Episode 23 : Beyond the Bedside:

Amy K. McCarthy, MSN, RNC-MNN, NE-BC

Director Of Nursing, Women, Infants and Oncology at Texas Health HEB President-Elect, Texas Nurses Association

"Our nurses are incredibly intelligent. They're doing wonderful things. They know the criticality of their patients; they know their right and wrong answers. But there's a lot going on throughout the day. And I think having that added buffer to just say, listen, hey, did you see this? Or maybe I can pop in and just check on that patient for you while you're in another room? I think that's a neat way to look at the cure model that we now have the technology to do." - Amy McCarthy

SCTS-Amy McCarthy: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

SCTS-Amy McCarthy: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Intro/Outro:
Welcome to the Smart Care Team Spotlight presented by care.ai, the smart care facility, platform company, and leader in AI and ambient intelligence for healthcare. Join Molly McCarthy, former CNO of Microsoft, as she interviews the brightest minds in healthcare about the transformational promise of AI and ambient intelligence for care teams.

Molly McCarthy:
Too often, technology makes caregivers' lives harder, not easier. It's time for smart technology to empower our care with a more human touch. I'm thrilled today to share a little bit more about my guest, Amy McCarthy. And just for our listeners, Amy and I are not related, but she would be a really fun sister, just as a side note.

Amy McCarthy:
Thanks, Molly.

Molly McCarthy:
Amy currently serves as the Director of Nursing for women, infants, and Oncology at Texas Health Resources at HEB. An alumna of George Washington University, she earned her DNP with a focus on executive leadership. Amy is a champion of transformational and heart-led leadership, aiming to foster innovative and health-centered environments for nurses. Her decade-long experience involves collaborating with state and national leaders in nursing improve outcomes for the public and employees she serves at the bedside and in leadership. Amy serves as the president-elect of the Texas Nurses Association and is a member of the Nursing Advisory Council for Hippocratic I. She has notably served as Director at Large on the American Nurses Association Board of Directors, addressing crucial issues like safe staffing, workplace violence, and racial equality in nursing. Her involvement with the National League of Nursing includes contributing to the Advisory Board of Accelerating to Practice program, focusing on new graduate integration into the workforce. Amy's role extends to the Nurses on Boards Coalition, where she was a Texas Action Coalition representative and co-chair of the Communications Workgroup, overseeing coalition marketing and communication strategies. As the secretary of the Texas Nurses Association from 2019 to 2021, she was instrumental in integrating younger voices into the organization, fostering ties with the Texas Nursing Student Association, and launching a podcast that highlights nursing innovation and mental health. Amy's educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Southern Methodist University and both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Nursing Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington. She holds professional certification in executive nursing and maternal newborn nursing. Welcome, Amy. You have a fabulous background, and I can't wait for our listeners to learn a little bit more about you.

Amy McCarthy:
Thanks, Molly. I'm really excited to be here today.

Molly McCarthy:
Great. Well, first of all, thank you for taking time out of your schedule to speak with me and our listeners and share your story and insights. Obviously, you've got an extensive background and varied background, which I didn't mention. You started your career in communications and then transitioned into nursing and health systems and also have extensive experience in the association world, which is fabulous. I think that gives you a really diverse perspective. So just to start out, I would love for you to share with our listeners more about your career journey, maybe starting with how you transition from communications into nursing and then how communications actually assists with your role today.

Amy McCarthy:
Yeah, absolutely. So it's funny, looking back, I never realized how important that communications background would be in my current role in my career as a nurse, but I had always been really creative. I had taken a lot of art classes in high school into college. I had served as the editor-in-chief of my college yearbook, and a friend of mine had offered me an internship to a nonprofit management consulting company early on in my college days. And so I started to dabble in the world of communications and PR, do graphic design, photography, and media. And that led to another internship at the local hospital here in the DFW area, where I was able to do communications and PR specific to healthcare, which was so neat. I spent about almost a year and a half being able to cover things throughout the hospital, being able to go on media sources, and oh, can we stop that? Can we start that again?

Molly McCarthy:
Yeah, yeah. Um, yeah.

