Go Pink Wednesday

pink ribbonQ: How can I improve my chances of finding breast cancer early?

A: There are a few simple guidelines to help ensure overall good breast health. First, perform a breast self-exam every month, and receive a clinical breast exam by a healthcare professional every year. Second, receive regular screening mammograms. The American Cancer Society currently recommends women begin receiving annual screening mammograms every year starting at age 40. Third, if you notice any breast changes, such as pain, a lump or discharge from the nipple, see your physician immediately.

 Pink Tip:  Let your technologist know if you are having pain during the exam.

Duke Regional receives high marks for safety

Barbara Griffith, MD, Chief Medical Officer

Barbara GriffithTwice each year the Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit organization focused on patient safety, reviews hospitals’ publicly available data and issues its Hospital Safety Score. The hospital safety score is a grade A-F that rates how well hospitals protect patients from accidents, errors, infections and injuries, and is designed to provide information the public can use to choose where to receive medical care.

Duke Regional is proud to have been awarded an “A” for safety.

The safety and well-being of our patients is our number one priority—nothing is more important. Receiving an “A” means our patients and their loved ones can feel confident in the level of care provided at Duke Regional.

We also want to be transparent with our friends and neighbors about quality and safety so you can understand what we are doing to continually improve care. Things like checking on patients every hour to ensure their comfort and providing inpatients a printed plan of care each morning that details what they will be experiencing that day help keep patients safe and informed about their treatment.

The Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Score takes into account 28 publicly available hospital safety measures provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and the American Hospital Association’s annual survey. Scores are calculated under the guidance of the nation’s leading experts on patient safety. A full analysis of the data and methodology used is available on the Hospital Safety Score website, hospitalsafetyscore.org.

Read more about this recognition at dukeregional.org, or see the details behind Duke Regional’s Hospital Safety Score.

Volunteer Roundup

Yesterday, Duke Regional Hospital recognized some essential members of our team – our volunteers!

“Duke Regional volunteers are the best! They serve throughout the hospital assisting our patients, their loved ones and our staff,” says Carol Swanson, MBA, manager of Volunteer Services and Corporate Communications at Duke Regional. “We hold a luncheon each year to express our appreciation for their efforts and recognize volunteers who have achieved milestones for their service.”


Volunteers Ron Fochler and Cloria Lewis

Individuals achieving service milestones in fiscal year 2013:

  • Ron Fochler: 1,000 hours
  • Cloria Lewis: 1,000 hours
  • Jim Farrell: 4,000 hours


    Carol Swanson, Manager of Volunteer Services & Corporate Communications, with volunteer and current Auxiliary President, Jim Farrell

Louise Satterwhite, guest navigator and past president of Duke Regional Hospital’s Auxiliary, was awarded Volunteer of the Year for 2013.

“Louise has made significant contributions to Duke Regional both as a leader of the Auxiliary and as a guest navigator,” says Swanson. “Under her leadership, the Auxiliary made great strides in enhancing electronic record keeping and automating fundraising processes. These efforts led to increased funding for patient care and satisfaction programs. Louise also volunteers two days a week assisting with special projects and discharging patients through our Guest Navigator service.”


Carol Swanson presents flowers to Louise Satterwhite, 2013 Volunteer of the Year

Additionally, Duke Regional recognized retirees Doris Breeze, Anne Gregory, Maxie Honeycutt, Patricia McIntre and Helen Stahl. These women have donated their time and talents to the hospital for many years.


Volunteer retirees Doris Breeze, Helen Stahl and Maxie Honeycutt

Since the hospital opened its doors in 1976, volunteers have played a key role in helping achieve our mission “to care for our patients, nurturing the sick and strengthening the well, and to improve the health of the communities we serve.”

During fiscal year 2013, 196 volunteers provided 23,700 hours of service. Visit dukeregional.org to learn more about volunteering at Duke Regional.

Go Pink Wednesday

167570696Q: When will I receive the results of my mammogram?

A: The results of your screening mammogram will be mailed to you within 7-10 business days. If the radiologist request for you to return for additional imaging, you will be notified within 5 business days. For all patients returning for additional imaging or coming in with breast problems (a diagnostic mammogram) the results will be given to the patient the same day.

