6/28/18

HVI nurse, team swoop in to provide less-ouchy needle 'sticks'

Julia Williams, nurse, mom and studentNurses take on many roles in a patient’s time of need: advocate, caregiver, educator and friend. They work hard to deliver high-quality care, offer emotional support and help patients recover.

Julia Williams, RN, has worked at Carle Heart and Vascular Institute (HVI) for two years. Her day-to-day roles include prepping and recovering patients. She also assists in bedside cardioversions, paracentesis, thoracentesis and loop recorder insertions. 

Williams – who recently received a Carle Advancing Professional Excellence (CAPE) Nursing Scholarship – also has been vital in introducing new technology at HVI.

Williams is part of a group trained to start IVs using ultrasound guidance.

“We see many patients with vascular disease, so it can be difficult to start an IV,” Williams said. “Using an ultrasound allow us to see larger veins and plan for the best access point before we ever insert the IV.”

This technique reduces discomfort for patients and saves time for nurses because it limits the number of "sticks" needed for inserting an IV into a patient’s blood vessel.

“The ultrasound helps guide the needle into the vessel the entire time, so we have a clear picture throughout the whole procedure,” Williams said. “It’s a big patient satisfier.

"They really like seeing the vein for themselves, so it puts them at ease.”

Ultrasound guidance for IVs is just one of the ways Carle uses new technology to meet patient needs. Williams’ group is now training of the rest of the prep/recovery unit nurses.

“Carle is a great place to work because the staff is always working to improve patient care and collecting real data to better serve our patients,” she said, adding work-life balance is a priority, as well.

Williams also created a tool that collects data on IV usage, like the number of nurses used to start an IV, whether the IV start caused a delay in a procedure and the amount of supplies used.

nurses play kickball in a friendly Carle competitionTo support nurses like Williams, Carle introduced the the CAPE Nursing Scholarship, which provides $1,000 in tuition assistance to Carle nurses pursuing their bachelor’s degree in nursing. The CAPE Nursing Scholarship is a nod to a past and an investment in the future, made possible by VISION 2020 and the generous support of donors who understand the critical role nurses play in providing transformative healthcare. 

With a bachelor’s degree, nurses develop more skills and have the chance to advance and receive higher pay.

Before pursuing her degree in nursing, Williams worked as healthcare technician for eight years.

“I knew Julia before she became a nurse,” said Peggy Ross, RN, who works with Williams at HVI. “She has always been patient-focused, a team player and a quick learner. She’s a great resource for HVI.”

Williams is one of many Carle employees who go above and beyond to serve their patients.

“One of my favorite parts about being a nurse in HVI is that the patients are already reaping the benefits of their procedure as they’re leaving the hospital,” Williams said. “There’s a lot of satisfaction in helping people and seeing them improve.”

Learn more about nursing opportunities at carle.org/nursing.