The American Society of Professionals in Patient Safety (ASPPS) is a membership program for professionals
and others interested in patient safety. This is part of a series of member profiles.
by Joanna Carmona
Shelley Castellino, BSN, RN, Providence Regional Medical Center, Colby Campus
Tell us why you chose to get into the field of nursing.
“I used to ride horses all the time and on one particular day when I was 22, my horse and I had an argument. He jumped and I was thrown 30 feet up into the air. When the ambulance arrived, I was in a coma. I came out of it nine days later, but was completely paralyzed, and so I thought my life was over. In the hospital, the nurses were fabulous and their positivity was so important to my recovery. Because of that, I wanted to be a nurse and facilitate patients' healing.”
What brought you to join the ASPPS?
“When I saw what the ASPPS does for patient safety, it really spoke to me. ASPPS allows people to become proactively involved in patient safety. This is necessary as we have a medical system that results in too many medical errors. I feel membership is the first step towards involvement and making a difference for reducing their occurrence. Through patient safety involvement we provide better outcomes for our patients, which, I believe, in turn improves our job satisfaction.”
In your opinion, how do you move forward to promote a culture of safety?
“Awareness promotes safety. Awareness of your own self, of your actions, as well as an awareness of the patient, and their response to care matters. As a nurse, I feel that if the staff doesn’t take care of themselves, along with the support of hospital management, we will not have the where-with-all to take care of our patients. I love being part of a team culture where I can stand up and say, I don’t understand or I need help and receive the assistance that I need so I can support my patients.”
What is an example of something you (or anyone) can do to keep safety standards high?
Listen to the patient. Every body is different. You have to listen because a patient is an expert in his or her own body. If a patient is telling you something is off, perk up your ears and poke around to see if you can find out what the problem may be.
Take care of yourself. If you are well rested and alert, you can be your best possible self and the best possible nurse for your patients.”
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Joanna Carmona is communications coordinator at the National Patient Safety Foundation. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.