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Dana Barnes, RN, director of nursing at Iris Memory Care, left; and Jessie Motsinger, marketing director, understand the complex world of the individual needing memory care.

by James Coburn, Staff Writer

Small is important for Iris Memory Care, located in Edmond.
“We feel that those living with Alzheimer’s and dementia, as research has shown, do better in a small environment with a lower staff to resident ratio,” said Jessie Motsinger, marketing director.
Iris Memory Care opened in October, and is assisted living that specializes in the care of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia such as cognitive impairment which someone might face after a stroke.
Iris Memory Care is designed to offer a home environment as opposed to an apartment style assisted living. The two buildings house up to 20 residents each.
“We built our communities to have very open floor plans,” Motsinger said. “So it’s very easy for the residents to see where they need to go. And also for those that need to wander and walk, it’s easy for them to do so while making sure the staff can still keep an eye on them.”
Residents may wander freely, even as their dementia becomes quite advanced, Motsinger said. Iris Memory Care does everything it can from its physical environment to its types of care strategies to make sure everything possible is being provide to manage dementia within its two buildings. Two care environments are offered. The newest of the buildings is for higher functioning adults. They are more likely to carry on conversations and develop friendships, Motsinger said. There might be more energetic activities that are more cognitive challenging, versus those who are in the more advanced stages of disease who need more focused attention, Motsinger continued.
“They need more activities geared toward just stimulation,” she said. They are provided with opportunities like message or even someone sitting and speaking with them, even if they do not talk back, Motsinger said.
“We also do a lot of things; we utilize aroma therapy, pet therapy. We use music a lot, we use different types of music at different times of the day with softer music in the evenings,” Motsinger said.
Iris Memory Care also utilizes an activities program called iCan, a program that has been developed from the experience of the CEO who has been providing memory care for 35 years.
“Our activities range from getting people up every couple of hours and doing stretches, walking, and also making sure they are moving as much as they can.” Motsinger said. Creative activities are offered such as Bingo. But instead of hearing a number, the residents hear a song. Residents enjoy using their brains that way. There are sing along sessions.
Monthly education seminars are offered on the campus so that primary caregivers may have support groups.
“We host once a month educational topics for someone caring with dementia,” Motsinger said. “So we’ve had estate planning discussion, caregiver burnout and how you can prevent falls and fractures.”
Dana Barnes, RN, director of nurses and wellness, has worked in multiple care environments since graduating from Wichita State University in 2003. She said nursing offers opportunities to learn about many aspects of life.
“When I was in nursing school, they kept giving me the elderly,” Barnes said. “I went to my teacher and said you keep doing this to me,” Barnes recalled.
At that time, she wanted young and active patients. But she was told she works well with the elderly. She understands and takes her time. Barnes didn’t think so at the time.
“I just keep gravitating back,” she said. “I’ve done dialysis, and a lot of the population on dialysis is older. Barnes found she loves making an impact on the lives of older adults. She loves listening to their stories.
“They just like to talk,” she said. “I’m somebody who actually likes to listen to what they have to say. We don’t shove them in a corner and say, ‘Read this. I don’t have time for you.’ They want to be treated like the human beings that they are.”
Barnes is one who regularly stays in contact with family members. In fact, families from other communities where she has worked will drop by Iris Memory Care to seek her advice and counsel. They also let her know when someone has passed so they may attend the funeral.
She is free with her hugs and enjoys sitting with the residents to get to know them individually.
“Once they can’t speak for themselves, she still tries to figure out what’s going on with them.” Motsinger said. “And how we can reach them, and share that with our staff.”
She meets them where they are in life.

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Rebecca Pasternik-Ikard, Chief Executive Officer - Oklahoma Health Care Authority and recently named as “Great 100 Nurses” for 2017.

