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Published: Sep 16, 2010

By Tampa General Hospital


September 16, 2010 (Tampa, FL) - Tampa General Hospital’s Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CTICU) has received the fall 2010-2011 Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN). This is the second time TGH’s CTICU has earned the prestigious Beacon Award. It received its first award for fall 2008-2009. The AACN is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world and represents more than 500,000 nurses. The organization presents the Beacon Award in the spring and fall each year to honor the nation’s top critical care units. The Beacon Award recognizes adult critical care, adult progressive care and pediatric critical care 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. “Receiving the Beacon Award is very significant. Since we’re a CTICU, we’re treating very ill patients, and we are very proud of the work we do,” said Julie Wilkinson, the unit’s nurse manager. About 80 nurses on the 18-bed unit provide care for heart and lung transplant patients, open heart surgery patients, patients with Ventricular Assist Devices and those who are on cardiopulmonary bypass support. Since receiving its last Beacon Award, the unit has concentrated on developing new comprehensive orientation and training programs for its staff. “In addition, we have worked on reducing our catheter-associated blood stream infections,” Julie said. “We initiated the use of a securing device to keep the dressing and tubing in place and have decreased our infection rates significantly. This initiative is being carried out hospital-wide,” she said.