HomeCity NewsUSC-VHH Nurses Earn Lantern Award

USC-VHH Nurses Earn Lantern Award

First published in the Oct. 29 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

For the second consecutive awards cycle, the USC Verdugo Hills Hospital emergency department has received the prestigious Lantern Award from the Emergency Nurses Association.
Nurses from the department accepted the award at a ceremony in Las Vegas this month. They previously received the award in 2019, during the prior cycle, for the hospital’s first time. According to the Emergency Nurses Association, recipients of the Lantern Award “demonstrate exceptional and innovative performance in leadership, practice, education, advocacy and research — a way to showcase your emergency department’s accomplishments in incorporating evidence-based practice and innovation into emergency care, and a visible symbol of your commitment to quality, safety and a healthy work environment.”
To have received the designation once is an honor, according to Raffi Boghossian, the clinical director of the emergency room department and ICU at USC-VHH. A second award, covering the period of time during the COVID-19 pandemic no less, is something more.
“We’re excited and they deserve this,” he said. “We were faced with a lot of challenges after the pandemic. We were dealing with short staffing, staff burnouts and overall trauma. We were challenged in motivating them and helping them see the big picture. For me, this was meaningful and special, and I really wanted them to win this.
“They came out of COVID burnt out, but they came together,” Boghossian added. “We’re known to be great with teamwork. People change their schedules. They work overtime. They help one another, stick together and overcome it.”
Boghossian, who lives in Glendale, said the award “exemplifies the exceptional practice and innovative work in care” at USC-VHH. Among other highlights, he highlighted that the hospital’s emergency room uses barcode scanning to reduce medication errors and exact body metrics to determine medicine dosage with its patients. The department also makes use of a team of nurse practitioners to provide care, which has helped give the emergency room among the shortest wait times in the region.
On top of that, the atmosphere at USC-VHH is just different, he said.
“Culture always comes up. People always speak about ‘community feel,’” Boghossian said. “We don’t have punitive measures. When errors take place or there’s a problem with a process, we step back, and we understand why something didn’t work and we work collaboratively to fix that problem instead of pointing fingers.”
Many of USC-VHH’s nurses consider the hospital to be more than where they work. It’s also their home hospital, since many of them live in the immediate area.
“For them, it’s very personal,” Boghossian said. “Often, you’ll hear them say they see their patients at the grocery store, so it’s personal for them to ensure they’re giving good care to the community.”

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