Improving Workplace Satisfaction and Patient Care Through Staffing Response Teams

Ascension Seton nurse Oscar Leyva leads a briefing

Oscar Leyva, RN, is leading a briefing

An effective strategy to retain nurses at the bedside and improve job satisfaction is to improve the work environment. One way to do this is by reducing job-related stress, which can be caused by inadequate staffing levels and a perceived (or real) lack of support in the workplace.

Ascension Seton Medical Center Williamson has pioneered a new initiative called the Staffing Response Team (SRT), which helps improve patient care and the provider experience by providing an immediate, but short-term, influx of helping hands to the staff nurse or unit requesting the assistance.

The SRT is an adaptation of the Critical Response Team (CRT), also known as Rapid Response Team. A CRT is designed to bring clinical expertise to the bedside if a staff member notes a concerning change in patient condition that warrants additional assessment or support. Likewise, an SRT is an immediate response to a potential decrease in quality of patient care because of an increased workload caused by an urgent staffing issue or a flow issue that cannot be resolved with the available resources on that unit.

When a nurse or other clinician initiates an SRT, the charge nurse on every unit is expected to identify and send available staff to the unit requesting assistance. The influx of helping hands not only gives the nurse or unit requesting the assistance tangible proof that they are being supported, but also ensures that patient care is not compromised.

“The SRT is a great example of evidence-based practice. It’s a creative way to help each other and utilize the resources that we do have available to us.” – Oscar Leyva, RN, BSN, Ascension Seton Williamson

Oscar Leyva, RN, BSN, an ICU nurse at Ascension Seton Williamson established the SRT program at Ascension Seton Williamson as a graduate school project after reading about a similar program in another hospital. Planning for the project began in 2016 and it was officially launched in early 2017. Since that time, Oscar has led several successful SRT drills at Ascension Seton Williamson. When Senior Nursing Director Richard Easterling learned about the SRT project, he brought the initiative to Ascension Seton Northwest Hospital. In the past few months, Ascension Seton Northwest has already initiated seven SRTs, all-well received, according to the REDcap tool that Oscar created to collect data on provider’s experience.

ClinicalNon ClinicalLicensed Personnel
Transporting PatientsClerical DutiesMedication Administration
AccuchecksAnswering PhonesIV Starts
Turning PatientsAnswering Call BellsLab Draws
Ambulating PatientsFacilitating Patient FlowMedication Reconciliation
Helping Patients to the restroomEmotional SupportAdmission History
Hygiene AssistanceMaking Coffee