Janine Duran Llamzon, MS, AGNP-c, CEN, NEA-bc is the System Director of Nursing and Clinical Operations of St. Joseph’s Health Emergency Service line in New Jersey. She is also an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner in a private practice facility in Clifton New Jersey. Llamzon is certified in emergency nursing and as an advanced nurse executive. She finished her fellowship in Clinical Quality through the Greater New Hospital Association. She is currently completing her Doctorate of Nursing Practice (leadership and education) at Case Western Reserve University: France Payne Bolton School of Nursing. Prior to her nursing career, she was an account executive in a multi-national advertising agency.
St. Joseph’s Healthcare System has Emergency Medicine departments at both St. Joseph’s University Medical Center (SJUMC) in Paterson and at St. Joseph’s Wayne Medical Center (SJWMC) in Wayne. The Paterson campus is the third busiest emergency department in the country. Llamzon has extensive experience in all levels of emergency department fiscal and clinical operations, safety, quality, and regulatory requirements, and people management.
With the scale of the COVID-19 outbreak, its unpredictability and its overwhelming nature, it has been very difficult for the management team and staff at St. Joseph’s. Despite that, Llamzon and her nursing management team have remained resilient, dedicated and passionate about taking care of the patient patients. How do they do it? The answer is simple: TOGETHER (with a hint of smiles, dance breaks and sunshine). Although Llamzon has been instrumental in facilitating initiatives, she mentioned that she could not do it without her team. They have been equal partners to the department and organization’s success. Llamzon’s favorite word in leadership is UNLEASH. She believes that by empowering nurses to “unleash” their potential, they are able to create innovative ideas to ensure safety and quality care despite the challenging demands of this crisis.
The following is a list of Llamzon’s approach to fighting COVID-19:
- Early detection, predictive analysis and mounting a response immediately. Emergency preparedness training is a part of emergency nursing/medicine. Prior to the crisis, the physician and nursing team already drew up algorithms to mitigate demands of increasing volumes and acuity. They also created pathways to ensure the safety of special populations such as women’s health, geriatrics, immunosuppressed and those with issues around mental health.
- Realizing that algorithms and predefined response plans are tools, but changing worldviews, culture and paradigms are integral for success. Success during a crisis cannot be achieved through a top-down approach. She believes that everyone in her team is able to contribute to ensuring that, despite the crisis, holistic and compassionate care is consistently provided.
- Organize the chaos. In a crisis, investigating issues and brainstorming are not enough. Due to the speed of this mass casualty crisis, it is important that the leadership team quickly devise solutions that are adaptable, feasible and safe.
- Collaboration and teamwork. The most important part of managing a crisis is a collaborative environment within the department and others. Do not forget to spread love to the other departments. ED social rounds are conducted and the ED staff goes from floor to floor to thank the other departments for their great work and how they are making a difference to the patients and to the ED staff.
- Unleash your staff and they will make magic. Maria Aponte, MPA, BSN, RN, Katherine Gabin, BSN, RN, and Amy Casteline, RN, facilitate the use of the waiting room as a treatment space and ensures efficient flow to our testing tents. “Because of this, we have reduced the amount of wait time even during the crisis.”
- Inspire others. All of the nursing leadership team are hands-on. No task is too small for any of the leadership team, from cleaning patients that have been holding in the emergency department to relieving staff for breaks, to taking care of a full patient load. Inspiring others through work and not just words.
- Lastly, reminding ourselves that tomorrow is a new day. We will overcome this because of our immense love for our community.