National Nurses Week: Honoring Jane Stuckey

Jane Stuckey clinical expert

May 9, 2014  |  Delia Caldwell

Jane Stuckey RN, BSN, MS, FACHE has wanted to be a nurse since working as a Candystriper in high school.

After nearly 35 years of practice, with 25 in senior leadership roles, she came to FreemanWhite from Henry Medical Center where she was the COO. Jane continues to work as a clinical and strategic expert for FreemanWhite and as a volunteer with several community health programs including the Good Shepherd Clinic in Dawson County, Georgia.

Jane enjoys mentoring other nurses in their career choices. “Nursing is still a great career. You can be a nurse on a design team, or in patient care.  You can be in information systems, or insurance. There are many different types of opportunities for nurses.”  In fact, only 3 out of 5 nurses work in hospitals.

One of her most memorable experiences working as a nurse took place in 1992 with Hurricane Andrew that left more than one-quarter million Florida residents homeless. Jane led the first relief team, consisting of herself and 6 members of the hospital staff in an RV, into Florida City, Florida.  For three weeks in 103 degree heat with no running water or electricity, she worked with government and military leaders as the communication lead to medical personnel.  Her experience during this natural disaster led to a role working with the governor on Florida’s first statewide disaster relief plan. Even today, Jane volunteers with several disaster relief organizations in her home state of Georgia.

Her experiences are great examples of the leadership and influence that nurses bring to healthcare.

Although we recognize exceptional and dedicated nurses during National Nurses Week, Jane offers several suggestions for how we can show our appreciation for nurses every day.  As architects, our design of spaces for nursing staff can demonstrate our respect for their ever-challenging jobs.

1)      Provide break areas close to work areas.  As patients are increasingly sicker and time is squeezed, staff often don’t have time to leave the floor for coffee or lunch breaks.

2)      Make supplies easily accessible.  As the average nurse age continues to rise, shorter walking distances make their jobs easier.

3)      Reduce bending and stretching. Placing electrical outlets at standing height means nurses don’t have to bend over, and considering the height of built-in case work means most nurses will be able to see and reach into all cabinets.

4)      Consider the staff experience. Providing a quiet and bright working environment can help reduce fatigue and potential medical errors.

5)      Involve nurses in the design process.  They have superior insight on how a department operates, and often, new ideas that could help improve its functionality.

Hospitals today frequently ask nursing staff to continue to do more with fewer resources. At FreemanWhite, our approach integrates input from our nurse experts into our architectural solutions to help balance cost and quality of care in these challenging times.

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