After over a year of battling COVID-19 on the frontlines, nurses deserve recognition and our gratitude now more than ever. That is why National Nurses Week has officially become National Nurses Month, an annual reminder of the dedication, hard work and compassion of nurses.
CompleteRx joins healthcare organizations across the country in honoring the commitment, selflessness and resilience of nurses.
For months, nurses have been giving their all to navigate the twists and turns of the pandemic, supporting patients, families, colleagues and others. They adapted to new clinical protocols and processes to ensure patient and staff safety. They jumped in to learn new skills and pitch in when and where needed. They came up with creative solutions that improved patient care.
Never has a strong collaboration between nursing and pharmacy been more critical, as teams worked together on COVID-19-related issues on top of ongoing medication management processes.
“Nurses are so key to everything we do as pharmacists because they are absolutely on the front line,” says Paul Green, CompleteRx director of pharmacy for Upper Allegheny Health System, which serves northwestern Pennsylvania and southwestern New York. “Across care settings, they have the most hands-on contact with patients, so a good working relationship between the nursing and pharmacy departments is essential.”
Nursing and Pharmacy: A Vital Partnership
At Upper Allegheny, nursing has been vital in working alongside the pharmacy department in organizing community COVID-19 vaccination events, including staffing the events, handling documentation and submitting vaccination data to the state. “Nurses have put an incredible amount of time and energy into making sure the community gets vaccinated,” says Green.
As the pandemic unfolded, nurses at Upper Allegheny were at the forefront of quickly developing a state-mandated plan to add COVID-19 bed capacity if the need arose. Green says the plan involved converting the hospital’s ambulatory surgery center into a COVID-only unit. Fortunately, the plan never needed to be implemented.
The Nursing Pharmacy Committee at Upper Allegheny is a testament to the strong interdisciplinary teamwork between the departments. The committee meets regularly to discuss topics that impact both groups, such as computer systems and new medications. The collaboration is central to improving processes and ensuring patient safety. The committee discusses issues as a group and shares important information with the nursing and pharmacy departments to ensure open communication.
While we’re grateful for nursing caregivers year-round, National Nurses Month is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on nurses’ compassion and dedication to patient care. CompleteRx thanks and salutes nurses for their resilience and tireless dedication to serving those in need.