Martin Bosch, RN
2012 Award for Excellence in Practice - RN-PMH

Nearly six years ago, Minnesota made an important move to transition their adult mental health services from large state hospital campus treatment model to a community behavioral health center model. Martin Bosch, RN was intricate in leading his hospital’s transition to what is now the Community Behavioral Health Hospital, Baxter. Bosch is the nursing supervisor of this free-standing 16-bed acute psychiatric hospital in rural Minnesota. “The idea in summary was to move away from an asylum-based delivery system, and to open up smaller more person-centered facilities in order to better meet patients where they were at,” he explains.  “I was worried initially about not having enough staff to deal with issues that might arise. Now, without near-by additional programs or intercoms to rely on summoning extra staff, there’s just us – we do a lot more talking and finding out what has happened to a patient as opposed to starting with what’s wrong with a patient –we focus on establishing rapport and building a trusting, therapeutic alliance with a person;  it’s trauma informed care.” At the hospital today, over five years after the transition, “things are going right about on the edge of excellent,” he says.

As he talks about the program, you can hear in Bosch’s voice his pride in being part of an "A-list team" in a program that works to meet the needs of its consumers in a respectful and effective way. “I recently met Dr. Mary Wakefield (Administrator of HRSA) at my graduation from the University of North Dakota,” he says. (Bosch just completed his BSN.) “She knew about our transition and saw it as cutting edge.” He spent 25 minutes talking to her about his perceptions about the transition. “She knew exactly what we were doing and really wanted to know what I thought about it.” He is proud to be a member of a team doing such important work and stresses that it is just that – a team. “I would have had no possibility of even being nominated for this award were it not for the staff and system that I’m privileged to work with here. I’m just the guy that’s lucky enough to be helping to steer the boat.”

Bosch’s commitment to excellence extends past his roles in the Baxter transition. Bosch promotes a culture of safety throughout Baxter Community Behavioral Health Hospital. For the past three years Baxter has been a recipient of the Minnesota Safety Council Award of Excellence.  Since opening in 2007, staff has not experienced any work related injuries.  In addition, he has implemented Therapeutic Intervention Practice Skills (TIPS) training at the hospital and traveled around Minnesota to train other sites in concepts around enhanced therapeutic intervention and training for staff. TIPS is a training that, through weekly scenario based activities, provides staff with the confidence and competence to intervene safely and therapeutically all the while striving  to avoid a  resultant incident of seclusion or restraint. The Community Behavioral Health Hospital, Baxter enjoys an extremely low incidence in episodes of seclusion and restraint. He is also currently the Chair of the Central Lakes College in Brainerd’s Nursing program’s community advisory board, where he graduated with an Associate’s degree in nursing over 20 years ago.

A role model for everybody around him, he carries around with him a sense of optimism that is palpable: “I do my best to see the bright side of everything and pass that on to everyone I’m around…patients, staff, everyone.” He defines what he strives for in his practice as, “working for consistency and continuity across the board in doing what we say and saying what we do.” To avoid burnout (“When I figure that one out, I’ll let you know!” he jokes), Bosch goes for “anything outdoorsy” - riding motorcycles with his wife Bev,  camping, hunting, fishing, etc. He also has "three awesome grandkids that are the light of his life and brighten the world around me."  He stresses though, that in terms of his career, “the greatest reward is when patients say that you stuck to what you said you were going to do.”  That’s what we all strive for, and achieving that is what adds fuel to the fire.” Ultimately, saying goodbye to a client who is ready to leave the hospital is the big payoff and exactly the thing that keeps him going. “Every time I shake a patient’s hand as they walk out of the hospital, “that”  is a defining moment for me,” he says.