Nurses Engineer Improved Patient Care

Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing faculty and area nurses participated in a MakerNurse DIY (Do It Yourself) workshop designed to spark ingenuity and improve patient care outcomes. “All nurses are creative,” said Amanda Pierce-Anaya, DNP, RN, assistant professor and director of simulation at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) El Paso Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing (GGHSON). “But some don’t realize how they can contribute their thoughts and ideas to enhance their health care team.”

CarRemoteNursing faculty who attended the MakerNurse session held at the GGHSON created prototypes using digital devices and various household items that could be used in a patient care setting. One group focused on attaching parts from a child’s remote control car to a toilet seat in order to assist with lifting the lid. “Participants realized that by utilizing open communication in relation to patient care, they can all contribute new thoughts and ideas regardless of their years of experience,” said Irene Lugo, DNP, RN, assistant professor and program director at the TTUHSC El Paso GGHSON.

ToiletAccording the their website, MIT lecturers and MakerNurse co-founders Jose Gomez-Marquez and Anna Young understood that nurses are positioned to spot suboptimal technology and design breakthrough solutions to improve care. The website states, “We are not focused on re-creating, fabricating, or finishing an idea for the health care community. We care about empowering others to create.”

A MakerNurse cart complete with a sewing machine, bike pump, Legos, batteries, tape, tubing, and other items, was gifted to the GGHSON so nurses can tinker with materials and collaborate to make health hardware for their patients. “We look forward to our students and nurses sharing their experiences and utilizing ideas to create solutions,” said Lugo.