Questioning Attitude, Commitment to Patient Safety Drives Navy Nurse
A U.S. Navy Nurse’s knowledge, initiative and commitment to medical care recently placed her at the forefront of patient safety in Navy Medicine.
Navy Lieutenant Tamaran Stewart, a native of Paris, Texas and a Perioperative Nurse serving aboard Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point, recognized a patient safety issue during her daily duties in late 2020. Over a period of weeks, she pursued its resolution and equipped other Navy and Marine medical facilities to understand and solve the problem.
“There was a patient safety concern that affected our surgical capabilities. It was identified, my team and I investigated the reasons it was happening and we took immediate steps in order to provide the highest quality of care to clinic patients,” said Stewart.
The issue, a variance in water hardness, caused no harm to any patients and was caught immediately by staff. Though seemingly minor, it remained at the forefront of Stewart’s mind as she sought advice from subject matter experts at numerous Navy and Marine bases. Her initial actions turned into a coordinated effort to ensure data, research and standards lined up accordingly.
“Evidence is key for nursing and in medicine. The evidence at the time showed there was an issue and my team and I compared it with our most up to date standards,” said Stewart. “Research then proceeded as we considered solutions to meet and exceed those standards for our surgical patients.”
Stewart’s findings were shared with other Navy and Marine medical centers to help them identify if they had a similar problem and equip them with a research-based solution to ensure patient safety in their facilities.
“It is nice to know that my actions assisted other commands and surgical patients across our country,” says Stewart about how she feels after spearheading the effort. “Patient Safety is at the forefront of being a Perioperative Nurse and I am proud that this will prevent surgical patient complications related to the issue.”
Leadership at Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point commended Stewart for her efforts in March, 2021, presenting her with a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.
“Lieutenant Stewart’s willingness to question the experts led her to identify a problem and reach out across the Navy Medicine system to gain insight,” said Navy Captain Douglas Stephens, Commander of Naval Health Clinic Cherry Point. “It took her a tremendous amount of effort to develop a solution and equip other health centers with the knowledge she gained. For that we are extremely proud of her.”