Kate Judge, the American Nurses Foundation Executive Director, discusses the ANA Well Being Initiat

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Molly McCarthy and Kate Judge discuss the ANA's longstanding work supporting the 4.2 million registered nurses in America. The Well Being Initiative is a multi-tiered approach to help nurses build resilience, take advantage of resources available to them, and utilize new technologies to survive this pandemic.

The Well Being Initiative 

COVID-19 Response Fund for Nurses 

 

Claire Bonaci 

The World Health Organization designated 2020 as the year of the nurse and midwife to raise awareness of nurses and midwives, significant and varied roles in health care. Today, we have guest host Molly McCarthy, talking with Kate Judge, Executive Director of the American Nurses foundation.

 

Molly McCarthy 

I'm Molly McCarthy. I'm the managing director for US providers and plans and chief nursing officer for Microsoft health. And with me today is Kate Judge from the American Nurses Association. Kate, welcome. And thank you so much for taking time out of your schedule today. I'd love for you to tell our audience a little bit about what you do for for ANA and the initiative we're going to be discussing today.

 

Kate Judge 

Oh, thanks, Molly, it's so good to be with you. So great to see you. As you said, I'm Kate Judge. I'm the executive director of the American Nurses Foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of the American Nurses Association. And there we do you know, a number of things to support America's nurses so that America's nurses can support everyone else. And we're going to talk a little bit today about some of the work we've been doing with you and others around supporting nurses in this pandemic.

 

Molly McCarthy 

Great. Well, thank you. I know, it's been a challenging year for all of us, and especially for our nurses, from the bedside to the boardroom, as I like to say, dealing with the COVID pandemic as well as just the complicated healthcare system in which we navigate around these days. Tell me a little bit about the well being initiative that was launched by the foundation earlier this year, and and what are your goals around for nurses, all the way from the bedside to the boardroom?

 

Kate Judge 

Well, I'm really excited to talk about the well being initiative. It is work that was in the pandemic, to support nurses because of the stress that we were seeing, and really what nurses were telling us themselves, about their experience at the bedside, in management in the boardroom, dealing with unprecedented stress and challenges to deliver the best care. And I will say it builds upon ANA's long work around supporting America's nurses and their health. You know, there are 4.2 million registered nurses in this country, that's about 1% of the entire population of the US is registered nurses. So we have a real interest at the foundation and ANA and helping them be healthy, because they're such a big part of our population, but also about all of us. I'm not a nurse, Molly as you know, but I a big fan and proponent of what nurses bring to the to the bedside into every conversation they're in. So our well being initiative is a multi tiered approach to help nurses build resilience, have the skills to survive this pandemic. And we've looked at how to make it as easy as possible for nurses to get support because they've told us 10s of thousands of nurses have told us in in surveys that we've we've asked, What are you experiencing and what do you need. And so based on that, and with a great group of advisors, and a number of nursing organizations, we're working with the critical care nurses, the perioperative nurses, the psych nurses, the emergency nurses coming together to create something that would be really usable, easy and easy to access for nurses.

 

Molly McCarthy 

Great. Yeah, I know. It's a true partnership across those organizations. And obviously Microsoft is happy to to support your efforts, especially in year of the nurse and midwife, although, you know, we look forward to working beyond this year. I know that when COVID hit one of the areas that Microsoft really invested in getting technology out quickly either through quite frankly, synchronous video visits through Microsoft Teams, but but also through the help health bot technology. And I know that this was something that interested Kate, you and your team over at the ANA both from a well being initiative perspective, but from a technology perspective. So I want to talk a little bit about the stress self assessment. And if you could tell us a little bit of history behind the bots. How it got to where it is today. I believe it launched back in August. And I'm really excited to hear some of the progress around what you've created.

