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Meet Jennifer Seaman

jennifer seamanWith the help of the first ATS Foundation Nursing Research Award, Jennifer Seaman, PhD, RN, hopes to change a disheartening statistic: only about 1 in 10 ICUs has a protocol for meetings with families whose loved ones are critically ill.

That statistic comes from a national survey Dr. Seaman, an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, conducted. She presented the survey results at ATS 2018.

“We found several barriers to holding these meetings, from time pressures to the misperception that these meetings are only about end-of-life issues,” Dr. Seaman says. “Nearly half the doctors said these family meetings were emotionally draining.”

Using behavioral economics and organizational behavior principles, Dr. Seaman is devising a nurse-led interdisciplinary intervention that “nudges” ICUs towards normalizing these family meeting so that a rapport can develop early between the health care team and the family.

“It should be the rule to have a family meeting, not the exception,” she says.

Dr. Seaman will pilot her intervention in small and large community hospitals and an academic medical center.

The annual $10,000 Nursing Research Award is made possible through the generosity of Leslie Hoffman, PhD, RN, a long-time ATS member with a distinguished research career who is now professor emerita at the University of Pittsburgh.

“I am impressed with the ATS’s goals of science, collaboration, and most importantly, improving patients’ quality of life,” she said in explaining why she made the gift to the Foundation.

Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your story!

The ATS supports the ATS Foundation’s administrative expenses, assuring that every dollar contributed goes directly to support programs.