In her current role at Baxter, Hada Ramirez leverages her nursing background to help manage and teach an intravenous therapy update course in fluid therapy - a course she designed herself - and an infusion therapy continuous improvement program to hospitals throughout the northern region of Mexico. Intravenous therapy is the administration of liquid medication directly into the vein; infusion therapy involves the administration of medication through a needle or catheter, not necessarily via a vein. Patients may require intravenous or infusion therapy for rehydration, parenteral nutrition, antibiotics, cancer treatment, or other medications when administration via the oral route isn't an option.
Ramirez has more than three decades of nursing experience in Mexico in a variety of areas - ten years as a nurse in intensive care, hospital services, coronary and pediatrics units and as a professor in the School of Nursing at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), as well as 21 years at Baxter as a fluid therapy clinical specialist and clinical education coordinator.
However, in her early years, she almost didn’t choose this professional path.
"My parents wanted me to study another career," she shares. "However, I realized my vocation was nursing. Since I've been in this profession, I've gained a wealth of experience and enjoyed being a part of the quality improvement efforts of many different hospitals."
Getting patients back to health gives them back important moments of their life. I have the chance to help people through my job every day, and that’s been a blessing
Hada Ramirez, fluid therapy clinical specialist and clinical education coordinator
The courses she teaches help provide healthcare providers at hospitals and other healthcare centers with best practices and guidance for delivering intravenous or infusion therapy to their patients safely and efficiently, something they need to do in their jobs virtually every day.
"The full-time, three-day intravenous therapy update course is in great demand," says Ramirez, who travels frequently across the northern region of the country to different hospitals and healthcare centers to help facilitate. These travels and trainings occasionally take place over weekends and can take hours, with sessions sometimes lasting until dawn. "The management and operating staff at the hospitals that participate appreciate the course's impact on the development of good clinical practices, which was a deciding factor in UNAM's decision to recognize the course for curricular purposes."
Baxter offers the infusion therapy continuous improvement program to clients who use Baxter's infusion therapy systems. The program is approved by the Comision Permanente de Enfermeria (Permanent Nursing Commission) and lasts a full year. The program includes hospital staff's review of relevant topics on intravenous therapy-related infections, complications and regulatory matters, engagement in hospital tours in which processes are observed, and preparation of a case diagnostic and specific action plan proposals for areas that need improvement. Baxter provides counseling follow-up every three months to assess the hospital’s progress in addressing any issues.
"By employing the continuous improvement program, hospitals have documented results," notes Ramirez. "For instance, after participating, one hospital in Mexico City had a 35%–51% reduction of intravenous therapy-related infections by working as a team with the infection control committee."
Ramirez notes that it's rewarding to know that these programs can ultimately have an impact on patient health.
"Getting patients back to health gives them back important moments of their life. I have the chance to help people through my job every day, and that’s been a blessing."