Amy McCarthy:
Okay. I spent about a year and a half at the hospital, just kind of rotating with our media team, with our communications team, and just learning the ropes of how to handle PR and communications in healthcare. And there's a lot that goes on in the background that you're having to manage when it comes to patient stories, when it comes to news, when it comes to patients who are entering the facility.

Amy McCarthy:
And so it was just a really neat experience to be able to see that side. And as I was doing nursing school at the same time, I really continued to delve into this, had a lot of interest at actually ended up working throughout nursing school for a nonprofit that was focused on crisis communication, and so was still able to take a look at that healthcare lens, but offer communication support, offer that PR. And as I transitioned into nursing, that communication piece became vital, especially as I started serving on boards, even just talking to my patients. One of the key things that you learn in communications and PR is that you have to alter your message and be very specific with the population that you're marketing to or that you're serving well. The same occurs in nursing. I have to really tailor my message whether my background is in women's health. If I'm talking to a first-time mom, how am I communicating to that family versus a mother who has 3 or 4 kids? It's a very different experience for them. And so it came in instrumental in that early phase of nursing.

Amy McCarthy:
And then, as I mentioned, when I started to serve on boards, one of the skills that I was tapped for was this communications and PR experience. I was able to help lead campaigns, lead entire communications and rebranding efforts for boards, most notably for the Nurses on Boards Coalition, and helping them to get to the metric that they were looking for to get more nurses involved get more nurses serving on boards. Several of the campaigns that were utilized throughout that were things that I had designed that I had worked with that entire board and organizations. So it's been really neat to be able to combine both of these worlds into what I do today. It is certainly been, like I mentioned earlier, just instrumental in what I've been able to do, and I'm very grateful for the experience that I had early on. I had no idea that I would use it almost on a daily basis, especially in leadership and in talking with my nurses, whether it's in the hospital or within professional associations. But it has truly enabled me to be able to reach more people and to be very specific in my messaging, to be able to convey what we need to do.

Molly McCarthy:
I love that I think you have some great experience. You mentioned the crisis communication, and obviously, when you're dealing with patients and families, it can be difficult, difficult conversations. And I'm sure that your patient's experience was so improved through your ability to communicate with them in the family. And I know that, too. You know, you mentioned you're in maternal child care, and it's not just taking care of the patient, but in specifically, it's really family-centered care. So, so critical. And just a shout out to Nurses on Boards Coalition and Laurie Benson. I worked with her when I was at Microsoft and love what they're doing there. I know they just celebrated an anniversary, so that's great. I'm glad to see that you're involved with that organization.

Amy McCarthy:
Absolutely.

Molly McCarthy:
Digging deeper in a little bit more into your nursing experience with where you are now at Texas Health Resources. And then, obviously, you've done a lot of advocacy work, and through Texas Nurses as well as your position with the ANA, just curious how you're involved in tackling some of the ongoing workforce issues that are plaguing our US health system, maybe locally and then nationally, if you have any examples?

Amy McCarthy:
Yeah, absolutely. So, with the Texas Nurses Association, we've done a lot of work over the last legislative session that's really pinpointed on workplace violence and ensuring that nurses have a safe space to be able to work in. We all know, as nurses and nurse leaders, there has been such a just evacuation, for lack of a better term from the healthcare space because nurses don't feel safe anymore. And so this became a really prime topic for the Texas Nurses Association. We previously had a law in the state where emergency nurses were protected. If they were attacked, it was a felony that they could charge the individual who had attacked them, but not for the rest of the hospital, which was kind of heartbreaking, especially for someone like me who's not in that realm. While people think that maternal newborn can be a very happy place, and it is, but there are things that happen on that unit that are also very difficult for nurses to work through. And so the protection was really needed for healthcare workers across the board. And so we actively worked with partners across the state and building coalitions and building relationships to ensure that we could bring forth a bill that would be passed to offer all healthcare workers this protection. And this previous legislative session, we were successful in being able to pass into law a bill that protects all healthcare workers, regardless of what unit they're working in, any time that they are attacked in the workplace. That is considered a felony charge. And that was such a big win for us. When you think about the shootings that have happened in the Dallas-Fort area across the United States, people are angry when they're coming in the hospital, and you have to think there's a lot going on when they enter the healthcare space; there's a lot of unknown.