Jo Stainsby, OHCA Public Information Director

Three registered nurses employed by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority (OHCA), including the agency’s Chief Executive Officer, were recently named as “Great 100 Nurses” for 2017 in Oklahoma.
Rebecca Pasternik-Ikard, Carolyn Reconnu-Shoffner and Maria Gutierrez were selected for the honor.
Pasternik-Ikard has been CEO of the OHCA, Oklahoma’s Medicaid agency, since Oct. 4, 2016. She has been with the agency for more than 20 years. She has a Juris Doctorate, a Master of Science and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the OU College of Nursing. She has a background in burn nursing, as well as injury epidemiology.
Pasternik-Ikard also served OHCA as the State Medicaid Director. As CEO, she retained the State Medicaid Director title and performs many of the duties of that position.
Reconnu-Shoffner is the agency’s Assistant Director of Population Care Management (PCM). A graduate of Thiel College in Greenville, Penn., with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, she gained her clinical experience in orthopedic/neurosurgery/trauma at Prince George’s Hospital Center in Cheverly, Maryland, and Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. Reconnu-Shoffner has been in the Case Management field for 27 years earning Certified Case Manager status in 1996. Her case management experience has been in the worker’s compensation, commercial group health and Medicaid arenas.
An employee of OHCA for more than 13 years, she has worked as a Case Management Supervisor, manager of the Health Management Program, and in her current Assistant Director role.
“The nursing profession has provided me and future nurses with so many different career paths in which to make a difference. Being in service to others is important to me so I love knowing that our work contributes to improvement in the lives of others,” Reconnu-Shoffner said.
Gutierrez, a 16-year employee of OHCA, began at the agency as an Exceptional Needs Coordinator and has worked her way up to PCM RN Supervisor. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Oklahoma City University. Before coming to OHCA, Gutierrez worked at Integris Baptist Medical hospital for 15 years as an organ transplant nurse and five years at City-County Health Department as a Children First nurse in the Home Visitation Program.
“In a nursing position, you have the opportunity to work with a variety of patients from the young to the elder patients,” Gutierrez said. “Nurses have to have knowledge of working with diverse populations and have the patience to deliver nursing care without judgments.”
According to their website, the Great 100 Nurses Foundation was founded by PK Scheerle, RN, in New Orleans 31 years ago. Since its founding, the Great 100 Celebrations have honored thousands of nurses across Louisiana, North Carolina, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
“These exemplary Nurses are selected based on their concern for humanity, their contributions to the profession of Nursing, and their mentoring of others. It is a great honor in the life of the Nurse to be selected as a Great 100 Honoree and our Foundation helps each RN recognize themselves as Nurse Heroes,” the website reads. “While I’m humbled to be named a Great 100 Nurse, I’m honored to be working alongside employees such as Carolyn and Maria,” said CEO Pasternik-Ikard. “They are two excellent examples of the compassionate, dedicated and caring individuals who make up the Oklahoma Health Care Authority.”
The top nurses will be recognized during an award celebration in Tulsa on September 25.

LPN – ON-CALL: 5:00pm-8:30am, Mon-Thurs
Apply in Person at 7705 S. Walker Ave, OKC, OK 73139 or call (405) 789-2913

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ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, FAAN.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is outraged that a registered nurse was handcuffed and arrested by a police officer for following her hospital’s policy and the law, and is calling for the Salt Lake City Police Department to conduct a full investigation, make amends to the nurse, and take action to prevent future abuses.
The incident occurred July 26 at University Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah and video footage of the incident was recently released. Registered nurse Alex Wubbels was arrested after refusing to draw blood from an unconscious patient who had been injured in a collision and was a patient on the burn unit.
According to the video, Nurse Wubbels shared details about the hospital’s policy with the police officers and consulted her supervisors in responding to the detective’s request. Wubbels cited the hospital’s policy, stating that blood could not be taken from an unconscious patient unless the patient is under arrest, a warrant had been issued for the blood draw, or the patient consents. The police officers stated that they had implied consent to get the blood sample and they believed that the hospital’s policy contravened their duty to enforce the law. However, “implied consent” has not been Utah law for more than a decade. Additionally, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2016 that warrantless blood tests go against privacy interests and public safety and therefore are not allowed.
“It is outrageous and unacceptable that a nurse should be treated in this way for following her professional duty to advocate on behalf of the patient as well as following the policies of her employer and the law,” said ANA President Pam Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.
According to the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements, “the nurse promotes, advocates for, and protects the rights, health, and safety of the patient.”
Unfortunately, nurses often are victims of violence on the job. In 2015, ANA adopted a policy of “zero tolerance” for workplace violence and called on nurses and their employers to work together to prevent and reduce the incidence of workplace violence.
“Nurses and police officers work collaboratively in many communities,” said Cipriano. “What occurred is simply outrageous and unacceptable. Nurse Wubbels did everything right. It is imperative that law enforcement and nursing professionals respect each other and resolve conflicts through dialogue and due process.”

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Kramer School of Nursing at Oklahoma City University.

