Christine recognizes the vital importance of teamwork between ICU nurses and physicians in order to ensure patient safety. During the Covid-19 pandemic, there was an uptick in turnover in her unit, and Christine saw that there was a gap in skills among new hires. So she developed a new safety course, which she then taught to everyone—both new hires and veterans, nurses and physicians alike. The course resulted in a decrease in hospital acquired infection rates. It was so successful that she now teaches this course to all new ICU nurses in the entire institution. 

Working across disciplines is not always easy. Christine changed her unit’s culture by coming up with a program called the buddy system, in which each resident physician is paired with a nurse, in a partnership that lasts all three years of the residency. The pairs build friendships that make communication easier and more open: The residents can ask their nurse buddy questions without feeling funny about it. This has led to better patient outcomes and better working relationships. 

Christine is always looking for these opportunities for collaboration: She established a new standard procedure for central line placement to ensure that the field remains sterile. It requires one nurse and one physician, working together. She also developed a two-nurse procedure for central line dressing change, along with a chance to win “best dressed” central line each week. Christine’s creative initiatives have decreased central line infections, a huge win for patient safety.