Amy McCarthy:
They're losing control of their situation. And so it does lead to a lot of anger, whether it's intentional or not. We need to make sure that our healthcare workers feel safe. They feel empowered in that environment and that they feel protected. And so this was a huge win for the association and for our nurses across the state to be able to now say, yes, I do have that protection. While it's only a piece of solving the problem for sure, it at least gives us somewhere to start from and offers that additional protection as well. And when I think about my work at the national level, we've certainly had the conversation about workplace violence overall. In fact, I worked with the Ana board of directors to draft a proposal at our membership assembly that focused on gun violence and how we help to protect nurses and healthcare workers from that. Specifically, how do we partner with not only nurses and nursing associations but associations outside of that? Sometimes, the nursing, we like to say, within our own bubble, we're very guilty of that. But being able to talk with people across the board, people who are experts in this space. So, it was a huge proposal for us to be able to bring to our membership to all the states who are involved in this discussion. And it went you could tell in the room how grateful people were that we were having this discussion, that we were saying out loud, listen, this can't be tolerated anymore.

Amy McCarthy:
Nurses need to feel that they have that protection, that we're actively doing things while we don't have the solution and there's no immediate solution, at least we're working on it. And, of course, you know, the next big topic is staffing, right? It's something that nurses are talking about all the time. And same thing there. There's, unfortunately, not a one-size-fits-all solution. And so we're having to have very active conversations with our hospital associations, with our, our legislators to say, how do we fix this problem? Because the fact is, that current state isn't working. It's leading to nurses leaving the bedside. It's leading to an unstable healthcare system. And so the ANA board, we released a statement that showed that, you know, we do support tools to be able to focus on safe staffing, whether that be staffing ratios, whether it be talking with hospital associations. We want to ensure that we are doing our part to support states across the nation and ensure that we're having a good conversation about this because, for so long, we've avoided this topic. We've kind of stayed away from it just because it's something that's hard to talk about because there isn't a black-and-white solution and no matter how you look at it. And so I'm proud of the work that we've been able to do around that. But certainly, the work is not done. And so we're continuing to have those conversations across the board.

Molly McCarthy:
Well, congratulations, first of all, on your hard work within Texas and having that bill passed. That's amazing. You know, it makes me sad to think that that's where we are in our world. But that's the truth. And good for you for really pushing for that and also the collaboration with other disciplines. I think it is important, as you mentioned, you know, within healthcare, it can be siloed sometimes based upon your professional, where you are professionally or what licensure you have. But I do think moving forward, that team approach and collaboration, not only within healthcare but quite frankly, like you mentioned, with our policymakers, etc. So kudos.

Amy McCarthy:
Thank you.

Molly McCarthy:
The other question I have for you. And then staffing, we could spend a lot of time on that. I think, you know, that's very challenging. And it's not black and white and it depends upon so many factors. I'm just wondering too, if you think about staffing, what also just in terms of care models, you know, that's another component that I know we're revamping. Obviously, this podcast is looking at virtual nursing, which we'll get to in a minute, but I think those are all considerations when you take a look at the current environment. So absolutely, with that in mind, I think that obviously there are lots of challenges, but kind of as a follow up to that question, what reasons do you and your colleagues have to be optimistic about the future of inpatient nursing? And maybe we talked about some of the obstacles, but maybe specifically for you, what are you seeing at your local level with obstacles to realizing that future?