The Kramer School of Nursing at Oklahoma City University was awarded full accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) in August.
The school was visited by a team of six peer review colleagues from ACEN in March to review the BSN, RN-BSN, MSN, and Clinical Doctorate programs for renewal of national accreditation.
The review process includes three steps:
* An onsite three-day visit to the campus and extended sites
* Evaluation of the site review team’s report by the ACEN Review Panel
* Review of materials by the ACEN Board of Commissioners, who make the final decision.
The accreditation was renewed for eight years, the maximum extension allowed, with the next visit for these programs set for the spring of 2025.
ACEN, based in Atlanta, is the oldest nursing education accreditor.

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With her nursing philosophy expanding into everything she does, Kellie Carter has adjusted her profession to fill an ever-growing family, now with six children, including four she and her husband have adopted.


by Traci Chapman – staff writer/photographer

For Kellie Carter, the life of service that is nursing goes far beyond work – it’s an outlook that touches everything she does.
That outlook began early on, Carter said, when she was a child who wanted to do things to help the people around her, to help ease even the minor pain she might see.
“I knew from the time I was in kindergarten that I wanted to be a nurse,” she said. “It’s funny because for a lot of kids their goal or dream will change, but mine never did – and I’ve never, ever wanted to do anything else.”
First, though, Carter started as a scrub tech. Working in surgery and labor and delivery for five years at Edmond Medical Center was “a dream,” she said – a chance to learn things beyond anything she’d known before, while also focusing on classes at Oklahoma City Community College that would allow her to fulfill her ultimate goal of becoming an RN.
She did that, spending a time honing her skills in places like Mercy Hospital, Integris Canadian Valley Hospital and OU Edmond, as well as working as a pediatric case manager at Preferred Pediatric.
But, then, fate intervened with her plans, she said. Married for 14 years, Carter and her husband had two biological children but then learned about fostering from a couple at their church. After adopting their youngest from Ethiopia, the couple decided to see if they could provide what foster children might need – it worked out so well they just last week completed the adoption of their last three children, three small boys.
“It’s such an amazing experience, such an honor, it’s just so many things, and of course having six children changes everything,” Carter said. “While I obviously use my nursing in every aspect of our lives, it was clear I needed to make a change in how I worked in the field – at least for now.”
That change came about last November, when Carter joined Family Health Care and Minor ER. A nurse practitioner clinic with locations in Yukon and Warr Acres, Family Health offered a mom with a newly expanded family a chance to continue the work she loved with hours more compatible with her new obligations, she said.
“They are really good to work with, they are a great team,” Carter said. “It’s a good place to work, and it gives you a lot of positives.”
Family Health has a different philosophy than many other clinics, still accepting SoonerCare patients when many facilities have stopped. That is a mindset that appeals to Carter, she said – the fact the clinic’s owners have the kind of priorities she always has lived by.
“It’s putting patients and care before dollars, and that’s what we’re supposed to be all about,” Carter said.
Among those are the chance to get to know patients who come back to the clinic on a regular basis – bringing their families with them, Carter said. It was a change from the hospital settings she knew so well, where contact was generally limited to just a few days.
“I really like that because we get to know them and they get to know us – we know about what’s going on in their lives and with their families,” she said. “It’s just such a nice atmosphere.
“We do a little bit of everything at the clinic, from rooming patients, taking their history, doing lab draws, giving vaccines and a variety of educational opportunities to help them stay in the best of health,” Carter said.
Another plus to Family Health is their work helping developmentally disabled adults, Carter said. Treating the most vulnerable of patients is both a challenge and a gift, she said.
“Our nurse practitioners are so wonderful, so patient and so kind, particularly with these patients, and it’s a great experience to be able to be a part of that,” she said. “We are very lucky that is a part of what we do.”
As her children begin attending Mustang Public Schools, Carter will also be performing a “side job” there at times, as she begins as a substitute nurse for the district, she said. It’s just another opportunity for Carter to do what she loves and what she knows she was meant to do, she said.
“I love caring for people and building relationships, getting to know people and knowing that I have maybe made their health or their day just a little bit better,” Carter said. “Being an RN has been very fulfilling in my life – there is always something out there to do in the nursing field and plenty of ladders to climb.”

