7 minutes with Nurses CSI

I  know Iolanda Núñez since our pre-school times. We have been classroom mates throughout primary education and during our high school years. I can then confirm that, from all the interviews in this blog, this is my oldest relationship. Iolanda is the head of the nursing team in one of the main hospitals in Barcelona. Together with her colleagues Núria Borrell and Angélica Aranda (together in the picture, taken before the pandemics), they lead Nurses CSI, a community founded by 15 nurses which represent a new way of understanding nursing and its social impact in a crucial time of our history.

1.How did you create Nurses CSI? What’s your purpose?
The idea came before the pandemics. It used to be a project we had in mind to put nurses into the spotlight. We launched our community right after the COVID crisis broke out, when there was a lack of nursing professionals, a huge health care pressure and talent drain. The scenario was a big chance for us to speak up, take the lead and grow. It also helped us to strengthen our statement: we are healthcare leaders. This is our purpose at Nurses CSI, as well as the global purpose of our profession.

2.How did COVID-19 impact and how is it still impacting in the evolution and definition of the challenges of the nursing community?
Pandemics brought our profession into the spotlight and society has re-discovered our role. We are the front row specialists, the ones who are side by side with our patients 24/7. This fact shows the current challenge: the need to increase the nurses ratio in hospitals (which means strengthening the operational side) to guarantee the quality health care everyone needs and deserves.

3.Your hashtag is “healthcare leaders” and your claim is “time to move together”. What are the natural talents of your role which should be overall adopted to build a better society?
If the truth be told, it took time to decide our hashtag. We were always thinking about what we wanted to be, but one day we decided to stop thinking about potentialities and focus on the present, on what we are, right here, right now. We all agreed we are healthcare leaders. Caring is a natural talent for everyone at the nursing community. As per our claim, “time to move together”, it is very clear and specific. It is time to team up, the all of us. It is also time for nursing professionals to come together to decision and power roles which traditionally have never been represented by nurses. Both our hashtag and our claim sum up very well the skills of a nursing professional: we are extraordinary team players, we adapt easily to changing scenarios (the famous VUCA). Our role is strongly linked to operations and we manage up to the tiniest detail. Teamwork, adaptability and being operational are core values for nowadays world.

4.How is diversity helping to take the nursing role to the next level?
Now is an amazing time when different generations and models from an academic perspective meet at the same workplace sharing the same purpose and talents. Traditionally, Nursing was a diploma. Nowadays Nursing is a Bachelor Degree and you can also write your PhD. Diverse approaches bring an evolution in the way we understand and live our professional identity.

5.Which similarities can we see between the way of working in a hospital and the current social scenario?
A hospital is a very clear example of the process of adaptation to new technologies that every company has been recently going through. You could maybe guess that technology is something quite usual in hospitals if we think about the equipments we use. Far from this, digitalization has been a very slow process. There was a huge amount of non-digitalised operations and procedures that did not bring any added value. Luckily, the model has been quickly rethought and nowadays we have several services, for example the ones related to more transactional interactions, that now can be done online and it is not necessary for our patients to leave home. Hospitals, as every organisation, have to evolve towards more organic, sustainable models, where silos blur to achieve better operations and patient experience.

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