By Johnese Spisso, MPA
President, UCLA Health
CEO, UCLA Hospital System
Associate Vice Chancellor, UCLA Health Sciences
At UCLA Health, nurses are the heart of everything we do in patient care. They are often the first to engage with patients about their concerns and they help to build a mutually trusting and respectful relationship between the patient and care team to best meet the patient’s physical and emotional needs. The highly impactful nurse-patient relationships that are an essential part of care at UCLA Health, assures that we provide patients and families with outstanding care, compassion and kindness.
At the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic, we dedicated our efforts to developing new initiatives to provide nurses with much-needed support for their physical and mental well-being. In partnership with the Nursing Professional Governance groups, which enable our nurses to contribute collaboratively as decision-makers, we aimed to build resilience foster wellness and help nurses continue to excel in developing trusting relationships with patients and the community.
Our success centered on improving the health and safety of the work environment. As a first step, we convened a committee dedicated to workplace safety and launched the A Safer U Toolkit. The toolkit is a collection of resources, training, and guides to help UCLA Health employees feel better equipped to safely complete their work each day. These resources can be utilized with patients and/or visitors during challenging situations. A Safer U is an ever-evolving initiative that will continue to develop new protocols for UCLA Health staff into 2023 and beyond.
In the coming year, through a sustained commitment to workforce strategies, we will continue to build a safe work environment that is both stable and supportive for our nurses. Nurses’ ideas and feedback will continue to be important in informing the future strategic direction of our health system.
Our nurses are invaluable and integral to the UCLA Health vision to heal humankind, one patient at a time, by improving health, alleviating suffering, and delivering acts of kindness. On behalf of everyone at UCLA Health, we send a thank you to our nearly 4,000 nurses at UCLA Health for your dedication to nursing excellence, collaboration and teamwork, and endless compassion. I am grateful for you and all that you do for our patients, our community and each other.