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The Oklahoma City Area Chapter of AACN is offering a two-day CCRN/PCCN review course on the Norman Regional Health System Campus in the Jimerson Auditorium on September 18 and 19. AACN has approved 15.25 CEs to be awarded for this course. The speaker for this event is nationally acclaimed author, Nicole Kupchik.
Nicole Kupchik MN, RN, CCNS, CCRN, PCCN-CMC and Critical Care Specialist is featured speaker for this event. Kupchik obtained a BSN from Purdue University in 1993, and a MSN from the University of Washington in 2008. Kupchik is a nationally acclaimed author and is a registered nurse specializing in Critical Care for over 20 years. Kupchik currently works as a staff nurse at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, WA.
In 2013, Kupchik founded Nicole Kupchik Consulting and Education and teaches review courses nationally. Kupchik states, “I find passion in educating nurses and equipping them with the tools they need to not only be successful with these exams, but to also help create healthy and safe work environment.”
The OKC Chapter of AACN is offering an early bird special rate for the two-day event if you registered before September 8, $200 for AACN and $250 for non-members. After that date, registration will increase to $300. OKC Chapter of AACN President, Shawna Young, states, “We realize the importance of becoming nationally certified and are excited to offer this opportunity to acute and critical care nurses.” For further details and more information about registration, please go to the OKC AACN website: https://okcaacn.nursingnetwork.com

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What’s your nursing grossout? Integris Canadian Valley Hospital Women’s Clinic

I don’t really get grossed out but probably anything with eyes. Madisyn Storey, RN

Probably eyeballs. I don’t even like going to the optometrist. They’re squishy. Kacie Whiteside, LPN

Ears, because I worked in family care and heard stories about bugs crawling in. Sarah Storey, MA

Vomit. It just gets me. Please don’t. Maleah Edmonds, LPN

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What happens in Paris……….can come to America!!!


I have a friend who just returned from her first trip to Paris, France. It was a gift from her sister. She had reservations about going and up until the day she was leaving Oklahoma she wasn’t all that excited. She said, “Is the Eiffel Tower really that big of a deal?”
She was in Paris for four days. During those four days she made the following observations:
“There seemed to be so much love. I saw couples walking together, holding hands, kissing at times and appearing to really enjoy each other. People were walking and walking and walking but no one seemed to be in a rush.
When we ate a meal I noticed the tables were smaller, usually round, creating more intimacy when talking. Eye contact was so easy. Even if the restaurant or cafe was crowded and noisy my sister and I continued our conversation.
The plates were smaller, therefore the food portions significantly smaller. I remember thinking I will never get full on this small amount of food. But I did!! Parisians around us seemed to be so relaxed while dining. Eating small portions, some drinking wine, some not, smiling, laughing and talking to each other. I rarely saw an overweight person.
So what do you think I noticed almost immediately? No one had their phone in front of their face. No phones!!!! Where am I?? People were engaging with each other without the distraction of their phone. They noticed and seemed to enjoy what they were eating; they noticed and seemed to enjoy who they were talking to.”
OK so let me see if I get it. People were walking (ok so lets be fair, Paris is a walking city, Oklahoma City is not), they were not in a rush. Couples displaying love made you feel love. Meal time was intimate with closer contact, there was as much focus on communicating as on eating. You ate less because there was less food to eat. Meal time was not rushed. You were not stuffed.
No phones!!! What?? (That’s not to say no one in Paris gets their phone out during meal times, it just wasn’t observed). So it can be done…….dinner with no phones/lunch with no phones. Real connection with another person, eye contact, listening…….OK, I think I am getting it.
Oh, by the way she also added, “The Eiffel Tower really is magnificent!!

Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City

If you would like to send a question to Vicki, email us at news@okcnursingtimes.com

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Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientists Aaron Tipton, Ph.D., and Gary Gorbsky, Ph.D.

An Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientist has discovered the role of a specific protein in a cell division process called mitosis.
Mitosis occurs when a cell divides into two daughter cells, each with the same number of chromosomes as the original cell. Having the wrong number of chromosomes is a common cause of genetic disorders, birth defects and certain cancers.
OMRF researcher Aaron Tipton, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow in the laboratory of Gary Gorbsky, Ph.D., discovered that a protein called GTSE1 is critical to ensuring this process functions properly.
In the cells, chromosomes move along tracks known as microtubules, said Gorbsky. These tracks have to be there for the chromosome to split properly so that each new cell has the correct amount in place after it divides.
“The funny thing is, these tracks are not stable. They are constantly falling apart and rebuilding themselves. You’d think this would cause problems, but we’ve actually learned that this drives the healthy movement of the chromosomes and causes them to move through the cells properly,” said Gorbsky, who is chair of OMRF’s Cell Cycle and Cancer Biology Research Program and holds the W.H. and Betty Phelps Chair in Developmental Biology.
This dynamic process is essential during mitosis, but if it becomes too volatile or remains too stable, the cells malfunction. This can result in the wrong number of chromosomes in the new cells, and that can lead to disease. It turns out this GTSE1 protein regulates these tracks.
“We found that GTSE1 is crucial in controlling those tracks that are the most stable. It causes them to fall apart just at the right time, because it’s necessary for proper movement,” said Gorbsky. “When GTSE1 is absent, the tracks are too stable, and the cells are unable to properly separate their chromosomes.” Gorbsky’s lab currently focuses on understanding how this protein functions under normal circumstances, but he said this finding could have future relevance to better understanding certain cancers and chromosomal disorders.
“It’s not something we’ve look into yet, but we do know this protein participates in a pathway that is essential for normal cell division,” he said. “We know the pathway and segregation of chromosomes is abnormal in cancer cells, so now we’ve identified a potential way this pathway goes awry, so it’s a possibility to explore.”
OMRF researchers Jonathan Wren, Ph.D., John Daum and Joseph Siefert, Ph.D., contributed to the findings, which were published in the Journal of Cell Biology.
This research was funded by grants 5R01GM111731 and 5P20GM103636 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, HR12-177 from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST), 1F32 CA189450 from the National Cancer Institute, and support from the McCasland Foundation.

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SSM Health has been named one of 100 winners among Glassdoor’s annual Candidate’s Choice Awards, honoring the Best Places to Interview in 2017 according to those who know best—the candidates. Glassdoor, one of the world’s largest job sites, released its annual report highlighting the best places to interview, based on candidate feedback shared over the past year. In Oklahoma, St. Anthony Hospital, Bone and Joint Hospital at St. Anthony, St. Anthony Shawnee Hospital, and St. Anthony Physicians Group were included in the recognition as members of SSM Health.
Among all U.S. companies considered, SSM Health received an impressive overall interview experience rating of 83 percent, based on positive interview experience ratings, interview duration, and level of interview difficulty shared on Glassdoor throughout the past year. The rating puts SSM Health at No. 6 overall out of the 100 U.S. companies recognized by Glassdoor.
“We received an overwhelmingly positive response from our candidates on their interview experiences, which is the result of hundreds of quality daily interactions between our candidates, recruiters, hiring managers and staff,” said Thomas Ahr, System Vice President of Talent for SSM Health. “Our commitment to providing an exceptional candidate experience parallels our commitment to providing an exceptional patient experience and employee experience at SSM Health.”
Specific actions taken by SSM Health over the past year to enhance its interviewing and hiring practices include:
* actively collaborating with and listening to the needs of our internal and external customers;
* publically sharing and living up to “Our Promise to Candidates”
* launching a new interview program, “Hire for Fit,” to help create an exceptional candidate experience and support effective hiring;
* incorporating an interview self-scheduling tool for candidate convenience;
* expanding use of texting program, enabling the talent team to better communicate with candidates during the hiring process and with new hires for onboarding follow-up;
* offering online chat opportunities for applicants nationwide to interact with recruiters and hiring leaders in real time; and,
* providing job seekers in the communities we serve with tips for interviewing, resume advice and more to aid them in their job search at SSM Health or other employers.
“The interview process is the gateway experience that employers have with a candidate, and you only get one chance to make a great first impression. These employers stand out from the rest for offering a best in class candidate experience that is vital to turning quality candidates into amazing employees,” said Carmel Galvin, Glassdoor chief human resources officer. “I congratulate these employers for efficient, effective and innovative interviewing and hiring practices. It’s no easy task, but employers who get this right will have the recruiting and business advantage.”
Glassdoor’s 100 Best Places to Interview in 2017 list features winning employers across diverse industries spanning healthcare, business services, technology, retail, aerospace and defense and more. Candidates’ Choice Award winners for the 2017 Best Places to Interview are determined using Glassdoor’s proprietary algorithm, in which an employer’s overall interview experience rating is mostly taken into account, along with factors including interview difficulty rating and interview length (number of days for the interview process). At a minimum, employers for the U.S. list (those with 1,000 employees or more) must have received at least 50 Glassdoor-approved interview reviews, including at least 50 interview experience ratings, from U.S.-based employees between July 2, 2016 and July 1, 2017.