Pink Tip: In some women, caffeine-containing products (such as coffee, cola, and chocolate) can make the breasts more tender and thus make your mammogram more uncomfortable. Avoid these products prior to your exam.

Become a PRN Nursing Assistant

Nursing assistants along with many other healthcare workers “work PRN” in hospital settings such as Duke Regional Hospital (DRH). The initials stand for “pro re nata,” a Latin phrase that roughly translates to “as needed” or “as the situation arises.” A PRN is paid by the hour at DRH according to the Duke University Health System certified nursing assistant compensation schedule. A PRN worker, however, does not qualify for health care coverage, vacation time, or other institutional benefits and has no guarantee of work. Many hospitals like Duke Regional typically need PRN workers and employ them on various units as well as for the float pool throughout the year, especially through the holidays.

Because hospitals can’t just close their doors when staff members call out sick, most have a group of  PRN nursing assistants who can be asked to come in when regular staffers take vacations or enjoy the   holidays. These PRN jobs can require a commitment of a certain number of hours per month, e.g. minimum of 24 hour a month, to ensure familiarization with the facility as well as hospital procedures and   quality of care.  Getting shifts to work should not be a problem, but flexibility will ensure a continuing       relationship with the unit or the hospital.

There are drawbacks to PRN work. The lack of a consistent salary (unless you are employed elsewhere), the possibility of having to work shifts perhaps no one else finds desirable and the lack of benefits. It’s also difficult at times not to be part of the regular staff, although if you work on one unit frequently and get to know everyone, you might feel very comfortable working PRN.

Being in the right place at the right time can help you get a hospital job. If you work on a unit in a PRN   job, you’re already a familiar face. Your work ethic — hopefully a good one — is already known. When it’s time to hire someone for a part-time or full-time position, your name may come up as a candidate. Because you’re already a hospital employee, you might also have access to job postings first.

Duke Regional Hospital is currently seeking certified nursing assistants (PRN) for the following areas:

  • General Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine (Nights)
  • Float Pool

Click here to apply.

DRH Receives Stroke Gold Quality Achievement Award

GWTG_Stroke_Gold_2013Duke Regional Hospital has received the Get With The Guidelines®–Stroke Gold Quality Achievement Award from the American Heart Association. The award recognizes Duke Regional’s commitment and success in implementing a higher standard of care by ensuring stroke patients receive treatment according to nationally accepted guidelines.

This marks the second year Duke Regional has been recognized with a quality achievement award for stroke care by the American Heart Association. The hospital received a silver award in 2012. Duke Regional’s stroke program is also Joint Commission certified.

Following Get With The Guidelines-Stroke treatment guidelines helps Duke Regional’s staff improve patient care and outcomes. Guidelines include starting patients on aggressive risk-reduction therapies including the use of medications such as tPA, antithrombotics and anticoagulation therapy, along with cholesterol reducing drugs and smoking cessation counseling. These are all aimed at reducing the risk of death and disability and improving the lives of stroke patients. To achieve Gold status, Duke Regional had to follow these measures consistently for 24 consecutive months.

“Our stroke team and our hospital have worked so hard to provide consistent, evidence based care to our stroke patients,” said Candace Gentry, quality outcomes manager for stroke at Duke Regional.  “This award should give our patients and community confidence that Duke Regional Hospital is here to serve them and provide great care. I am so proud to work with such a great team.”

According to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, stroke is one of the leading causes of death and serious, long-term disability in the United States. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds; someone dies of a stroke every four minutes and 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year.

Go Pink Wednesday

Q: Why do you have to compress my breast for a mammogram?

A: Compression is used to spread the breast tissue out to see the details of the breast tissue more clearly. Compressing the breast reduces the thickness of the breast, reducing the radiation dose.

153751400Pink Tip: Wear two-piece clothing, such as pants and a top, to simplify undressing for your mammogram. At Duke Regional, you can relax in our spa-like atmosphere, snuggled in a plush robe in a comfortable waiting area.