At left, Mary Cote and Ruth Jones, off-shift medical educator; at center, Jasmin Pham creates an educational video about the correct application and exposure of the insulin pen needle used in the outpatient setting; at right, Mary Cote and Deborah Reynolds, nurse-in-charge of Shapiro 7 EW, test a backup pacemaker. 

On a recent overnight on Braunwald Tower 10A, Claire Collett, BSN, RN, had a patient receiving a medication she doesn’t commonly administer. Her first phone call? The off-shift educator, Jasmin Pham, MSN, RN, PCCN, who came to the bedside to support her.

“I feel passionately that the night educator role is one of the most useful resources available to night shift staff,” said Collett. “Uncommon interventions and medications can still – and often – occur at night, and it makes me feel more comfortable knowing there is an educator scheduled at night.”

Jasmin Pham, MSN, RN, PCCN, and Mary Cote, MSN, RN, PCCN, began in the newly created roles of off-shift educators for the Cardiac and Surgical Intermediate Care division in September 2020, supporting nurses working overnight with a variety of topics and issues. Since then, Linda Walsh, MSN, RN, has also joined the division’s off-shift educator team. There are also off-shift educators who support Medicine, Oncology and the Float Pool.

“There were a lot of newly licensed nurses on the night shift when we started,” Cote said. “They need more support in the moment at the bedside as they come upon a dilemma. And senior staff also expressed that they were grateful to have this position and education at night.”

Off-shift educators are on hand to answer questions about a patient’s diagnosis or treatment, the plan of care, Epic documentation, cardiac monitoring, behavioral management, medication and other topics.

“We’ve helped nurses with skills, procedures, patient care consultations, finding policies and learning about materials updates,” said Pham.

Pham and Cote sought to document the impact the role could have for staff working these shifts in their division. Of staff who completed a survey, 98 percent said they considered the educators to be a resource on the off-shift. They presented on the role and their findings during Karsh Scholars Day in the spring.

Jaimie Medina, BSN, RN, of Braunwald Tower 10CD, doesn’t typically work at night, but she recalled an evening shift she had picked up last year.

“We had a patient who was bleeding from the tracheostomy site and required a rapid response,” she said. “Thankfully, Jasmin was on the floor and able to step in and help us. She was incredible and confident managing the tracheostomy.”

In addition to offering support at the bedside, the educators also offer inservices, such as setting up a room for practice on Zoll defibrillators and cervical collars, as well as providing education about the new call bell system.

“I think it’s hard to capture the value of this role,” said Cote. “We have new nurses who may be just off orientation and really need that support at the bedside to grow in their practice and become more confident.”

Cote recalled one nurse who was worried that she wouldn’t be able to complete orientation. Cote met with her regularly, discussed her patients’ needs and supported her as she gained confidence in her skills.

“Now I see her taking care of very sick patients,” said Cote. “I know this role is extremely useful to nurses and helps to improve patient care.”

Collett emphasized her appreciation for the off-shift educator team.

“They are phenomenal,” she said. “They’re cooperative, professional, and communicative. They often round to check in on newer staff, which has been immensely appreciated on my floor.”

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