Meet the inventor: Jill Byrne MSN, RN, CNOR is a PhD student at Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University. With several decades of nursing experience in obstetrics and surgery, Byrne is currently working as a trauma surgery team member while completing her degree this year.
In 2010, Byrne decided to advocate not only for patients, but for the staff around her struggling from heat stress. Fashioning a disposable cooling vest for the OR staff members to improve comfort and civility was an innovative approach to address contemporary health care challenges. Byrne observed such dramatic changes in affect and physical well-being of staff members donning the cooling vest, she knew the research was necessary to develop occupational standards addressing heat stress.
Byrne’s occupational heat stress research not only focuses on improving the health and well-being of individuals, but also brings awareness to the professional responsibilities and opportunities in nursing to improve healthcare.