Avera Medical Minute: Magnet Recognition for Avera McKennan

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (DAKOTA NEWS NOW) - It's been six years since registered nurse Rachel Block walked through the doors at Avera McKennan Hospital to start her job. She loves what she does.

Avera McKennan Magnet designation

Showing compassion to each patient, while treating them medically go hand in hand. "The beautiful thing about nursing is it's an art and a science and I love both parts of that," said Block.

When Rachel found out Avera McKennan was given the 5th consecutive American Nurses Credentialing Center's Magnet Recognition, she wasn't surprised. "The morale is high...We have great teamwork, great leadership, and that really makes all the difference in our daily work," said Block.

Avera Chief Nursing Officer Lori Popkes says the nurses on the frontline are the reason behind the Magnet status.

"It is the highest designation that a healthcare organization can receive in regard to their nursing outcomes, performance, satisfaction," said Popkes.

Satisfied nurses mean a higher level of care, that directly relates to lower infection rates and fewer patient falls. "So that's why it really matters to patients and families because there is a difference," said Popkes.

Applying for Magnet status starts with a detailed application and documentation, followed by a visit by appraisers connecting one-on-one with nurses. "And they want to find out; is it really true? Is this a good place to work? Are you highly satisfied? Are you engaged? Those sorts of things," said Popkes.

A Magnet recognition even once is an honor, but five times in a row...unbelievable. "Less than 25 hospitals in the world have been designated as Magnet hospitals five consecutive times," said Popkes.

Nurses are connecting with patients and their families at one of the most vulnerable times in their lives."One of the most gratifying parts of the job is to wheel someone off-campus and know that you made a difference.," said Block.

Popkes says it's all about the nurses and what they do every hour of every day.

"I'm privileged to be part of an organization where we value that, we value our nurses, we welcome their input into our decisions, and we want them to love what they do and love where they do it," said Popkes.