition into a position that would challenge me in different ways. I learned a lot of lessons from my nursing career that I apply in my current role. I’ve learned to listen and never make assumptions because every patient, disease and care plan is different. I’ve also learned to always ask questions. Healthcare is constantly evolving, so to provide the best care for our patients, we must always continue to learn.
To me, collaborating with my fellow nurses to develop new models of care that will help improve patient outcomes is what nurse innovation is all about. I work on the company’s Orthopaedic Instruments team, where I constantly ask myself if or how our product is improving nurses’ workflow efficiencies and safety. With the challenges nurses face daily, it’s important to me that we make products that keep them safe while improving their workflows.
When working on new products, I always view them from the lens of the nurse. I not only want to ensure that the product is safe and effective for the patient, but I also ask myself if the product is safe and efficient for the nurse and other hospital staff.”
“Empathy and sympathy are two things I bring with me to my current role from being a cardiovascular intensive care nurse for eleven years. Clinicians endure a lot on a daily basis and I try to think of ways we can help to make their jobs easier.
As part of a unique team that develops solutions to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired conditions, I work side by side with engineers to help bring the voice of the clinician and patients into the product development process. I also help in educating and building confidence that our products are built into healthcare workflow and will make a huge impact on clinicians and patients.
Nurse-led innovation is at the core of what we do. We utilise nursing feedback at all stages of our product development process. From gaining insights from bedside clinicians to focus groups that help give us feedback on problem areas and ways to solve them, we value the voices of nurses because we know that without their partnership, we couldn’t provide the simple interventions that led to extraordinary outcomes. One of the greatest achievements a company like Stryker can do to make healthcare better in the easiest and most gratifying way is to partner with our clinicians and facilities.”
“For three years I was a MedSurg nurse and for five years I was a clinical consultant for Stryker. Recently I joined the Acute Care team, where we develop products that help prevent skin injury, patient falls and caregiver injuries.
The greatest insights I bring to my role are those acquired from my time at the bedside. Having that firsthand knowledge of what our caregivers are experiencing and seeing is invaluable. I'm able to take those insights into any area of my role; into developing a new product, into in-servicing on a product, into an educational flyer for staff to read, or into presentations to leadership on quality initiatives.
I think Dr. Cipriano, President of the International Council of Nurses put it perfectly, "There is no health without a health workforce." In my role, I work to improve the safety of care for both the patient and the nurse. While I may be more removed from the bedside, by listening to feedback, passing on my experiences, and working with our current customers, I seek to use my voice to continue to make a difference for our health workforce. Stryker's mission is ‘together with our customers, we are driven to make healthcare better’. We cannot make progress without the input of nurses. We recognise the importance of what nurses do for global health, and it’s an honour to partner with them on improving safety and outcomes.”