Reflections from St. James’s Hospital: Inspiring Insights from the Irish Perspective at the M4E Learning Collaborative in Oslo
By Sharon Slattery, Director of Nursing, St. James’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
With the sun shining the Irish Magnet4Europe (M4E) member hospitals came together in beautiful Oslo to share, learn and network in early June 2023 for the M4E Learning Collaborative Conference. Representatives from many European countries and the United States gathered to exchange their experiences in implementing Magnet Hospital’s principles in European hospitals in order to improve our hospitals work environment and patient outcomes. St James’s Hospital (SJH) was delighted to attend. I, as the Director of Nursing, was joined by Ms. Charlotte Stuart, Assistant Director of Nursing and Lead forM4E and Ms. Marian Broderick, M4E project coordinator. We were fortunate to have our M4E USA partners join us from Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Medical Center, Northwell Health. MS. Linda Vassallo Senior Director, Patient Care and Nhadelle Hilaire-Volpe, Magnet Program Director. It was great to regroup in person with likeminded healthcare leaders. SJH was partnered with our colleagues and friends from LIJ over 3 years ago and our collaborative working relationship continues to blossom as we carry on our M4E journey.
There was a fun start to the conference with a musical introduction from SaxArt. This set the scene for a conference that created a culture of creativity and engagement. On day 1, we were introduced to both familiar presenters and new speakers. The keynote address by Anners Lerdal set the tone for the day as he spoke about clinical sustainability and creating a fresh culture of changing “irritation to innovation”. These themes permeated throughout the day with our German colleagues providing us with an update on their national benchmarking initiative. This was followed by many updates from Irish, European, and American colleagues. There were intriguing presentations that held my attention throughout. Rachel from University of Limerick (UL) was the first Irish presenter at the conference and in true Magnet style; Rachel captured everyone’s attention and took each of us on UL’s transatlantic voyage of discovery.
After a day of presentations, the M4E experience did not finish as it led into an evening of networking and catching up with friends and colleagues from Ireland and abroad. The dulcet tones from the ever-talented Lovisenberg Choir had us all toe tapping and humming along during our meal that evening.
Day 2 started with an energetic update from Christine Pabico on “Making the right choice for your Hospital” and the momentum from this carried on into the rest of the day. Aine from Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital presented on how they have operationalised their Pathway for Excellence program. Day 2 themes resonated and have remained with me in creating professional pride for our team members, the importance of valuing and recognising by empowering, engaging and valuing colleagues remained a strong focus throughout the day.
Being presented with the strategic vision and provided with firm examples Day 2 themes resonated and have remained with me in creating professional pride for our team members, the importance of valuing and recognising by empowering, engaging and valuing colleagues remained a strong focus throughout the day. Being presented with the strategic vision and provided with firm examples on how to implement it whilst ongoing quality improvements projects strengthen our visions and for me it provided the perfect balance to Day 2’s collaborative sessions.
The conference throughout was engaging and intriguing with a host of speakers and presenters sharing with us their experiences and thoughts in progressing through this exciting M4E project. There is no doubt that similar to all projects there are challenges throughout. However, it became very apparent, very quickly that these are not solely from a single organisation but are experienced throughout Europe and America and the shared solutions lie within our collaboration.
I truly believe attending the conference in Oslo of May 2023 allowed the SJH team time and permission to reflect which in turn led to many light bulb moments. We also got to reflect on and acknowledge on “how far we have come and have achieved”. In true Magnet culture and style to acknowledge that, it is okay to say “very well done”. Embodied in the Magnet principles we as a group of Irish hospitals started this M4E journey as single hospitals however, we quickly realised the benefits of shared learning and the value of coming together, moving forward and supporting each other. SJH M4E forum throughout has had the support, mentorship, encouragement and friendship of Professor Jonathan Drennan and the University College Cork Research team. During the breakout session on Day 2 and through our individual engagements, the conference has strengthened this collaboration as we continue to move forward and sustain these positive partnerships.
A key element of the conference was learning from and chatting through the many posters that have travelled across the waters - 22 in total. There was a wide variety of topics covered with posters that were eye catching, highly informative and thought provoking.
If you are looking for a positive experience that truly recognises, appreciates and validates the sheer hard work we as healthcare workers undertake daily in striving to improve our patient experiences whilst at the same time improve our working environments put the date in your calendar for the M4E Learning Collaborative Conference 2024. This is such a worthwhile collaboration with Irish, European, and American colleagues and now friends.
Thank you M4E for this experience.