Amy McCarthy:
Yeah, absolutely. You know, I will tell you that the nurses and nurse leaders who are entering the profession right now are just so creative. They have so many ideas, and they're committed to really revamping health care, which is very exciting to see. And I think part of that is they have resources today that nurses previous to them didn't have. You think about the internet, you think about social media. There's this constant exchange of ideas. I was talking to my lab manager yesterday about something that I had seen on a social media group of what we should implement in our hospital, and that's just it. You know, we're able to do that on a daily basis to get these ideas and be able to implement a lot of them fairly quickly. And so I'm optimistic because I'm seeing this constant interchanging of ideas that we're implementing at a faster rate, and people are trying to make this better. I will tell you when I look at the obstacles, when I look at technology, I think that there's so much out there. My husband works in tech, and we have these conversations all the time of things that he's seeing in his world that haven't even touched healthcare yet. And so there's such a gap between those two worlds.

Amy McCarthy:
And the gap needs to get smaller because there is so much that has been produced that can really be so beneficial in our hospitals today. When you think about ambient monitoring, you're starting to see that, especially between providers and patients. I would love to see that for nursing. When you're walking into a room for that technology to exist, where a lot of this charting burden that you see today because nurses will tell you about 70% of their job is charting everything that they're doing. If we could have technology in place, that helps to eliminate some of that burden, and we're starting to see that. But I think that's a major area that we need to focus on so that nurses can practice to the full scope of their license and they can actually do what they set out to do, which is care for patients. Right? I think part of the obstacle with that, of course, is just financing some of that technology. As hospitals continue to experience limited reimbursements, decreasing profit margins, it becomes harder and harder to sometimes implement these technologies at such a huge scale. It involves really understanding that technology, being able to do that education and keeping an open mind. Sometimes I joke with my nursing colleagues that we are also the worst barrier to the implementation of new tech because we're fearful of it or we don't understand it. And then there's that automatic shutdown that happens, and we can't continue to think like that anymore because we need to have things in place, whether it's AI, whether it's that ambient monitoring that helped to make nursing what we want it to be, which is really being able to sit down, have those conversations with patients, provide that education, and taking away so much of the burden that has been placed on nurses.

Amy McCarthy:
I mean, when I sit in meetings, whether it's in associations or within the hospital, it's always, well, you know, the nurse can do that, the charge nurse can do that, the nurse manager can do this. And we've got to stop saying, let's put this on human people. How can we utilize the technology that we have, even if we're not spending millions of dollars in implementing all of these things within our organizations? But how do we leverage what we have to be able to really look at things creatively? And I think that requires nursing leaders who are willing to step outside of the box of how we've always done it. And that's a common phrase in nursing, whether we like to admit it or not. This is just the way we've always done it. We've got to step outside of that space and be able to say, listen, we've got to try something new because there's just not working anymore.

Molly McCarthy:
Well that's great. I'm excited to hear you talk about the up and coming generations in terms of the creativity. And quite frankly, they're new and they have fresh ideas and they're not necessarily molded to doing it a specific way, obviously. Absolutely, with patient safety in mind and optimal patient outcomes. But I agree there are different ways to think about care delivery. And really, to your point, ensuring that the nurses and the care team really are doing high value. I don't want to say tasks, but working on high value processes, etc. and taking away that administrative burden. Yeah, obviously documentation burden is a whole other topic, but I think you touched a little bit about on the rapidly evolving technologies, and that was kind of part of my next question. So just to as we think about specifically workflows like including virtual inpatient care mentioned ambient monitoring and AI, what use cases specifically within your areas do you see that would potentially make an immediate impact within your hospital system? I know that, and I'll just give you an example that I've heard having a virtual nurse doing admissions or discharge, teaching, etc.. I'm just curious, specific to you work in oncology and labor and delivery and NICU, where do you see technology kind of easing the burden?

Amy McCarthy:
I think the virtual nurse concept is one that we really need to take a long, hard look at because we have a lot of nurses. In fact, I had a conversation with the leader yesterday about this. We have a lot of nurses who are wanting to transition to something that doesn't look like the bedside anymore. They still enjoy the clinical realm. They want to be involved, they want to be engaged, but they're not necessarily wanting to do three 12-hour shifts anymore. And I think, you know, being able to transition individuals like that into a virtual nursing model where they can, to your point, instead of having a person handle admission and discharge teaching, being able to have a nurse pop on a screen. And a lot of our hospitals have adopted electronic keyboards, being able to utilize that technology and have that nurse pop in and say, hey, you know, how are you doing? Are there any questions that I can answer for you? Let's go over your admission teaching. Let's go over any questions you might have. How is your experience going today and being able to notate all of that so that it's traveling back to the nurse, it's going back to the nurse leader again; it helps with the overall flow of that nurse's work day because they're able to be engaged. I think about a labor and delivery nurse. They're in and out of that room every 15 minutes, charting to be able to ensure that a patient is having a safe delivery. And so even in that regard, to have a virtual nurse who is watching feel, monitoring strips and being able to give that feedback in real-time, because the reality is, is that the nursing workforce right now is relatively new at what they're doing.

