Monthly Archives: November 2014

Implementing Evidence-Based Medication Safety Interventions on a Progressive Care Unit

Durham Tech’s Tyeasha Williams recently coauthored an article in the November edition of the American Journal of Nursing entitled “Implementing Evidence-Based Medication Safety Interventions on a Progressive Care Unit.” Williams is a part-time clinical faculty member in the ADN program and a staff nurse at Duke University Medical Center.

Below is an overview of the article:

While preparing medications in complex health care environments, nurses are frequently distracted or interrupted, which can lead to medication errors that may adversely affect patient outcomes. This pilot quality improvement project, which took place in a 32-bed surgical progressive care unit in an academic medical center, implemented five medication safety interventions designed to decrease distractions and interruptions during medication preparation: nursing staff education, use of a medication safety vest, delineation of a no-interruption zone, signage, and a card instructing nurses how to respond to interruptions. Four types of distractions and interruptions decreased significantly between the two-month preimplementation and two-month postimplementation periods: those caused by a physician, NP, or physician assistant; those caused by other personnel; phone calls and pages placed or received by the nurse during medication administration; and conversation unrelated to medication administration that involved the nurse or loud nearby conversation that distracted the nurse. The total number of reported adverse drug events also decreased from 10 to four, or by 60%. Thus, medication safety interventions may help decrease distractions and interruptions in high-acuity settings.

If you would like a pdf of the entire article, email Amy Madison (

Fiction in a flash

Congratulations to the winners of the Final Draft’s flash fiction contest!

  • First place: Caitlin Morgan
  • Second place: Emily Hamrick
  • Third place: Rabia Abbasi

Special thanks to our judges, Zelda Lockhart and Tom Beveridge. The winners received Amazon gift cards and their stories will be published in the 2014-2015 edition of The Final Draft.

Artists and writers: Please submit your work to by December 1! Look for more art and writing contests in the coming months.

Cantwell selected as semi-finalist for teaching award

Congratulations to Kerry Cantwell! She has been selected as a semi-finalist for the 2015 North Carolina Community College System Excellence in Teaching Award. Cantwell will be interviewed this Thursday by a committee that will whittle the 10 semi-finalists down to five finalists. The finalists will be interviewed again by a more select panel of judges that will then select the winner. The winner gets $8000 personal prize money and $2000 for the school.

Good luck, Kerry!

Durham Tech students FIT in at Cisco

On October 8, four Durham Tech students – Sara Wehust, Wendy Jones, Ann Roy, and Linda Johnson (from left to right) – attended You FIT@Cisco, an invitation-only event at Cisco’s RTP campus to promote Females in Technology (FIT). The day-long program highlighted careers and opportunities for women currently enrolled in computer science, software engineering, networking, data or business analytics, project management, or other technical fields at colleges and universities across North Carolina.

The four students participated in a campus tour, resume review, speed mentoring session, an inclusion and diversity presentation, as well as breakfast and lunch.

According to Roy, “You FIT@Cisco was fantastic. There were approximately 60 attendees from universities and colleges from ECU to UNC-Greensboro, as well as those in the Triangle. In the morning, we had several speakers, both men and women, who talked about their work at Cisco. They gave us a tour of their new state-of-the-art gym. We also experienced their conferencing system. It was as though people at the other site were in the room with us. It was amazing.

“After a nice lunch in the cafeteria, we broke into small groups and were able to talk to employees in more intimate sessions. We learned about the Employee Resource Groups such as Early Career or Women In Technology. These groups provide more focused information about Cisco and give employees a way to meet people they may not meet in their day-to-day world.”

Jones was also grateful for the opportunity: “The title of the invitation stated the event was to celebrate females in technology at Cisco. Just the title of the event excited me and gave me a great desire to attend. I’m majoring in network technology at Durham Tech, but have not been motivated about pursuing a job after graduation. After my day at Cisco, I learned that Cisco had a place for females like myself. One of the presentations made it very clear that age does not matter, what matters to Cisco is your skills and ability. As a result, I realized that I need to get as much as I can out of my training as I prepare myself for getting my CCNA certification. I will be ready for my internship in spring 2016, and I hope I’ll be one of the candidates chosen by Cisco.”

Wehust concurs, “Cisco was one of the best experiences I have ever had. Everything – from their amazing staff, speakers, and leaders, to their state-of-the-art facilities – was absolutely and unbelievably great! Cisco showed us so much and allowed us to ask questions and respond to the many topics we covered. I would feel so lucky to be a part of such an amazing company.”



Hands-on learning for CMA students

On October 29, Durham Tech hosted 37 9th graders from City of Medicine Academy (CMA). According to Melissa Ockert, dean of Health Technologies, “CMA students visit Durham Tech twice a year for hands-on learning experiences where they tour our labs, learn more about the programs we offer, and have the opportunity to practice skills with the faculty. We try to align the skills that they are performing with what they are learning in class. The students love to work in the simulation lab (pictured here) so we make sure all students have an opportunity to rotate through it. This week, students also worked with faculty from our ADN, PN, Opticianry, HIT, RT, and Pharm Tech programs.”