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Striking Beacon Gold on Medical ICU

October 06, 2016

Kansas City, Kan. — The University of Kansas Hospital's Medical Intensive Care Unit (ICU) – Unit 65 – has received a Gold Beacon Award for Excellence, the award's top category.

The recognition is from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. It honors top U.S. hospital units that meet standards of excellence in recruitment and retention; education, training and mentoring; research and evidence-based practice; patient outcomes; leadership and organizational ethics; and creation of a healthy work environment.

Each Beacon-honored nursing unit holds the award for three years. This is the third time the hospital's ICU has received the award.Unit 65 won its first Beacon award in 2007 and its second in 2009.

Nurse manager Akiko Kubo, RN, attributed her unit's success to several factors. "We promote a culture where the patient always comes first and we value excellent teamwork – not only among the nurses, but with our physicians, ancillary team members and support staff," she said. "We have a lot of fun doing serious work."

As a Medical ICU, the 14-bed unit specializes in caring for critically ill pulmonary hypertension and cystic fibrosis patients, though staff treat a wide range of conditions, such as acute respiratory failure, severe sepsis and septic shock, multiorgan failure, cancer, drug overdoses/toxicity and diabetic ketoacidosis. Patients are medically managed by pulmonary critical care intensivists.

The University of Kansas Hospital is the only adult facility in Kansas or Missouri with a Beacon winner. Several other nursing units at our hospital have applied, or will reapply this year, for Beacon awards.

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