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July 22, 2013
Darryl Geddes 315 464-4828

Upstate’s a classroom for nurses from Samaritan Upstate

SYRACUSE, N.Y.— A handful of nurses from Samaritan spent some time this spring shadowing nurses in Upstate’s Neurosurgical Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to get additional training in a range of areas related to neurosurgery, said Catherine Stephens, nurse manager in Upstate’s neurosurgical ICU.

“A key area of our training was in the area of our neurological assessment,” Stephens said. “We shared our knowledge of how we test for cognition, alertness, motor ability and sensory ability, as well as some of issues related to post-operative care for patients.”

The nursing training provided by Upstate relates to the return of neurosurgical services to Samaritan. Lawrence Chin, M.D., professor and chair of Upstate’s Department of Neurosurgery, has played a key role in Upstate’s neurosurgical outreach into Watertown, so when nursing leaders sought additional training for Samaritan nurses, Upstate was the obvious choice.

“When we look for nurse experts in the region, especially individuals who can advise us on cutting-edge issues that relate to the latest in patient care, Upstate fills the bill,” said Barb Fargo, director of nursing at Samaritan. “It’s wonderful to have a resource like Upstate just 80 miles away.”

Samaritan is not the only area healthcare institution to seek out the expertise of Upstate’s nurses. Central Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and the Centers at St. Camillus have also sent clinical educators to meet with Upstate officials on issues related to nursing staff orientation.

“We’re delighted to serve as resource for providing additional training for nurses and others who work closely with nurses throughout our region,” said Katie Mooney, Upstate’s chief nursing officer, “but it’s really a two-way street, as we always learn a great deal, too, from these nurses.”

Caption: Upstate clinical trainer Kim Spinelli, R.N., C.N.R.N., talks with nurses from Samaritan Medical Center, from left, Jill Rice, R.N. (critical care clinical nurse specialist); Terri Schantz, R.N., and Lynn Aviste, R.N., during a training visit to Upstate University Hospital.

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