Amy McCarthy:
There's a lot of questions, there's a lot of feeling as uncomfortableness, because all of a sudden, these nurses who have been around for 3 to 5 years are looking around and saying, well, I guess I'm the expert on the unit. And that's an uncomfortable feeling when I think about when I entered the workforce; I was surrounded by tenured veterans who had been on that floor for 15, 20 years. They knew the answers to my questions, and I think to have that virtual nurse there to one be a coach, but also to be able to pick up on those things. Our nurses are incredibly intelligent. They're doing wonderful things. They know the criticality of their patients; they know their right and wrong answers. But there's a lot going on throughout the day. And I think having that added buffer to just say, listen, hey, did you see this? Or maybe I can pop in and just check on that patient for you while you're in another room? I think that's a neat way to look at the cure model that we now have the technology to do. Ten years ago, we couldn't have had this conversation, but today, there are things now in place in rooms that allow us to have this conversation, to be able to really create a very patient-centric experience in a way that we've never been able to do so before. So I would say between that and then, of course, going back to the charting aspect of it, to be able to implement technology that makes that a little bit easier for them, that decreases some of that documentation burden. I think if you could do those two things, Molly, in a hospital, that would take such a burden off of the so many nurses today.

Molly McCarthy:
I agree with you wholeheartedly. I loved your example around the fetal monitoring piece. Obviously, we talked about I worked in NICU, etc., and worked for A1 with their fetal monitoring program. Yeah, but such a huge help for the nurses who are physically on the the unit. The other piece, just holistically, obviously patient safety comfort level of the newer nurses. And like you mentioned, it is not an exit strategy but a different role that the seasoned nurses can take on without having maybe the physical burden of being on a unit for 12 hours. I've seen that anecdotally as well. And then obviously, at the end of the day, thinking about the quintuple aim and looking back to not only the clinician experience, but that patient experience and really driving towards better outcomes, lower cost of care too.

Amy McCarthy:
Yeah, absolutely.

Molly McCarthy:
Well yes. Go ahead.

Amy McCarthy:
Oh, I was going to say, you know, and I think one thing that I'm definitely seeing in my world is that the patient population is growing sicker. You know, we joke in women's and infants that used to be somewhat of a plain vanilla type of patient population. They'd come in; they were relatively healthy. They were coming in to have their baby. Everything was great. But I will tell you, Molly, just from my patch, from my experience just being on the floor to where I am today, the acuity of that patient population has changed immensely. We are talking more and more about maternal morbidity and mortality. We're talking about patients coming in with multiple comorbidities in their late 20s to early 30s. And so you can only anticipate what that looks like later down the road. And so having these tools in place, even for, you know, your regular nursing care model, would be so instrumental because there's so much to be watching in these patients today. They're unlike even the patients of 5 to 10 years ago. And having this ability to be able to constantly monitor and to have that, you know, second person there, just kind of looking at everything, I think would just, you know, it would help to really decrease a lot of fears and a lot of burden on the nurses today. Yeah, I.

Molly McCarthy:
Agree; I mean, I worked in NICU and peds, and I took care of a lot of cystic fibrosis patients, for example, that lived to a certain age. But I know now some of them are having children, etc.. So, to your point, the chronic illnesses, the comorbidities really make the care so much more complex. So many more things to consider. So a couple more questions I want to ask. The next one is, as you think about all your experience with the association's communications and your current role, what's your vision for the future of nursing and smart care teams, and how do you see nursing spearheading this collective effort?

