The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) today presented Audrey Lyndon, RNC, MS, CNS with the Novice Researcher Award.  The Award will support her research into nurses' and other health care providers' sense of their collective role in preventing harm to patients in perinatal health care settings.  The Award was presented at AWHONN's annual convention.

Lyndon is a doctoral student and Betty Irene Moore Fellow in the Department of Family Health Care Nursing at the University of California School of Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco.  Her study is in part a response to growing concerns about patient safety, in particular following a 2000 Institute of Medicine estimate that as many as 98,000 deaths occur in the United States as the result of errors in care.  A 2004 report released by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) found that communication problems contributed significantly to such errors.

Her study, Collective Agency for Safety Amongst Perinatal Nurses, Physicians and Midwives, will help to:

  1. Develop an understanding of perinatal nurses' experiences of keeping patients safe and of the factors that affect their awareness of the nature and urgency of evolving clinical problems and their willingness to intervene to develop a response to such problems.
  2. Identify the characteristics that are common to health care providers who are effective at voicing their concerns when they identify problems and how they differ from the common characteristics of health care providers who are either not effective at or uncomfortable with voicing concerns.
  3. Develop recommendations for making patient safety a key focus in perinatal units so that all perinatal health care providers feel an individual and collective responsibility for ensuring safety and resolving issues that threaten patient safety.

New this year, the Novice Researcher Award is made possible through generous donations to AWHONN's HealthFunds program.  It is intended to assist new researchers to begin areas of study, investigate clinical issues and/or launch a pilot study.

A leader among the nation's nursing associations, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) serves and represents more than 22,000 health care professionals in the U.S., Canada and abroad.  AWHONN members are committed to delivering superior health care to women and newborns in hospitals, in home health and ambulatory care settings.  AWHONN members' rich diversity of skills and experience make AWHONN the voice for women's health and neonatal nursing.  AWHONN received a 2005 Associations Advance America Award from the American Society of Association Executives for Promoting Health Among Hispanic Women through Toda Mujer, a Spanish language publication distributed free of charge to over 500,000 women through their nurses.


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