 

Kate Judge 

Well, you know, we we had use of some technology we use some apps encourage nurses to go to to apps that helped them track their mood and be calm and have some one on one conversation. We created some virtual conversation groups, among nurses to nurses. So we were using technology, one of the things that we saw was was a need. And really where our partnership with Microsoft started around this need was how nurses see themselves on a spectrum to understand, you know, how serious is the stress and and that they're experiencing. And nurses told us that if they had something that they could quickly and easily use to help them, they would use that resource. And so working with your technology, and really your team, and our partners at the psych mental health nurses, we created a 10 question assessment. So it's super easy, super fast launched, as you said, in mid August, and what we've seen is that a great majority of people coming to our well being initiative, start with the assessment. And what this assessment does, is it it easy, simple questions, so that you kind of are made more more present to what you're experiencing. And then based on a three level high stress, mid stress, low stress, and then it sends you to very appropriate evidence based resources to use for nurses. And again, what we've found is that nurses are from the very beginning of the pandemic, still in this disaster. And so whatever you can do to provide them with tools that are easy, quick, fast, personal. And that's what this bot does. And we're really thrilled to see the pickup the interest. And then what we're also seeing is some some real time data on what are nurses experiencing, and how stressed are they.  I can report that that the news is not terrible, the majority are not coming in as as high stressed. And you know, we need to kind of walk them off the cliff, if you will, they're coming in kind of mid stress, which is consistent with what we've seen. But the most important thing is that then we give them some tools, and that's what the bot enables enables us to do is to very quickly send them to links that they can use themselves to, to promote their own well being.

 

Molly McCarthy 

Right. I think that's an important point. It's, to some extent, a triage tool, to to really uncover anonymously, how you know, how to change, you know, an assessment of their stress level? Tell me, do you know about how many just in terms of the data around it? Can you tell how many people have used it thus far? And I don't know if you have any of that data just yet. But that's something that if not today, we hope, you know, we look forward to sharing that out. Are you having you share that out?

 

Kate Judge 

Absolutely. Well, so far, we've had well over 1300 people nurses, yeah, and take the survey. And again, because it's so easy, and it is something that they want to know, they want to know more information about themselves. So I think it's just it's the perfect sort of tool. And then the next thing is to really look at what did they then utilize. So one of the things, Molly that I'll tell you is a real challenge is that nurses are so good at taking care of all the rest of us, but taking care of themselves. They're very selfless people. So part of the challenge is some self awareness and that's what the bot does. And then and then providing those resources and then really encouraging them to prioritize taking time really saying I matter and my well being matters and and that's something that I hope anyone who's watching this if you're a nurse, it is okay we are all stressed. And it's really important that you you take some time you acknowledge where you are because it's it's it How could you not be? And we all want you to get what you need and then if you're not if you're not a nurse and you're watching this you probably know some nurses and encourage them or when you are going in for your primary care or other other clinicals check in with people and say how are you and you know, I bet you this is really hard and I hope you're taking care of yourself.

 

Molly McCarthy 

Right those are all great tips Kate I think for for nurses for all clinicians. We like to call it at my house here this year we call it the corona coaster, just because so many ups and downs throughout the year and especially for our my colleagues who are on the frontlines I you know I keep in touch with so many folks nurses from around here as in close contact with some of the New York all the way to California. So it's really been a trying year for for everyone with COVID but you know beyond that with other circumstances so what a great resources.  I'm really happy to hear that it's getting so much use and we look forward to continuing to share it out as mental health week you know, kicks off. Tell me how can how can we help? How can people help the the foundation in terms of getting the word out about the well being initiative or otherwise support nurses right now.

 

Kate Judge 

Well, there's really three ways. One, going to the the website, looking at the resources, so nursing world.org backslash, the well being initiative. So absolutely going and taking advantage of that. supporting those around you that are in the healthcare world, your nurses are the largest providers in health care, but all healthcare people, all people on the front line people who are doing support services and in the hospitals and clinics, everyone is under tremendous pressure. So, you know, checking in and encouraging. And then part of this work that we're able to do is being funded by a special fund that is exactly for nurses. It's called the Coronavirus response fund for nurses, we were really one of the first to say there is going to be some need out there. We support them financially mental health advocating information so people can go on our website to at nursing world.org and contribute to that as well.

 

Molly McCarthy 

Great. Well, thank you so much for your time, Kate Judge from the American Nurses foundation. appreciate all your insights today and we will definitely share out the three tips on how to help nurses today and appreciate everything that you're doing for nurses in America. So thank you.

 

Kate Judge 

Thank you so much, Molly, and thank you Microsoft.

 

Claire Bonaci 

Thank you all for watching. And don't forget to check back soon for more content from the Microsoft health and life sciences industry team.

 

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