Amy McCarthy:
That's a loaded question. Uh, you know, when I look at the future of nursing, and I'm an optimist, I'm going to put that right out there. And my team sometimes makes fun of me for this because I am the eternal optimist. But I truly do believe that nurses have the power to change health care. We know so much about our patient population. We're there 24 over seven and. Any instances were able to spot trends before anyone else can. Not just trends with in one patient but within an entire population. I'll share my experience of just in maternal health, of being able to track when postpartum hemorrhages started to become a major issue. That hasn't been something that's been, you know, necessarily a thing that we've talked about for the last 20 years. But I remember specifically in my career when that started to become a huge trend, and we started to see more and more of that. And that's an example of what nurses are able to bring to the table. And so when I look at the future of nursing, I see a future where nurses are fully practicing to the full scope of their license that we are able to no longer have to be combined with room and board, that we are a line item in and of itself, where we're able to capture what nursing is doing and bringing to the table when it comes to caring for patients.

Amy McCarthy:
But I also see nurses active throughout our systems, not just being contained to the bedside. And sometimes, especially with my communications background, I think about how we market ourselves as nurses. Still, the public today sees us as those individuals in scrubs as the bedside. And so I think that we have to do a whole rebranding campaign, just of the profession to say, listen, nurses are found everywhere. They're found in technology, they're found in government, they're found. I mean, truly, the skills that we develop as nurses, as we go through our careers are just invaluable in a variety of different ways. And so I see nurses inserting themselves into those conversations and finally making room for themselves at these tables or pulling up a chair if there's not one already. And when I think of, you know, what might be obstacles to that, you know, I'll be really frank, Molly. I think sometimes it's ourselves. When I was completing my doctorate work, one of the things that I focused on was the self-efficacy of nurses and how that motivates them to pursue board leadership positions. And what I found with so many times is that when you examine nursing, you also are examining the history of females in the workplace. 88% of nursing is female today. And so you have to think of that and how that has worked itself in history. Nurses are you know, typically we like to be people pleasers.

Amy McCarthy:
We're the ones that will work ourselves; we'll put ourselves last, and we really need to change that. We need to ensure that we're taking care of ourselves, that we are developing that confidence, whether it's through mentorship, whether it's through training. And I'm speaking to my nurse leaders, we've got to do more of this coaching and developing of our nurses who are coming into the field. We've got to start talking about advocacy at a much earlier point in an individual's just career in their education so that they come into the workforce understanding that my job is not just to take care of patients, it's also to advocate on behalf of the profession, but also for the patient population and where we want healthcare to be. And so I tell nurses all the time, listen, we've got to start somewhere. There is a place for your voice. But the most important thing is that you put your voice out there, that you don't stay silent, that you don't stay just within the four walls of your work environment, that you're out there, and that you're sharing what you're seeing. Because people need to understand those stories; it's how we're going to reshape healthcare, and we've got to have a place for ourselves in that narrative because otherwise, the story of healthcare will continue. But it may not be as friendly as we want it to be.

Molly McCarthy:
Yeah. No, I mean, I couldn't agree with you more. And as soon as you said the biggest obstacle is, you know, nurses, I was like, yep, I see that. And that's why it's so important to have that cross collaboration within healthcare. But then quite frankly, outside and looking at other industries, how other industries tackle certain problems.

Amy McCarthy:
Absolutely.

Molly McCarthy:
So critical. So, thank you for that comment. I think, you know, it couldn't have been said better.

Amy McCarthy:
Thank you.

Molly McCarthy:
So, last question. And so, you know, our listeners, our CNOs, CNIOs directors, the respective teams, other nurse leaders, nurses at the bedside. So, obviously, you've had some varied experiences in healthcare. And I guess I always ask my guests to share a parting gift with our listeners. Your single most important, practical piece of advice for them as it relates to responsibility being tireless advocates for their patients. And then I'm going to also say, and your nurses, as I hear you doing.

Amy McCarthy:
Absolutely. You know, I think to sum it all up, I would tell my colleagues out there to stay curious and to stay connected. Like I mentioned, I think sometimes it's the fear of the unknown that causes us to shut down. And when you think about AI and technology and all of the change that's happening almost on a daily basis, if we're going to be real about this, sometimes I think nurse leaders shut down because they don't know where this is headed, and they don't know the answer right off the top of their head because they've never experienced anything like this before. And what I tell nurse leaders and those leaders that I'm working with right now is that it's okay to not have all the answers to everything. In fact, it's okay to say, like, let's ask some more questions. That's what I love about my CNO is that, you know, I come to her with a lot of crazy ideas. I'm going to be the first to admit it, but one of the things that I love about her and what I've instilled in just in my leadership, too, is that I never completely say no. I say, well, let's explore this. Let's talk about how we can put forth this idea. And maybe now is not the time, but I'd love to understand a little bit more about what you're bringing to the table, how we could implement this. You know, we haven't done this before, but that doesn't mean that we can't do it.

Amy McCarthy:
And I think that for nurse leaders, having that type of inquisitive mindset to try and get past that fear, that not knowing all the things because we don't know, I mean, there's so much that's happening with these technologies that we don't have all the answers and we don't know how it might fit into the healthcare space, but that doesn't mean that we shut it out again. When I'm talking with leaders when I'm talking with nurses, you can tell that fear that just bubbles up a little bit, and they're like, oh, well, there's a regulatory reason that we can't do this and all of these things. And instead of just going straight for that, saying, well, you know, maybe we need to change things. So, where do we start with that? How do we have these conversations to start to change the hospital space or work environment that it is able to coexist with some of these new things that are coming out, and the stay connected portion is just, you know, when I think about what I do, whether it's within the hospital, whether it's within my professional associations, I always think back to where I started and I think back to nurses today and where they're starting, and that's who I'm advocating for in so many different ways. I know that the bedside today looks way different from when it did when I started ten years ago, and I'm knowledgeable of that.

Amy McCarthy:
And I ask a lot of questions to my staff. I try to follow them, see how their day-to-day is going, and just ask the question of what's happening. What is the biggest barrier to you being able to be a nurse successfully? And I think sometimes what happens is as a leader, as you go up and up and up, you sometimes lose that connection. But I challenge leaders today that if you don't connect with that bedside nurse, if you don't connect to the heart of your organization and the heart of the profession, if you will, you're losing out on a lot of knowledge and a lot of the reality of what it looks like today because we can't read always from our personal experiences of what nursing looked like when we started, we have to understand that the reality is quickly changing. And so while I may not have the same lived experience as a nurse who's starting today, I'm at least going to try and understand it, and then I'm going to advocate tirelessly for it because that is what I'm doing in these positions. That's why I love what I get to do every day. And I know that so many nurse leaders share the same sentiment as I do. And so those are certainly two things that have worked for me and I continue to recommend to leaders as they come out today.

Molly McCarthy:
Well, Amy McCarthy, thank you so much. I love your focus on curiosity and staying connected. Yeah. And to your point around being curious, not knowing everything. When I was at Microsoft, we had what we called learn it all rather than know it all. So really going after what you don't know and not taking a little risk. So that's so fantastic. I love your passion and optimism. And let me know if you want to run for some official position, because I love to work on your campaign.

Amy McCarthy:
Absolutely, Molly. I'll let you know. Well, thank you so much.

Molly McCarthy:
And I look forward to seeing you again in person soon.

Amy McCarthy:
Absolutely. Thanks, Molly.

Intro/Outro:
Thanks for listening to the Smart Care Team Spotlight for best practices in AI and Ambient Intelligence, and ways your organization can help lead the era of smart care teams. Visit us at VirtualNursing.com and for information on the leading smart care facility platform, visit care.ai.

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Presented by care.ai

care.ai is the artificial intelligence company redefining how care is delivered with its Smart Care Facility Platform and Always-aware Ambient Intelligent Sensors. care.ai’s solutions transform physical spaces into self-aware smart care environments to autonomously enhance and optimize clinical and operational workflows, delivering a transformative approach to virtual care models, including Virtual Nursing.